Prime 10 Brabham drivers ranked: Piquet, Lauda, Gurney and extra - Motor Informed
Formula 1

Prime 10 Brabham drivers ranked: Piquet, Lauda, Gurney and extra

Brabham’s last System 1 begin got here within the 1992 Hungarian Grand Prix, when Damon Hill scraped onto the 13th and last row earlier than ending 11th and final, 4 laps down. It was an ignominious manner for such a fantastic group to bow out, however its half in F1 historical past stays.

Between 1962 and 1992, Brabham scored two constructors’ crowns and 4 drivers’ titles. Its 35 victories put it eighth on the all-time wins listing, having solely lately been surpassed by Renault/Alpine.

For this prime 10, we thought of the quantity of success the drivers scored with Brabham, the influence they’d on the group and the circumstances of their time there. We didn’t embrace their achievements at different groups.

10. Carlos Tempo

Pace flew to fourth in the 1976 German GP. Brabham boss Ecclestone was convinced his charge was the team's future until his untimely death

Tempo flew to fourth within the 1976 German GP. Brabham boss Ecclestone was satisfied his cost was the group’s future till his premature loss of life

Photograph by: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch / Motorsport Images

Brabham years: 1974-77
Brabham begins: 39
Brabham wins: 1
Brabham poles: 1

After exhibiting promise at Surtees, Tempo joined Carlos Reutemann at Brabham throughout 1974.

The Brazilian demonstrated his skills early in 1975 with Gordon Murray’s iconic BT44B, profitable his dwelling race in spherical two and taking pole subsequent day out in South Africa. An absence of growth damage Brabham because the season progressed, however Tempo nonetheless completed a strong sixth – with Reutemann third – within the last standings.

As Reutemann began to lose curiosity within the Alfa Romeo-powered BT45, Tempo picked up the cudgels in 1976. Reliability was poor, however Tempo’s perspective happy the group and boss Bernie Ecclestone was satisfied he was a future nice.

The revised BT45B would show to be extra aggressive in 1977 and Tempo completed second within the Argentinian GP season opener, however he wouldn’t dwell to fulfil his potential. Tempo was killed in a light-weight plane crash in Brazil that March.

“If Tempo had lived, I might not have wanted Niki Lauda,” mentioned Ecclestone in Alan Henry’s e-book Brabham: The Grand Prix Automobiles.

9. John Watson

Bad luck cost Watson, pictured with designer Gordon Murray, several grand prix victories with Brabham

Unhealthy luck value Watson, pictured with designer Gordon Murray, a number of grand prix victories with Brabham

Photograph by: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch / Motorsport Images

Brabham years: 1973-74, 1977-78
Brabham begins: 50
Brabham wins: zero
Brabham poles: 1

Fairly how Watson didn’t take a victory for Brabham is bewildering and his stats don’t do justice to his time there. Watson contested his first world championship GP and first full F1 marketing campaign in privateer Brabham equipment, but it surely’s his interval with the manufacturing facility squad in 1977-78 that will get him a spot on this listing.

The BT45 was a aggressive proposition in 1977 and Watson took on the position of group chief following Tempo’s loss of life.

Watson took pole at Monaco and led 138 laps through the season, however unimaginable unhealthy luck – most notably with mysterious gasoline hunger on the ultimate lap of the French GP whereas holding off Mario Andretti’s Lotus – denied him.

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Lauda joined for 1978 however Watson was removed from embarrassed by the then double world champion. Though there have been nonetheless no wins for Watson, he scored a pole in France and three podiums on his method to sixth within the championship, with Lauda fourth. Brabham completed third within the constructors’ desk earlier than Watson moved to McLaren for 1979.

eight. Jochen Rindt

Rindt showed his pace and potential despite poor finishing record of Brabham BT24 in 1968

Rindt confirmed his tempo and potential regardless of poor ending document of Brabham BT24 in 1968

Photograph by: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch / Motorsport Images

Brabham 12 months: 1968
Brabham begins: 12
Brabham wins: zero
Brabham poles: 2

Rindt’s document at Brabham was appalling, largely due to issues with the four-cam 860 Repco engine that ultimately pressured the group to change to the Cosworth DFV. However Rindt slotted into the squad properly and led the road, with group boss Jack Brabham alongside.

Rindt certified forward of his new team-mate first day out in South Africa within the previous BT24 and completed third behind the dominant Lotus 49s.

When the BT26 arrived, Rindt confirmed it had some tempo by taking two poles, however a horrible ending document meant he solely noticed the flag as soon as – ending third within the legendarily moist German GP on the Nurburgring.

