The 1978 Brabham BT46 Fan Car (2014)[CC] F1, innovation, and rule bending.
The 1978 Brabham BT46 Fan Car and how it worked. The fan at the back of the car was claimed to be for the purpose of cooling the engine, but it also increased the downforce by a large percentage. This helped the car go around corners at a higher rate of speed while still stabilizing it. The car was unveiled at the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix. In qualifying, John Watson and Niki Lauda placed 2nd and 3rd behind rival Mario Andretti (driving for Louts) for the purpose of not drawing attention to the cars. At the start of the race, the two Brabham’s fell behind a few places and on lap 20 Watson retired from the race due to a throttle problem, but Lauda had snuck back up into second place, battling with Andretti for the lead. Andretti made an error and let Lauda through to take the lead and eventually the win by a staggering 34.6 seconds. After complaints from other teams that the car was illegal, the FIA investigated the car but agreed that the fan was to be used to cool the engine down, thus deeming it legal. Bernie Ecclestone, team owner of Brabham at the time voluntarily took it out of the running, though, and without the fan on the car, Brabham finished third in the constructors championship behind Lotus and Ferrari.