In 1979 Alfa Romeo started their own F1 team. So Brabham boss Bernie Ecclestone decided to end his relationship with the Italian engine manufacturer to avoid complications with being not a priority for engine supplier. During the 1979 season Gordon Murray’s team worked on new BT49 to be powered by Cosworth DFV. The new car was built from sheet aluminium alloy with reinforcement from carbon fibre composite panels and is one of the first Formula One chassis to incorporate this material structurally. The chassis was slightly longer than that of the BT48, and is much lighter due to reduced fuel tank to match the reduced fuel consumption requirements of the DFV compared to the Alfa Romeo. The BT49 was updated over four seasons taking a total of seven wins, six poles. In 1980 Nelson Piquet won 3 races in BT49 and finished 2nd in the Championship. His teammates were Argentinian Ricardo Zunino (in first 7 rounds) and Mexican Hector Rebaque (in the remaining 7 races). Zunino debuted in Brabham tt the 1979 Canadian Grand Prix, when he replaced Niki Lauda after the Austrian abruptly quit the team and Formula One. Zunino, attending the race as a spectator on a weekend off from his regular British F1 Championship drive, was chosen to take over the seat, having recently tested for the team. In 1980 he scored no points and after French Grand Prix he was replaced by Hector Rebaque.
|Ricardo Zunino||6||Parmalat Racing Team|