The BT55 designed by Gordon Murray featured extremely lowline bodywork which offered considerable aerodynamic advantage. The driver was placed in a lying down position (approximately 30° according to Murray), as had been common in the 1960s, but had become rare by the 1980s. BMW designed a special version of their four-cylinder turbocharged engine with the engine block tilted almost horizontally (18° from horizontal). But relatively heavy engine was particularly difficult to package to allow a good flow of air to the rear wing. The car was also Brabham’s first fully composite monocoque. In the drivers lineup of the team Riccardo Patrese returned to Brabham, and was joined by Elio de Angelis. The team scored just two points all season, both by Riccardo Patrese with sixth placings in San Marino and Detroit. When talented Elio de Angelis was killed in a test accident at Le Castellet, Derek Warwick joined the team for the remainder of the season.
|Riccardo Patrese||7||Motor Racing Developments|