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Brabham and the French GP 1970


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#1 Michael Müller

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Posted 01 July 2001 - 18:20

French Grand Prix 1970, Jack Brabham in the lead, in the last lap he's running out of fuel, and Jochen Rindt wins.
Brabham's mechanic filled in not enough fuel, who was this mechanic? Some sources say Ron Tauranac, others Ron Dennis.

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#2 Vitesse2

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Posted 01 July 2001 - 21:44

Michael: I think you might want to delete this thread and start again ... it was the British GP where Black Jack ran out of fuel on the last lap!

He thought he was running out of fuel in France, but was never higher than third there.

Brabham doesn't point the finger in his autobiography, but says that the car was topped up on the grid and that Ron reckoned there should have been two gallons left ....:)

#3 Michael Müller

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Posted 02 July 2001 - 12:00

Oops, of course it was Silverstone!
However, which of the 2 Rons was guilty?

#4 William Dale Jr

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Posted 02 July 2001 - 12:25

I hate to make another correction, Michael, but AFAIK the 1970 British GP was held at Brands...

#5 mat1

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Posted 02 July 2001 - 12:26

Originally posted by Michael Müller
Oops, of course it was Silverstone!


Actually, Brand hatch, I think.

mat

#6 Vitesse2

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Posted 02 July 2001 - 12:31

I assume the "Ron" is Tauranac ... he doesn't say!!

O/T: Inadvertently, Michael, you have recalled some British comedy of the 1980s; two guys called Hale & Pace played characters called "the two Rons" (minor gangsters who looked and acted like a couple of nightclub bouncers in over-tight suits), so to those who remember them, the answer to this question is obvious:

Ron 1: "It was by order of ...
Ron 2: " ... the Management":lol: :lol:

#7 Michael Müller

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Posted 02 July 2001 - 15:07

Obviously not my day today ... :blush:
Should stay away from the 70s ...!

#8 BRG

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Posted 02 July 2001 - 16:36

If it was either of the Rons, it would surely have been Dennis rather than Tauranac who IIRC was the engineer &/or designer for Brabham at that time. Ron Dennis started as a lowly mechanic and would be have been more likely to have been wielding the fuel churn. Of course, he may have been told how much to put in by Tauranac.

Mind you, I recall Senna ran out of fuel several years running in the British GP in his McLaren years, is there a connection???

#9 Roger Clark

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Posted 02 July 2001 - 19:39

Ron Tauranac: "Jack started at Brands with 4-5 gallons in excess of te car's requirements and he wasn't quite out at the end so it wasn't a case of the tank not scavenging. It's possible that the fuel didn't go in, but the people concerned were very reliable and marked off their churns and so on. We could have used more fuel, this is possible because the car did appear to be running rich in the race,but the other possibility is that we had a leak. We did find a suspect bag which was wet when we pulled it out of its carriere after the race, although we haven't got any proof that it leaked."

#10 oldtimer

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Posted 02 July 2001 - 20:53

Wherever the missing fuel was or wasn't, it was a crying shame. Black Jack had really earnt the win.

#11 moody

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Posted 03 July 2001 - 05:33

..pity we can't get Murray to ask Ron Dennis next week at Silverstone

#12 Vitesse2

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Posted 24 July 2001 - 21:26

Aha!! Eoin Young reveals all in Formula 1 Magazine (Aug 2001) ...

Quote from Sir Jack himself: "I'd stopped by the end of the pitlane and by now I'd worked out what had gone wrong. I jumped out the car and bumped heads with one of my mechanics, who was also wanting to look in there very quickly. Sure enough the fuel setting was still on full-rich from morning warm-up and I'd used four gallons more than we reckoned on. The mechanic I bumped heads with? Ron Dennis!"

Young continues:
There's a lot more to be said about that incident, unrepeatable in a family magazine, and Jack glosses over it in his 1971 autobigraphy "When the Flag Drops", to spare Ron's blushes.

And in the same magazine, some further snippets from Tom Rubython:

"Apparently Ron had made the wrong settings to the injectors and Jack had realised what had happened. When the race was over Jack caught sight of Ron vaulting the barriers with tools in hand, thinking he was out of eyesight. Racing drivers have superb peripheral visionand Jack spun round and shouted across to Dennis at the top of his voice in his best grizzled Australian accent: "Don't even think about it!" Apparently, so Brabham suspected, Dennis had also realised what he had done and was attempting to change the settings to the correct ones before the team's post mortem started and his error would have been found out."

#13 mat1

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Posted 26 July 2001 - 08:16

:)

Nice story.

mat

#14 John Cross

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Posted 26 July 2001 - 15:01

It had been a bit cold in the morning and that is why they put the engine on full rich. It was an amazing drive by Jack - the car was not running cleanly out of the corners and he still managed to pull away from Rindt at a second a lap!

#15 Charles E Taylor

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 13:04

DFV Fuel Cam Settings.

This has been debated before.


This was a contribution I added some time ago.



Nothing is as it appears! especially after a long time.


Take care.



Charlie

#16 LittleChris

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 20:01

Surely Nick Goozee later admitted responsibility for the whole affair ?

#17 xj13v12

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 20:18

Surely Nick Goozee later admitted responsibility for the whole affair ?



Yes, he took many years to own up to Jack about it. At least 2 G.P. wins slipped past that year and Jack's final year should have been a triumph. As noted in another thread the BT33 was a terrific car.

#18 Spaceframe

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 11:00

Surely Nick Goozee later admitted responsibility for the whole affair ?

