Nelson Piquet Brabham 1983 Canadian Grand Prix
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Formula 1 Special feature

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

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There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Brabham and BMW had a secret weapon in the locker as the battle for the Formula 1 World Championship unfolded through 1983. It waited, waited, waited before deploying a development that ultimately set Nelson Piquet on course for the first title won by a turbocharged F1 car. It was a new blend of fuel that gave the in-line turbo four in the back of the Brabham BT52 a major increase in horsepower, with improved reliability to boot.

Piquet had scored an out-of-the-box victory at the Brazilian Grand Prix in March with the barely tested, Gordon Murray-designed BT52, but the combination of Brabham chassis and BMW engine was absent from the winner's circle through the summer. Yet by the season's end, the car, now in B-spec, was without doubt the fastest thing in the F1 field.

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