The car was designed by Gordon Murray and powered by turbocharged BMW M12/13 engine capable to produce 800 bhp in qualifying mode and 640 bhp in race regime. FIA has banned the ground effect at the end of the previous season for safety reasons and F1 teams have to be adapted very quickly to new regulation stipulating flat underside of the car. Wide sidepods of the ground effect cars now were impossible and even dangerous generating lift rather than downforce, so the most characteristic feature of BT52 were short angular sidepods to keep lift at a minimum. This construction with other important design features such as low weight monocoque made from aluminium and carbon fibre composite, and moving 70% of the car weight to the rear made this dart-shaped car very effective and easy to drive vehicle. BT52 was very unreliable (Piquet and Patrese retired 10 times out of 16 starts) and for the second half of the season was replaced by BT52B. The only Patrese’s finish in first 8 races on BT52 was 10th position at USA-West Grand Prix.
|Riccardo Patrese||6||Fila Sport|