Brabham BT44B

Brabham BT44B

by Luca Dal Monte

It is Gordon Murray’s first masterpiece – a single-seater with square and clean lines, in the best tradition of its legendary designer. Compared to its predecessor, from which it derives, the BT44 has simpler lines and better aerodynamics, with the high air intake integrated into the body of the car bringing relief to the Ford-Cosworth V8 engine. With certain solutions, and the way it channels air under the car, it partially anticipates the ground effect.

Murray is the man to whom Bernie Ecclestone, the new owner of Brabham, entrusted the technical part of the team. Ron Tauranac, the partner of Jack Brabham who sold him the team, advised him to fire Murray and keep all the other designers. Ecclestone did the exact opposite – he fired everyone and kept only Murray, a decision he would never regret.

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Carlos Reutemann: He achieved three victories in 1974 and only one – at the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring – in 1975 with the B version. Additionally, he secured two second places in South Africa and Sweden, and three third places in Argentina, Spain, and Belgium, which kept Reutemann in contention for the championship title at least until the summer. He finished third in the final standings of the World Championship. Thanks to the results of his teammate as well, Brabham became the runner-up in the World Constructors’ Championship.

Carlos Pace: He clinched a victory in his home race in Brazil, with fans going wild in the stands, a second place at Silverstone, and a third at Monaco. He achieved points finishes and was among the top ten in many races. However, he suffered many retirements, too many, in fact, due to the fragility of a fast but unreliable car. His sixth-place finish in the Drivers’ World Championship standings was the best result in a career that would tragically end just two years later when Carlos was at the peak of his driving skills.

Our model cars:

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The BT44 races, wins, and impresses in the 1974 season. The B version, slightly updated, is the one that Brabham fields in the 1975 season. At the wheel are the Argentine Carlos Reutemann, the driver on whom Ecclestone is building Brabham’s reputation, and Carlos Pace, the second driver Bernie has been searching for for three years. Together, in the 1975 season, Reutemann and Pace form one of the most formidable duos in a Formula 1 world inhabited by giants.

The design of the car is the most beautiful thing you could see at the time. The shape of the single-seater is wedge-shaped, with the sides following the inclination of the engine. In two seasons of racing, the BT44 and the B version win a total of five Grand Prix races, secure two pole positions, and set four fastest race laps.

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