Constructors Who Have Won in F1 - Brabham


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Brabham (35)

The two time World Champion, Jack Brabham, formed his own team after a poor season for Cooper in 1961. They ran Lotuses for the first few races of 1962, before the first Brabham car went onto the Green Hell and qualified 25th, 94 seconds down on Dan Gurney's pole sitting Porsche. His other two races that year went better, with the Aussie in 4th. Gurney joined Brabham in the other car in 1963, and it was the American who scored two podiums in the Low Countries. Jack finished 2nd in Mexico, Gurney 2nd in the final race in South Africa.

1964 saw privateers Bob Anderson and Jo Siffert take up Brabham cars. Gurney retired from pole at Zandvoort and at Spa, but the American took Brabham's first win in Rouen. Their cars took consistent points for the rest of the season, before Gurney won the Mexican Grand Prix. Rob Walker entered Brabhams in 1965, and the team finished 3rd in the Constructors' Championship, their highlight being a Gurney/Brabham 2-3 at Watkins Glen.

Kiwi Denny Hulme replaced Gurney for 1966, and Repco replaced Climax as engine suppliers. Brabham won the 3rd Grand Prix of the season at Reims, Jack's first win with his marque. He followed it up with the next three too, at Brands Hatch, Zandvoort and the Nurburgring to take a 22 point Championship lead. Despite his non-finish at Monza, a Ferrari one-two of Ludovicio Scarfiotti and Mike Parkes ensured his rivals did not take enough points to prevent him from taking his third crown.

Jack took pole in the first two races of 1967, but won neither. However, Hulme took the Monaco crown. After a double podium at Zandvoort, Jack lead home a one-two at Le Mans, before Hulme returned the favour at the Nurburgring. Their third one-two was at Mosport Park with Brabham leading. Hulme's consistency, however, lead to him being 5 points clear of the boss by the penultimate race, a third place finish enough to take the title.

Hulme left for McLaren, so in came Jochen Rindt. There would be 2 poles in 1968, but Brabhams rarely reached the finish, finishing 8th in the Constructors' Championship with a two podiums in South Africa and Germany for Rindt making up 8 of their 10 points. Jacky Ickx replaced Rindt for 1969, and he won two races in Germany and Canada. They took 2nd in the Constructors' Championship, and in Jack's last year he won his last race in South Africa, before blowing his chance to take a second Monaco win on the last lap.

By the time Carlos Reutemann crossed the line victorious in 1974, Bernie Ecclestone was the team owner and Gordon Murray was the designer. His three race wins that season (in South Africa, Austria and a one-two with Carlos Pace in the USA) stood out. 1975 saw Carlos Pace's famous victory at home in Interlagos, and Reutemann victorious at the Nurburgring, but greater consistency saw Brabham second in the Constructors' Cup. 1976 was a poor year, and the death of Pace in 1977 didn't help. John Watson's pole in Monaco was the highlight of the year!

For 1978, they tempted World Champion Niki Lauda to Brabham. They had the consistency, and Alfa engines. Niki scored a pole in the BT46A's first appearance in South Africa, and won the Swedish Grand Prix in the only appearance for the remarkable BT46B "fan car". Lauda & Watson then took a one-two at Monza after Mario Andretti and Gilles Villeneuve were penalised for outrageous jump starts. 1979 was a poor year, with the irreliability returning. Lauda quit, so his team-mate Nelson Piquet was required to lead the team.

His team-mates were poor (Hector Rebaque and Ricardo Zuninho, anyone?), but Piquet was not. He opened up with a second place in Argentina and won from pole the Long Beach Grand Prix. Victories followed at Zandvoort and Imola. He was 2nd in the Drivers' Championship with Brabham 3rd in the Constructors Championship. Car #6 had scored one point (Rebaque in Canada). There were 11 points for Rebaque in 1981, but Piquet was on fire. He won at Imola after winning in Buenos Aires. Three consecutive retirements gave Reutemann a big Championship lead. Piquet would only win at Hockenheim, but his consistency ground down Reutemann's lead, until he was one point behind the Argentinian heading to Las Vegas. A 5th place in the car park gave him the win as Reutemann choked.

Riccardo Patrese took the other car and 1982, and won the Monaco GP by default, while Piquet won in Canada. But the last 7 races saw only 2 Brabham finishes, and Piquet thus finished 11th in the congested Championship. Piquet won the opening race of 1983 at Rio, and a semi-consistent season saw him 13 points down on Renault's Alain Prost with 3 races left. He won at Monza to move within 5 points of the Frenchman, and won at Brands Hatch to move within 2 points. 3rd place in South Africa was enough, as Patrese took the win.

Again, in 1984, there were too many retirements. Piquet won the Canadian and US East Grands Prix, but failed to win from pole on no fewer than 7 occasions, and only scored points on 5 occasions to finish 5th in the WDC. A more consistent but slower car was the story of 1985, with Piquet scoring the team's final win at Paul Ricard. His departure to Williams meant Brabham were to turn to Elio de Angelis and the returning Patrese. de Angelis was killed in a test at Paul Ricard, and they only scored two points all season. 1987 saw de Cesaris in for de Angelis' replacement Derek Warwick, and he failed to finish in any race all season despite a podium at Spa. Patrese scored a podium at Mexico too, in a better season.

In 1988, Ecclestone rested, and then sold the team. It returned in 1989 and limped into 1992, but it is unfair to consider these years. The rest was fatal. Brabham, twice Constructors' Champions but four times the Drivers' Champions were gone.

Thanks for yet another great read.
Brabham was one of my favourite teams. I have always wondered how much greater their record might have been had Gurney, whom I consider one of the all-time greats, stayed with the team into the 3 litre era. It is interesting (at least to me) that the championship-winning REPCO engines of 1966 and 1967 were modified production GM engines!

The BT46B, although interesting in the formula 1 context, was basically a single-seat racer version of the Chaparral 2J from the late, lamented Can-Am series. At least Murray knew a brilliant idea when he saw one.

The team's decline, like that of Tyrell and the REAL Lotus team, was very sad to watch.
It is a little-remembered fact that it was selling Brabham parts that enabled Frank Williams to remain in racing and to ulitmately form his (formerly) great team.
It is a little-remembered fact that it was selling Brabham parts that enabled Frank Williams to remain in racing and to ulitmately form his (formerly) great team.

Quite true. It should also be remembered that Ron Dennis started out as a mechanic at Brabham in the late sixties, and the first team he set up (Rondel Racing) ran Brabham F2 cars.
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