“We went testing at Brands. The car
was covered in brown paint – it was
Bernie’s idea to camouflage it”
Charlie Whiting. “We went testing at Brands
Hatch. The car was covered with brown
paint – it was Bernie’s idea to camouflage it.
We were told it was water soluble, but we
were still finding bits of it six months later!
That was a nightmare. But it was a superb
car, beautifully thought out. A masterpiece.”
After the frenetic buildup, Murray’s
design gave the mechanics a far smoother
ride during the season by revolutionizing
the way cars were race prepared – a
welcome by-product of the whole cooling
system being mounted around the engine.
“I invented what is now known as the
race rear end,” he explains. “Before that,
mechanics had to rebuild the whole back
end of the car the night before the race.
Once I’d put all the cooling at the rear, and
the pipework was all self-contained with no
pipes running forward, I thought, ‘If I have a
sheer plate at the bulkhead, we could have
another complete rear end built up.’ After
qualifying, the guys could just change it
over – they were going home at 5-6 p.m.”
“It was great that we didn’t have to work
so long at the track,” Blash recalls. “We
could build everything up, even have it fired
up with hot water and oil in, ready to go.”
A huge effort also went into pit stops,
using experience gained in 1982. “We had
air jacks and quick-release wheels,” says
Murray. “I did a lot of video work with the
guys, and we developed captive wheel nuts,
special airguns, on-board jacking, all sorts.”
The season could hardly have got off to
a better start when Piquet won on home
ground in Rio. But after that, wins eluded
him. Sure, seconds, thirds and fourths
amid a few retirements kept him in touch
in the championship, yet the momentum
was with Prost and Renault – the French
combo won four times, and appeared
to be marching toward a first title.
THE DART THAT DEFEATED RENAULT
TO FINISH FIRST...
Why did Nelson Piquet win the 1983 F1 title while his
Brabham teammate, Riccardo Patrese, languished
down in ninth? The DNFs pretty much tell the story.
PIQUE T VS. PATRESE
20% ( 3)
26.7% ( 4)
20% ( 3)
66.6% ( 10)
FOR A FEW PODIUMS MORE...
Not to dwell on Patrese’s lamentable DNF rate, but...
three more second-place finishes (worth 6pts then)
and the constructors’ title would be Brabham’s, too.
WINS & PODIUMS
Brabham’s elegant ’80s Parmalat designs are classics.
Midway through ’ 83, Bernie Ecclestone switched the
blue and white, with stunning effect (in our opinion...).