Brabham - Alfa Romeo BT46B n.1 fourth Formula 1 World Champion 1978



The Brabham – Alfa Romeo BT46B n.1 is a car that took part in the Formula 1 World Championship in 1978. Bernie Ecclestone’s team for the new season, hired world champion driver Niki Lauda. The young designer Gordon Murray built the BT46A around the Italian boxer engine. To counter the dominance of Lotus with its ground effect, Ecclestone and Murray to a new idea that they could only use for a race.

Niki Lauda with the Brabham – Alfa Romeo BT46B n.1 won the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix. For the Scandinavian race the English team competed for the updated version of the BT46, the car behind the transmission had a big fan at the rear, and it served to suck air from the bottom of the car generating a ground effect in the curves. The controls before the race were explained to the race stewards, that the fan was used to cool the engine. In trial on orders from Ecclestone and Murray, to not give too much attention the engine power was reduced to both cars that qualified second and third.

In the race Lauda dominated trimming thirty seconds of second place, Mario Andretti on Lotus – Ford Cosworth 79. For the next race the federation forbade Brabham to use the fan. The BT46B only ran one race.


Brabham BT46B
Aluminium monocoque
Length: ? mm
Width: ? mm
Height: ? mm
Brakes: Carbon Fibre Discs
Tyres: Goodyear


Alfa Romeo 115-12 2995 cc V12 180°
Mid, longitudinally mounted
Power: 373 Kw
Drive Type: Rear
Transmission: Hewland five speed manual gearbox
Fuel Type: Petrol
Tank Capacity: ? lt


Fourth in the Formula 1 World Champion 1978 with driver Niki Lauda
GP winner: GP of Sweden 1978

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