The T81 was designed for the 1966 Formula One season, the first year with the new 3 litre engine regulations. The car was powered by Maserati Tipo 9 2.5-litre V12 engines which had been bored out to 3.0-litres. In the 1966 season the works Cooper Car Company T81 cars were driven by John Surtees and Johen Rindt. Surtees won Mexican Grand Prixa, while Rindt took several podium finishes. Next season, 1967, Surtees left for Honda and Pedro Rodriguez took his place in works Cooper team. Mexican driver won his first race in the new team, South African Grand Prix, but it was last victory for T81. Later that season the car was updated to T81B specification, which was first raced by Rindt at the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix. At Monza Belgian Jacky Ickx made his debut in F1 car (he raced before in Matra F2 in 1966 and 1967 German Grand Prixs). He drove his Cooper T81B-Maserati to sixth place at the finish despite suffering a puncture on the last lap. He also drove for Cooper in the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen but retired on lap 45 with overheating.
|Jacky Ickx||32||Cooper Car Company|