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Regardless of the poor outcomes and Rindt heading to Lotus, group and driver remained on good phrases. Jack Brabham hoped to get Rindt again for 1970 and was ready to step down, however Colin Chapman was capable of persuade his star driver to remain at Lotus.

Jack Brabham continued for another 12 months, proving that the BT33 was a frontrunning automobile, whereas Rindt ended 1970 as F1’s first (and up to now solely) posthumous world champion after being killed in apply at Monza.

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7. Jacky Ickx

Ickx chased down Stewart to win at the Nurburgring in 1969, his first for Brabham

Ickx chased down Stewart to win on the Nurburgring in 1969, his first for Brabham

Photograph by: Rainer W. Schlegelmilch / Motorsport Images

Brabham 12 months: 1969
Brabham begins: 11
Brabham wins: 2
Brabham poles: 2

Like Rindt, Ickx solely had one season at Brabham. Not like Rindt, the Belgian was capable of take two victories, although it’s most likely truthful to say he wasn’t taken to the group’s coronary heart in fairly the identical manner.

Ickx joined from Ferrari for 1969, simply in time for Brabham’s swap to Cosworth DFV energy. The transfer proved what Rindt’s performances had hinted at: Ron Tauranac’s BT26 design was a great one.

In a powerful season, Ickx took poles and wins on the Nurburgring and Mosport. His German GP win was significantly noteworthy as he recovered from a poor begin to chase down and beat the season’s pacesetter, Jackie Stewart, setting a brand new lap document alongside the way in which.

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Three different podiums helped Ickx to the runner-up spot on the planet championship, albeit a great distance behind runaway champion Stewart.

Jack Brabham, who managed a tremendous win within the non-championship Worldwide Trophy forward of Ickx, struggled to complete races however the pairing was nonetheless robust sufficient to pip Lotus to second within the constructors’ desk.

Ickx headed again to Ferrari for 1970, leaving Brabham to unsuccessfully attempt to entice Rindt to return.

6. Niki Lauda

Lauda was lured from Ferrari to Brabham for 1978 as reigning world champion, but his stint at the team was a stormy one

Lauda was lured from Ferrari to Brabham for 1978 as reigning world champion, however his stint on the group was a stormy one

Photograph by: Motorsport Images

Brabham years: 1978-79
Brabham begins: 29
Brabham wins: 2
Brabham poles: 1

Lauda discovered Ecclestone’s Brabham group a refreshing change to his troubled last months with Ferrari – however his second title with the Italian squad – and put in some very good performances.

Most well-known is his victory within the Swedish GP in Murray’s BT46B ‘fan automobile’ and he additionally gained the Italian GP after on-the-road pacesetters Mario Andretti and Gilles Villeneuve had been penalised for leaping the beginning. However maybe his most interesting efficiency got here in Monte Carlo.

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After being pressured to pit on account of a puncture, Lauda put in a stirring drive to get better to second and set a quickest lap practically two seconds faster than anybody else.

Reliability was an issue, however Lauda completed on the rostrum in all seven races wherein he made the chequered flag. That was sufficient for fourth within the 1978 drivers’ desk, second within the best-of-the-rest stakes behind Andretti and Ronnie Peterson of their game-changing, ground-effects Lotus.

Regardless of a well-executed victory within the non-championship Dino Ferrari GP at Imola, reliability was even worse in 1979. Lauda additionally had speedy younger team-mate Nelson Piquet to deal with and he walked away from F1 through the Canadian GP weekend, simply as Murray launched one of many best Brabhams: the DFV-engined BT49.

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5. Carlos Reutemann

Reutemann took third at his home grand prix for Brabham in 1975 as he ended the year third in the standings

Reutemann took third at his dwelling grand prix for Brabham in 1975 as he ended the 12 months third within the standings

Photograph by: David Phipps

Brabham years: 1972-76
Brabham begins: 66
Brabham wins: four
Brabham poles: 2

The enigmatic Argentinian took pole place on his world championship debut in a Brabham BT34. His smooth tyres pale in his dwelling race in 1972 however Reutemann grew to become a mainstay of the group for 5 seasons and was extremely rated by Ecclestone, who took over the group for 1972.

Reutemann’s breakthrough marketing campaign got here in 1974. Armed with Murray’s BT44, Reutemann flew to a few wins. That matched the tally of champion Emerson Fittipaldi however Reutemann merely didn’t end sufficient races to be within the title battle and ended up sixth within the factors.

Sensible on his day, Reutemann scored one other tremendous victory from 10th on the grid within the 1975 German GP on the Nurburgring, profitable by greater than a minute and a half after the speedy Ferrari problem wilted.

