1983: NELSON PIQUET

Model produced by: Paul’s Model Art (Minichamps)

Year: 1983
Driver: Nelson Piquet (Brazil)
Team: Brabham BMW
Car: Brabham BT52
Results: 3 wins, 8 podiums, 1 pole, 4 fastest laps

After the ground effect cars were banned at the end of the previous season, the FIA mandated that all F1 cars be designed with flat undersides for safety reasons. The teams started to look for downforce with perfect aerodynamic body projects. The previously crucial sidepods were now generating lift rather than suction and so the Brabham BT52 had short, angular sidepods to keep lift at a minimum. The car featured a distinctive dart-shaped profile and oversized rear wing in an effort to claw back as much downforce as possible. The car was powered by the massively powerful BMW turbocharged engine which in 1983 produced about 850 bhp (630 kW) in qualifying trim and Nelson Piquet used this car to good effect. Fighting with Alain Prost (Renault) and Rene Arnoux (Ferrari), it seemed he would lose out on the title after a run of mid season bad luck. But after further development of the car was done, he became the first driver to win the world championship with a turbo engine after winning three races and scoring consistently. Ferrari won the constructors’ title. The season saw 8 different race winners in 15 races (Piquet, Watson, Prost, Tambay, Rosberg, Alboreto, Arnoux and Patrese).

See the season highlights

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