AUTO ITALIANA PERSONALIZED EDITION
Petrol Tribe for Auto Italiana Magazine / Summer 2020
The Brabham BT46 is a Formula One racing car designed by Gordon Murray for the Brabham team, owned by Bernie Ecclestone, for the 1978 Formula One season. The car featured several radical design elements, one of which was the use of flat panel heat exchangers on the bodywork of the car to replace conventional water and oil radiators. Upon seeing pictures of the car, consultant engineer David Cox calculated that the BT46 had only around 30% of the cooling surface area required. He contacted Brabham to express his concerns. By this time the car had already run, suffering serious problems with over-heating. Cox was invited by Brabham to discuss his calculations, pointed out what he believed to be fundamental errors in the concept and concluded that the idea could not be made to work. It was removed before the car’s race debut, never to be seen again. The cars, however, powered by a flat-12 Alfa Romeo engine, raced competitively with modified nose-mounted radiators for most of the year, driven by Niki Lauda and John Watson, winning one race in this form and scoring sufficient points for the team to finish third in the constructors championship.
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