Centauria F1

1/43 1978 Brabham BT46 B "Fan Car" - Niki Lauda

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Centauria F1

1/43 1978 Brabham BT46 B "Fan Car" - Niki Lauda

The Brabham BT46 was 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.

The "B" variant of the car, also known as the "fan car", was introduced at the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix as a counter to the dominant ground-effect Lotus 79. The BT46B generated an immense amount of downforce by means of a fan, claimed to be for increased cooling, but which also extracted air from beneath the car. The car only raced once in this configuration in the Formula One World Championship—when Niki Lauda won the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix at Anderstorp.

The "fan car" concept was withdrawn by Brabham after one race even though the FIA had ruled it could be used for the remainder of that season. Gordon Murray, designer of the car, later said that the car was withdrawn by Brabham due to concerns from Bernie Ecclestone, the team owner. Ecclestone became chief executive of the Formula One Constructors' Association (FOCA) in the same year that the Brabham BT46 appeared, and he was concerned that the upset from other teams over the fan car could collapse FOCA. Murray said in 2008 that Ecclestone "was working on getting his foothold in the Formula One Constructors’ Association and launching himself towards what he's doing now", with the words "what he's doing now" referring to Ecclestone's position as chief executive of the Formula One Group, which he held from 1987 until 2017.

    SKUCF1-G06
    Manufacturer: Brabham
    Driver(s): Niki Lauda
    Series: Formula 1
    Year: 1978
    £0.00
    £24.50
    Reward points:0

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