That was Reutemann’s solely success of the 12 months however higher consistency – he scored 5 different podiums – meant he completed third within the desk, behind solely the dominant Lauda and Fittipaldi. Mixed with the efforts of Tempo, it was sufficient for Brabham to narrowly beat McLaren to second within the constructors’ contest.

Brabham’s swap from Cosworth DFV to Alfa Romeo flat-12 energy for 1976 was fraught. Reutemann misplaced curiosity and had solely taken one points-paying end – fourth in Spain – when he moved to Ferrari within the wake of Lauda’s horrible German GP crash.

Brabham wouldn’t win for one more two years, whereas Reutemann’s rating of 4 victories (and a hit within the non-championship 1972 Brazilian GP) places him third on the group’s winners listing.

four. Denny Hulme

Hulme won the 1967 world championship for Brabham, beating his boss to pick up the pieces as Lotus paid the price for unreliability

Hulme gained the 1967 world championship for Brabham, beating his boss to choose up the items as Lotus paid the value for unreliability

Photograph by: Motorsport Images

Brabham years: 1965-67
Brabham begins: 26
Brabham wins: 2
Brabham poles: zero

Normally a loyal back-up for Jack Brabham in each F1 and F2, Hulme acquired his large likelihood in 1967. The 12 months earlier than he’d completed fourth within the drivers’ desk with 4 podiums as Jack romped to his third title with 4 victories, however Hulme’s consistency in 1967 was very good.

Brabham scored two poles earlier than the Cosworth DFV-engined Lotus 49 arrived, with Jim Clark and Graham Hill then setting the tempo in every single place. However the Lotus wasn’t sufficiently dependable and eight podiums from 11 races – together with his first win at Monaco and an inherited success on the Nurburgring – was sufficient for Hulme (with no poles!) to pip his boss to the crown.

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Hulme then moved to McLaren, the place he performed a key position within the early days of the well-known group, but it surely’s for his world title with Brabham that he’s finest remembered.

three. Dan Gurney

Gurney's departure from Brabham couldn't have been more ill-timed, but in the years before it peaked he was its on-track lead driver

Gurney’s departure from Brabham could not have been extra ill-timed, however within the years earlier than it peaked he was its on-track lead driver

Photograph by: Motorsport Images

Brabham years: 1963-65
Brabham begins: 30
Brabham wins: 2
Brabham poles: 2

It didn’t take lengthy for Gurney to turn out to be Brabham’s group chief when it comes to on-track efficiency when he joined Brabham in 1963, no imply feat given his team-mate was boss after which two-time champion Jack Brabham.

Clark and the Lotus 25 left slim pickings for others, profitable seven of the 10 rounds, however Gurney was one of many leaders of the chasing pack and completed fifth within the championship.

He was much more spectacular in 1964. Gurney took Brabham’s first pole at Zandvoort, then topped the timesheets subsequent day out at Spa. He was heading for victory when the BT7 ran out of gasoline on the ultimate lap, Gurney being labeled sixth.

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His luck modified two weeks later, Gurney inheriting the lead at Rouen when Clark’s Lotus suffered engine failure. He went on to take Brabham’s first world championship GP victory, with Jack in third.

Elsewhere, Gurney’s luck and the automobile’s reliability had been appalling. His solely different respectable end result got here within the Mexican GP finale, Gurney inheriting victory when Clark’s Lotus once more failed him late on.

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His two wins left Gurney sixth within the desk as soon as once more however actually his personal performances ought to have put him within the title battle with Clark, Hill and eventual champion John Surtees.

Clark and Lotus had been once more out of attain in 1965 and BRM was robust with Hill and star rookie Jackie Stewart. There have been no wins or poles, however higher reliability helped Gurney to fourth within the standings – and he famously pushed Clark right into a uncommon error within the non-championship Race of Champions at Manufacturers Hatch.

With Gurney main the group, Jack Brabham was contemplating retiring on the finish of 1965. However Gurney as an alternative went off to arrange his personal Eagle venture, thereby giving up the possibility to drive the Brabhams that will win the subsequent two world championships…

2. Nelson Piquet

Piquet was Brabham's most successful driver in terms of race wins, and won two world championships for the squad

Piquet was Brabham’s most profitable driver when it comes to race wins, and gained two world championships for the squad

Photograph by: Motorsport Images

Brabham years: 1978-85
Brabham begins: 106
Brabham wins: 13
Brabham poles: 18

By way of pure on-track efficiency, Piquet may prime this listing. He scored extra wins, extra poles, began a larger variety of races and took extra drivers’ titles for Brabham than some other driver. It’s actually simply the distinctive place of the one who tops this rating that retains Piquet within the quantity two slot.

