Brabham

 
In 1966, Jack Brabham became the first and the only driver (till 2007) to win the world championship in a car (Brabham) bearing his own name |  The carbon-carbon braking system was pioneered by Brabham in 1976 |  BRO has also raced in Indycar, Formula Two and Formula Three

FACTFILE

Name: Brabham
Founded: Jack Brabham, Ron Tauranac
Headquarters: Great Britain
No. Of Races: 394
No. Of Wins: 35
No. Of Poles: 39
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  • PROFILE
  • MILESTONES
PROFILE

BrabhamMotor Racing Developments Ltd., also known as Brabham was founded by Jack Brabham, the three-time F1 World Champion and his friend Ron Tauranac. Despite winning the 1959 and the 1960 Drivers’ Championships with the Cooper Car Company, Brabham decided to start his own team with Tauranac’s assistance. The decision materialised into Motor Racing Developments Ltd. (MRD), which manufactured sports cars in competition with the Cooper Car Company.

Tauranac was secretly running MRD in Formula Junior while Brabham was still racing for Cooper till the summer of 1961. Thereafter, the team was renamed as Brabham Racing Organisation (BRO). The turquoise-liveried Brabham cars made their debut in the 1962 German Grand Prix but failed to finish the race after throttle-related problems. The team managed a couple of fourth place finishes by the end of the season.

In 1963, Brabham was partnered with American driver Dan Gurney who scored 19 points and earned three podium finishes for the team. Through his performance he earned a third place in the Drivers’ Championship. The Coventry-Climax powered engines in 1964 helped Gurney earn first two victories for the team at the French and the Mexican Grands Prix. The following season was marred by shrinking resources in the BRO and Brabham could not make it to the top of the drivers’ standings. However, Gurney saved the season with five podium finishes and BRO was third in the Constructors’ Championship repeating the feat after 1963.

Brabham and Tauranac were not among the ones to crumble under pressure, they took up the challenge when the engine capacity was increased to three litres in 1966. They roped in an Australian company, Repco and worked on the engine head based on that of the American car, Oldsmobile F85. Thus a lighter and reliable Brabham car was developed. Brabham hit a winning streak early that season. He clinched the French Grand Prix and went on to win the three consecutive grands prix that followed and finished first in the drivers’ standings. In the subsequent season, Brabham was trying new components on his car and gave New Zealander, Denny Hulme a chance to drive the Brabham to victory. Hulme won the Drivers’ Championship and brought the team its second constructors’ title in 1967.

The 1968 season did not bring much success to the team and Brabham, partnered with Austrian driver Jochen Rindt, found it difficult to finish races in the unreliable cars they had hoped to perform in. Rindt was replaced by Jacky Ickx in the 1969 season and he dominated in the second half of the season. Brabham himself could only produce two podium places and the team ferried on Ickx’s back to finish second in the Constructors’ Championship in that season.

Brabham decided to retire from racing after the 1969 season, but unavailability of a talented driver meant that he had to cancel the his retirements plans and race for the season. Although he managed one victory and several leading laps, a lacuna in his car proved to be a hurdle and consequently the team finished fourth in the constructors’ run. Brabham sold his share in the team to Tauranac and left for Australia after his historic stint with the sport. The year also marked the end of an era for BRO with this veteran driver.

The famous BT34, with twin radiators was designed exclusively for double World Champion Graham Hill, who was signed up by Tauranac in 1971. However, he had lost his bite after an accident in 1969. The team managed merely five championship points. Tauranac was falling short of funds to keep the team running and found a buyer in Bernie Eccelstone at the end of 1971. Eccelstone bought the team for £100,000 and Tauranac remained the designer for the team but left in 1972 after he was ignored by Eccelstone who changed strategies without consulting him.

In 1972, Carlos Reutemann managed a pole position in his home race at Buenos Aires but that was just about he could do and the team finished ninth with just seven points in the championship. With Gordon Murray as chief designer in 1973, Eccelstone managed to get certain performances from the team with more developments in the engines and the designs. Brabham finished fourth in 1973 and fifth in 1974 Constructors’ Championship. With two decent seasons in store, it started as favourites in the 1975 season. Carlos Pace had won the team’s first race of the season and partnered Reutemann to put up seven more podium finishes together. Reutemann was third in the drivers’ standings and likewise, the team too finished third in the constructors’ run.

Niki Lauda was signed for the 1978 season which got the team sponsorship from Italian dairy company Parmalat. Lauda won two races in the BT46 and the team finished third in the constructors’ run. In 1980, Lauda announced his retirement and his 1979 teammate Nelson Piquet became the front runner. He won three races in 1980 and Brabham clinched third place in the constructors’ standings. The next season, Piquet got the Drivers’ Championship title and cemented a second place finish for the team in the Constructors’ Championship amid accusations of cheating.

The last time Brabham finished among the top three teams in the constructors’ list was in 1983, when it stood third. The year also marked Piquet’s second championship victory.
The Brabham team raced its cars till 1992 though not as successfully as it used to do before. However, it did not fail to mark its presence with state of the art technology deployed in its cars and produced few of the greatest world champions - Jack Brabham, Nelson Piquet and Graham Hill who raced with the British outfit.

