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The Brabham BT45 was a Formula One car designed by South African engineer Gordon Murray for the 1976 Formula One season. In upgraded BT45B and BT45C form, it also competed in the 1977 and 1978 seasons.

Brabham BT45
Stommelen auf Brabham 1976.jpg
The Brabham-Alfa Romeo BT45 of Rolf Stommelen at the 1976 German GP
CategoryFormula One
ConstructorBrabham
Designer(s)Gordon Murray
PredecessorBT44
SuccessorBT46
Technical specifications[1]
Chassisaluminium monocoque
Suspension (front)double wishbones, pull-rod actuated coil springs over dampers, anti-roll bar
Suspension (rear)single top links, twin lower links, twin radius arms, coil springs over dampers, anti-roll bar
Axle trackFront: 1,448 mm (57.0 in)
Rear: 1,524 mm (60.0 in)
Wheelbase2,464 mm (97.0 in)
EngineAlfa Romeo 115-12 and Ford-Cosworth DFV 2,995 cc (182.8 cu in), Flat-12 NA, mid-engine, longitudinally mounted
TransmissionHewland, Brabham 6-speed manual
Fuel1976-1977: Fina
1978: Agip
TyresGoodyear
Competition history
Notable entrantsMartini Racing
Parmalat Racing Team
Notable driversItaly Giorgio Francia
Austria Niki Lauda
Brazil Carlos Pace
Australia Larry Perkins
Argentina Carlos Reutemann
West Germany Rolf Stommelen
West Germany Hans-Joachim Stuck
United Kingdom John Watson
Debut1976 Brazilian Grand Prix
RacesWinsPolesF.Laps
36 (all variants)012
Constructors' Championships0
Drivers' Championships0

Contents

TechnologyEdit

The car was the first Brabham to use Alfa Romeo type 115-12 flat 12-cylinder engine with 500 hp (373 kW) and 340 N⋅m (251 lb⋅ft) of torque. It was equipped with a Hewland six-speed transmission. It used the front air intakes of the previous Brabham, but by regulation no longer has the air-brooms behind the cockpit and has side panels with larger air intakes to feed the engine and more radiant surfaces. The frame was an aluminum monocoque, while the braking system was constituted by ventilated disc brakes produced by Girling. The front suspension consisted of double wishbones with pull-rods, coil springs and stabilizer bars, while the rear used coil springs and stabilizer bars. For the 1978 season, pending the development of BT46, a C version of the BT45 was created. This model was equipped with a revised radiator.

RacesEdit

The BT45 had its first start at the 1976 Brazilian Grand Prix in the hands of Carlos Pace and Carlos Reutemann. They suffered reliability problems, especially the engine. During the first season, the best results were three fourth places.

1977 was better: Pace finished second in the first race and led for thirteen laps in South Africa with the BT45B, unluckily he died a few days later in a plane crash. His teammate, John Watson, drove to the pole at the Monaco Grand Prix but was passed on the first lap by Jody Scheckter's Wolf, after that he spent more than half of the race in second position, before retiring with gearbox problems. He then took second place in France, and Stuck gained two podiums, in Germany and Austria. Its results allowed the German to finish 11th overall in the Championship.

The BT45C competed in two Grands Prix in 1978, before the arrival of the BT46. With this latest release, Niki Lauda achieved two podiums. Jackie Stewart tested an early BT45C (chassis number 8) in 1978 and returned an overall favourable impression of the car as well as the team, with the smooth, torquey Alfa Romeo flat-twelve and the Brabham gearbox coming in for particular praise. The chassis was not yet fully sorted and Stewart disliked the cable-operated clutch; but the Brabham was still the fastest car he ran in a series of tests at Paul Ricard.[2]

Complete Formula One World Championship resultsEdit

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position, results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Engine Chassis Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Points WCC
1976 Martini Racing Alfa Romeo F12 BT45 G BRA RSA USW ESP BEL MON SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN USE JPN 9 9th
Carlos Pace 10 Ret 9 6 Ret 9 8 4 8 4 Ret Ret Ret 7 Ret Ret
Carlos Reutemann 12 Ret Ret 4 Ret Ret Ret 11 Ret Ret Ret Ret
Rolf Stommelen 6 Ret
Larry Perkins 17 Ret Ret
1977 Martini Racing Alfa Romeo F12 BT45B G ARG BRA RSA USW ESP MON BEL SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA USE CAN JPN 27 5th
John Watson Ret Ret 6 DSQ Ret Ret Ret 5 2 Ret Ret 8 Ret Ret 12 Ret Ret
Carlos Pace 2 Ret 13
Hans-Joachim Stuck Ret 6 Ret 6 10 Ret 5 3 3 7 Ret Ret Ret 7
Giorgio Francia DNQ
1978 Parmalat Racing Team Alfa Romeo F12 BT45C G ARG BRA RSA USW MON BEL ESP SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA USE CAN 531 3rd1
Niki Lauda 2 3
John Watson Ret 8

^1 This total includes points scored using the Brabham BT46.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Brabham BT45 Alfa Romeo". ultimatecarpage.com. Retrieved 2016-01-16.
  2. ^ Stewart, Jackie (August 1978). "Track Test no 4: The Brabham BT45C". CAR (South Africa). Vol. 22 no. 7. Ramsay, Son & Parker (Pty) ltd. p. 35.