by Andrew van de Burgt
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The Brabham BT52 was designed by F1 design genius Gordon Murray, with David North, for the 1983 F1 season, and took driver Nelson Piquet to his second World Championship title.
The car was a radical rethink that built upon knowledge gained during the ground-effect era, and the growing potency of BMW's 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbo engine. The distinctive 'dart'-shaped BT52 featured two ground-breaking concepts - mid-race refuelling, and significantly rear-biased weight distribution for improved traction in the era of ever-increasing turbo power outputs. The BMW engine delivered over 1,000bhp for short periods in qualifying trim, with the aid of exotic fuels to boost power, and around 750bhp in race trim, making for an impressive sight and sound during one of F1's most spectacular eras.
● The Brabham Story
● Design and development of the Brabham BT52
● The BT52 in Action
● Anatomy of the BT52
● The Drivers View
● The Teams View
● The BT52 Today
A fascinating insight into one of the most spectacular and distinctive cars ever to grace the F1 grid, and a glimpse into an era when the rule book allowed for free-thinking and ground-breaking innovation.
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