Nelson Piquet with Brabham BMW BT52 at Austrian GP Legends Parade

Nelson Piquet with Brabham BMW BT52 at Austrian GP Legends Parade
Formula 1 Champion Nelson Piquet with the classic Brabham BMW BT52 racing car at the Austrian Grand Prix Legends Parade, Red Bull Ring in Spielberg.

  • The history of Formula One is full of amazing stories. A number of particularly spectacular episodes will be recalled on Sunday, 21 June 2015, as part of the Austrian Grand Prix world championship event


    Eight historic vehicles from Formula 1's yesteryear will be lining up for the Legends Parade at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg with former F1 racing drivers at the wheel – including a reunion with three-times Formula One world champion Nelson Piquet.

    In 1983 the Brazilian became the first driver in the history of Formula One to win the world championship title in a racing car powered by a turbo engine: the Brabham BMW BT52.

    At the Legends Parade in Spielberg, Piquet will once again be behind the wheel of his championship-winning car, which today belongs to the BMW Group Classic collection.

    The Brabham BMW BT52's engine was developed by BMW Motorsport GmbH under the guidance of its then Technical Director, Paul Rosche.

    His team furnished the British Brabham racing team with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit featuring 16 valves, a turbocharger and – in a first for Formula One – Digital Motor Electronics.

    This mix made for an awesome power potential, with experts estimating its maximum output at up to 1,400 hp.

  • Paul Rosche’s response to such speculation was typically understated: "We don’t know for sure as the dyno didn’t go beyond 1,280 hp."

    The BMW turbo engine was first deployed in a Formula One race at the start of the 1982 season; 630 days later Nelson Piquet drove the Brabham BMW BT52 to world championship victory.

    His title win marked the close of an unusually exhilarating season in which Nelson Piquet started from pole just once but clocked the fastest race lap four times and won three out of 15 races. He made eight podium appearances, collecting 59 world championship points over the season to take the 1983 Drivers’ World Championship title.

    The race car Piquet drove along the road to victory continues to impress to this day with its 1980s-style arrow-shaped design and its extraordinary engine power.

    In 2013, exactly 30 years after Nelson Piquet’s triumph, the car was roused from its automotive retirement and ushered back onto the race track.

    Numerous mechanics who were involved in its development more than three decades ago were recruited for its extensive restoration – among them Paul Rosche - with the car's first appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July 2013. The Brabham BMW BT52’s involvement in the Legends Parade in Austria will be its third outing since its revival.


Nelson Piquet with Brabham BMW BT52 at Austrian GP Legends Parade Nelson Piquet with Brabham BMW BT52 at Austrian GP Legends Parade

Pitstop: Nelson Piquet in F1 Brabham BMW Turbo BT52 in 1983.

Nelson Piquet with Brabham BMW BT52 at Austrian GP Legends Parade Nelson Piquet with Brabham BMW BT52 at Austrian GP Legends Parade

1983: Formula 1 World Champion Nelson Piquet in his Brabham BMW BT52.


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