This week's Lego F1 car is the striking Brabham BT52!
The 1983 Brabham BT52 was a rocketship, with its legendary turbo BMW engine. And it also looked the part, with that distinctive arrow shape! #Lego #F1
The Brabham BT52's iconic shape comes, as it often does in F1, from the regulations. Specifically, it comes from the ban of ground effects in the months leading to the 1983 season, causing a major redesign of the car.
F1 genius Gordon Murray practically designed the car around its BMW turbo straight four engine, using very compact sidepods. Sidepods were used in the previous years to create massive downforce with the use of clever underside shaping and skirts, but now that was banned so there was no need to keep them running along the whole side of the car.
Doing that also allowed to put more weight at the back to help with traction, which was needed with that legendary BMW engine putting massive power through the rear wheels.
And so that instantly recognizable arrow or rocket-like shape was born. And it did its job, too: Nelson Piquet seized the world title with three wins and five other podium finishes in 15 races.
Reliability hampered the team's drive towards a constructors championship though, the car finish 3rd, Patrese having to retire in 10 of the 15 rounds.
But you know the saying. With great power comes great chances of blowing up.
34 years later, the BT52 remains one of those iconic cars that just look so different, yet so right. Which is why it was so fun to design in the first place! And as always, I'll be posting instructions and parts files so that you can build your own Lego BT52 on this Tribe in the coming days.
You can also vote to decide which car I'm going to build next week. I'll build the other one in two weeks anyway, so no need to panic if your favorite isn't the chosen one!