Piquet joined Brabham on the finish of 1978 for his first full season of F1. Race finishes had been arduous to come back by however Piquet had apparent promise and have become primary following Lauda’s sudden retirement and was a frontrunner with Murray’s BT49 in 1980.

His first victory got here in dominant type at Lengthy Seaside. Piquet took pole by practically a second, led all through, set quickest lap by greater than half a second and gained by 49s. He added two extra wins and fought Alan Jones for the crown however a conflict with the Australian helped the Williams driver clinch the title on the penultimate spherical in Canada.

It was Piquet versus Williams once more in 1981 and this time it went Piquet’s manner. After three wins, fifth place within the Caesars Palace finale was sufficient to take the championship by one level over Reutemann, who pale inexplicably from pole to eighth.

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Hector Rebaque was unable to offer sufficient assist to cease Williams beating Brabham within the constructors’ desk, however the group’s subsequent large problem was working with BMW to get its turbocharged engine working.

Piquet performed a key half in pushing the venture alongside. He bounced again from the ignominy of failing to qualify for the 1982 Detroit GP by profitable the Canadian GP only a week later. Reliability remained suspect for a lot of the marketing campaign, however the Brabham-BMW package deal was in a greater place for 1983.

The last-minute scrapping of ground-effects resulted in Murray producing the dart-like BT52. Piquet gained the season-opening Brazilian GP and saved racking up factors at the same time as Renault’s Alain Prost hit a purple patch. As soon as the B model after which improved gasoline arrived Piquet placed on a late cost, profitable two of the final three races and pipping Prost to the title with third place within the Kyalami finale.

PLUS: When BMW added F1 ‘rocket fuel’ to ignite Brabham’s 1983 title push

The Brabham-BMW package deal was not a match for McLaren-TAG (nee Porsche) in 1984, no less than within the races. Piquet took 9 poles – greater than anybody else – however woeful reliability and the McLaren’s effectivity restricted him to only two wins and fifth within the factors.

Pirelli tyres offered one other variable in 1985 and reliability was nonetheless doubtful. A disgruntled Piquet took only one victory, in France, and eighth within the championship earlier than heading off to Williams.

1. Jack Brabham

Team founder Brabham (flanked by Surtees and Rindt after winning the 1966 German GP) became the first driver to win the world championship in his own car, a feat unlikely ever to be repeated

Workforce founder Brabham (flanked by Surtees and Rindt after profitable the 1966 German GP) grew to become the primary driver to win the world championship in his personal automobile, a feat unlikely ever to be repeated

Photograph by: David Phipps

Brabham years: 1962-70
Brabham begins: 80
Brabham wins: 7
Brabham poles: eight

The primary driver to win a GP in a automobile bearing his personal identify and the primary (and solely) individual to turn out to be a world champion in his personal machine. Jack Brabham additionally contributed to constructors’ titles in 1966 and 1967, which he’d additionally helped to engineer due to a take care of Repco for dependable V8 engines for F1’s three-litre period. Solely Piquet will get wherever close to the group co-founder on this listing.

PLUS: The astute engine call behind Brabham’s unique F1 feat

Brabham left Cooper to arrange his personal operation with Tauranac and ran Lotus chassis till the primary Brabham was prepared. Whereas Brabham tended to play second fiddle to Gurney throughout 1963-65, he was able to step up when the American left forward of 1966.

Brabham knew his Repco-engined BT19 could be aggressive as F1 switched to three-litre laws and he reeled off 4 wins, together with a tremendous victory on the Nurburgring, to safe his third title and perpetually take his place in historical past.

PLUS: Jack Brabham’s greatest drives

He may have gained the next 12 months, however he had just a few too many issues. The identical could possibly be mentioned for pacesetting Lotus duo Clark and Hill, serving to Hulme to the drivers’ crown and the Brabham group took its second consecutive constructors’ title.

Brabham was once more pleased to permit Rindt (1968) after which Ickx (1969) to paved the way however Rindt’s determination to remain at Lotus for 1970 persuaded the then 43-year-old to increase his profession for another season.

And what a marketing campaign it was. Brabham gained the South African season-opener, may have gained in Spain and may have gained each the Monaco and British GPs. He ended up an unrepresentative sixth within the last desk, however headed into retirement along with his head held excessive.

Learn Additionally:

Brabham was running third in his final F1 race, the 1970 Mexican GP, when his Brabham BT33's DFV let go

Brabham was operating third in his last F1 race, the 1970 Mexican GP, when his Brabham BT33’s DFV let go

Photograph by: Motorsport Images




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