Brabham BT44: The most beautiful F.1 Reutemann drove

Carlos Reutemann's first joys in Formula 1 came together with Brabham and with two models, the BT44 and its evolution, the BT44B, used to win at the Nürburgring.


Although Carlos Alberto Reutemann ran in the F1 for legendary teams like Ferrari, Lotus y Williams, still many remember their passage through Brabham since it was the most extensive and endearing for the fans. It is that with the team that the English Bernie Ecclestone bought in 1971 from the Australian Rum Tauranac -its founder with his compatriot Jack Brabham- he debuted in the specialty and achieved his first great results.

Brabham BT44: The most beautiful F.1 Reutemann droveIn the five championships in which he raced for the English team, including the 1976 tournament in which he played 12 rounds before moving on to the Scuderia, Lole used six different models. Its official premiere, after participating in competitions without points for the World Cup, was in 1972 with the BT34 (It was in the Argentine GP with pole position included and the final seventh place), a model that had been used in 1971 and that was equipped with a 8 cc Ford Cosworth V3.000 engine.

On the fourth date of that tournament, the Belgian GP, ​​the Santa Fe took the BT37 with which he achieved a fourth place in Canada. In 1973 he used it again for the first three dates and then drove the BT42, the first F-1 created entirely by the South African designer Gordon Murray and that allowed the Santa Fe to achieve his first two podiums (third in France and the United States).

With two seasons behind him, Reutemann had already shown enough talent to be a candidate for victory in each Grand Prix. However, he needed a car up to the task. And that vehicle came in 1974 and it was the BT44, a Murray update of the car from the previous year. The new vehicle tIt had a simple design and was aerodynamically clean, which allowed it to have an elegant appearance compared to other racing cars of the time.

Brabham BT44: The most beautiful F.1 Reutemann droveDespite its simplicity it had certain aerodynamic elements that had not been seen before as the side skirts. With the BT44, finally, Lole debuted as a World Cup winner at the South African GP and climbed back up to the top step of the podium in Austria y United States to finish sixth in the standings, improving the seventh and 16th place achieved in previous tournaments. That campaign could have included a couple more successes, like the one that escaped him in Argentina when the dynamic shot came off when he was winning.

Brabham decided to face the 1975 contest with an evolution of the BT44 which he called BT44B. The whole project was done by Murray, obviously, and it was drawn in about five hundred plans. Roughly The geometry of the rear suspension was changed, the monocoque was modified to give it greater rigidity and having added internal templates made it safer. The car was baptized at the Argentine GP and Reutemann took it to the third step of the podium. While the first win came to the next race, in the Brazilian GP, ​​with the Brazilian Jose Carlos Pace, who had deserted at the Buenos Aires racetrack. The second victory happened after the middle of the tournament, in the German GP, with Lole himself, who thus achieved his fourth triumph in the specialty and his last over a Brabham.

Brabham BT44: The most beautiful F.1 Reutemann drove
Reutemann winner at the Nürburgring.

While that 1975 tournament was going on, Murray also focused on the vehicle for the following year. The BT45 was designed exclusively to have a motor 12cc Alfa Romeo V3.000 since the English team considered that the stage with the Cosworth it had been exhausted. Since 1972 they prepared the engines themselves and had reached a power cap of 430 horsepower, while the Italian engine promised about 500 donkeys. The Alfa Romeo power plant forced a totally new vehicle to be conceived as it weighed 20 kilos more and was 30 centimeters longer than the old Cosworth.

The new company did not perform and this was reflected in the results of the Argentine pilot in 1976: nine retirements in 12 races (five for engine failures), something that led Lole to immediately accept Ferrari's proposal to be the replacement for the Austrian Niki Lauda after that German GP in which his 312T2 caught fire.

Thus ended the relationship between Carlos Reutemann and Brabham. It was not in the best way, although even today it is remembered with nostalgia and a certain affection.

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Diego durruty

Journalist with 30 years of experience. Worked in magazines STROKE, The graphic, Coequipier y Only TC, on the Internet sites SportsYa!, e-driver.com y kmcero.com and on the radios Rock pop y Vorterix.com. He covered the Dakar rally for the German agency dpa. He currently drives Two Daring Guys, a car magazine that is broadcast on Tuesdays from 18 to 19 by RadioArroba.com; is editor of motorsport in Red Bull Argentina, columnist on the show WorldSport (AM Splendid) and in Surf & Rock FM.  He is also a teacher in SPORTS. Now you can read it on his blog: automundo.com.ar.

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