-Anup Pareek

MILESTONE
  • YEARS
  • DRIVERS
  • ENGINES
  • GPs
  • CIRCUITS
STATISTICS
YEARS
Year Driver GPs Wins Poles Podiums FLs Points
1962 Jack Brabham 3 0 0 0 0 6
1963 Dan Gurney, David Prophet, Jack Brabham 10 0 0 4 1 30
1964 Bob Anderson, Dan Gurney, Frank Gardner, Hap Sharp, Ian Raby, Jack Brabham, Jo Bonnier, Jochen Rindt, Joseph Siffert 10 2 2 6 3 37
1965 Bob Anderson, Dan Gurney, David Prophet, Denny Hulme, Frank Gardner, Giancarlo Baghetti, Ian Raby, Jack Brabham, Jo Bonnier, Joseph Siffert, Paul Hawkins 10 0 0 6 1 36
1966 Bob Anderson, Chris Irwin, Denny Hulme, Jack Brabham, Jo Bonnier, John Taylor, Joseph Siffert 9 4 3 9 2 51
1967 Bob Anderson, Dave Charlton, Denny Hulme, Guy Ligier, Jack Brabham, Luki Botha 11 4 2 14 2 69
1968 Dan Gurney, Dave Charlton, Jack Brabham, Jackie Pretorius, Jochen Rindt, John Love, Kurt Ahrens, Silvio Moser 12 0 2 2 0 10
1969 Jack Brabham, Jacky Ickx, John Cordts, Peter de Klerk, Piers Courage, Sam Tingle, Silvio Moser 11 2 4 9 3 51
1970 Derek Bell, Gus Hutchison, Jack Brabham, Peter de Klerk, Rolf Stommelen 13 1 1 5 4 35
1971 Chris Craft, Dave Charlton, Graham Hill, Jackie Pretorius, Tim Schenken 11 0 0 1 0 5
1972 Carlos Reutemann, Graham Hill, Wilson Fittipaldi 12 0 1 0 0 7
1973 Andrea de Adamich, Carlos Reutemann, John Watson, Rolf Stommelen, Wilson Fittipaldi 15 0 0 2 0 22
1974 Carlos Pace, Carlos Reutemann, Eppie Wietzes, Gerard Larrousse, John Watson, Richard Robarts, Rikky von Opel, Teddy Pilette 15 3 1 5 3 35
1975 Carlos Pace, Carlos Reutemann 14 2 1 9 1 56
1976 Bob Evans, Carlos Pace, Carlos Reutemann, Larry Perkins, Lella Lombardi, Loris Kessel, Patrick Neve, Rolf Stommelen 16 0 0 0 0 9
1977 Carlos Pace, Hans Joachim Stuck, John Watson 17 0 1 4 2 27
1978 John Watson, Nelson Piquet, Niki Lauda 16 2 2 10 4 53
1979 Nelson Piquet, Niki Lauda, Ricardo Zunino 15 0 0 0 1 7
1980 Hector Rebaque, Nelson Piquet, Ricardo Zunino 14 3 2 6 1 55
1981 Hector Rebaque, Nelson Piquet 15 3 4 7 1 61
1982 Nelson Piquet, Riccardo Patrese 15 2 1 5 4 41
1983 Nelson Piquet, Riccardo Patrese 15 4 2 10 5 72
1984 Corrado Fabi, Manfred Winkelhock, Nelson Piquet, Teo Fabi 16 2 9 5 3 38
1985 Francois Hesnault, Marc Surer, Nelson Piquet 16 1 1 2 0 26
1986 Derek Warwick, Elio de Angelis, Riccardo Patrese 16 0 0 0 0 2
1987 Andrea de Cesaris, Riccardo Patrese, Stefano Modena 16 0 0 2 0 10
1989 Martin Brundle, Stefano Modena 16 0 0 1 0 8
1990 David Brabham, Gregor Foitek, Stefano Modena 16 0 0 0 0 2
1991 Mark Blundell, Martin Brundle 16 0 0 0 0 3
1992 Damon Hill, Eric van de Poele 3 0 0 0 0 0
Total   394 35 39 124 41 864

Brabham - HEAD TO HEAD (TEAMS RACED AGAINST)

According to stats...

  • In 1966, Jack Brabham became the first and the only driver (till 2007) to win the world championship in a car (Brabham) bearing his own name
  • The carbon-carbon braking system was pioneered by Brabham in 1976
  • BRO has also raced in Indycar, Formula Two and Formula Three

QUOTES ON BRABHAM

“Absolutely the only bloke I'd have gone into partnership with.”
-Jack Brabham, on Tauranac.
“In retrospect, the relationship was never going to work, (Tauranac and I) both take the view: 'Please be reasonable, do it my way' “
-Eccelstone explaining the ouster of Tauranac.
"The way the team had operated for 15 years broke down.”
-Eccelstone, team boss.



OTHER TEAMS

Most successful teams to have raced with Brabham
Ferrari
Ferrari (227)
McLaren
McLaren (182)
Williams
Williams (114)
Lotus
Lotus (81)
Renault
Renault (35)



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