Indeed, in a letter to Motorsport some years ago, after the Ron-Dennis-did-it rumour once again popped up (in a lunch-with feature, if my memory doesn't fail me). I'll check the magazine shelves.

#19 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 12:05

I can confirm it was Nick. He's my ex-boss and regular lunchtime companion, so I've heard the story first hand.

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#20 D-Type

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 12:11

Is this a record?

Question asked 1 July 2001
Reply to question posted 29 August 2012
Answer confirmed 10 September 2012

11 years 71 days

#21 Charles E Taylor

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 18:38

Is this a record?

Question asked 1 July 2001
Reply to question posted 29 August 2012
Answer confirmed 10 September 2012


It may be a record, but it begs additional questions.

1. Would Jack Brabham, a very experienced driver, not have noticed that his engine was set to "Full Rich" as he left the pits? I cannot believe that he, of all people would not have noticed.

2. Did the BT-33 have enough fuel capacity or was even fuelled enough to complete 79+ laps of Brands Hatch with the engine set to "Full Rich".

Was there ever a F1 driver of that time who would not recognise that his engine was effectively running with "Full Choke"

I do not did believe Nick Goozee or even Ron Dennis who, when confronted with the fact that the engine at the end of the race was set to "Full Rich” admitted their failure. The question is "Was it set like that at the start?"

Given that there is plenty of evidence that with a DFV, vibration could change the Mixture Cam settings…….

These are and were then, very experienced people. I think that some further circumspection and respect could be applied.

My opinion for what it’s worth!


Charlie

#22 D-Type

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 18:48

I have read your previous posting and don't dispute anything you say. I was commenting more on a thread remaining active and on subject for 11 years.

#23 Doug Nye

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 20:23

Nick did 'fess up. Jack blamed Ron D until Nick emphasised he should desist. Jack lost the 1970 Monaco GP on the last corner of the last lap, and the British GP on the last corner of the last lap. He was also out of luck, or on the rough end, in other races. Check his Formula 2 record that year, he also lost the Tulnn-Langenlebarn F2 round, I believe, after a failure while leading on the final lap. He was a contender even in the very last races of his long career. He still believes his retirement, at 44, was premature... "The worst mistake I ever made..."

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 10 September 2012 - 20:26.


#24 xj13v12

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 21:36

It may be a record, but it begs additional questions.

1. Would Jack Brabham, a very experienced driver, not have noticed that his engine was set to "Full Rich" as he left the pits? I cannot believe that he, of all people would not have noticed.

2. Did the BT-33 have enough fuel capacity or was even fuelled enough to complete 79+ laps of Brands Hatch with the engine set to "Full Rich".

Was there ever a F1 driver of that time who would not recognise that his engine was effectively running with "Full Choke"

I do not did believe Nick Goozee or even Ron Dennis who, when confronted with the fact that the engine at the end of the race was set to "Full Rich” admitted their failure. The question is "Was it set like that at the start?"

Given that there is plenty of evidence that with a DFV, vibration could change the Mixture Cam settings…….

These are and were then, very experienced people. I think that some further circumspection and respect could be applied.

My opinion for what it’s worth!


Charlie


No it is not the driver's job to check the metering unit although certainly Jack was regarded as a human dyno and would have noticed the rich running more likely then any other driver. Had there been a pit stop he might have mentioned it but the race would also have gotten away from him.
No the vibration could not move the setting. The spring on the fuel cam is very heavy and the locating of the setting is very firm and immovable.

#25 Nigel Beresford

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 23:04

Knowing Nick as I do, it's entirely probable that it was a simple oversight in the hustle and bustle of the preparation for the race, and nothing more. You can theorise about this may have happened, that may have happened and this person said this and this person said that, but knowing what I know of Nick, he wasn't about to duck the blame for anything, or put the blame on some mechanical failure. He realised he made a mistake and held his hand up (albeit after a pretty long time!). That's all there is to it.

#26 Spaceframe

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:30

Knowing Nick as I do, it's entirely probable that it was a simple oversight in the hustle and bustle of the preparation for the race, and nothing more. You can theorise about this may have happened, that may have happened and this person said this and this person said that, but knowing what I know of Nick, he wasn't about to duck the blame for anything, or put the blame on some mechanical failure. He realised he made a mistake and held his hand up (albeit after a pretty long time!). That's all there is to it.

Which incidentally emphasises one of the things the ordinary industries can learn from F1: A blame culture is counterproductive, as it causes employees to duck and hence postpone solutions - in F1 there is a bottom line every other weekend, so there is a strong urge towards identifying the problem and finding procedures that will stop it from reoccuring.

And goes a long way to explain why both Ron Dennis and Nick Goozee have had long careers managing racing teams with a sustained level of succes :up:

#27 xj13v12

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:21

Absolutely right and Nick gvies great credit to Ron for giving him a start which led to a fine career.

#28 P0wderf1nger

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 12:47

Which incidentally emphasises one of the things the ordinary industries can learn from F1: A blame culture is counterproductive, as it causes employees to duck and hence postpone solutions

Hear hear. Bad news early is good news.


#29 xj13v12

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 08:19

Absolutely right and Nick gvies great credit to Ron for giving him a start which led to a fine career.


I obviously mean Ron Tauranac gave Nick his start. Ron Dennis too I believe?

#30 Ralliart

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 02:42

From the Sep '03 F1 Racing: "At the 1970 British Grand Prix...it emerged later that the fuel metering unit on his Brabham BT33 had been set on 'full rich' rather than the correct 'lean' setting appropriate for the race...So who was the culprit?...the error was in fact made by Nick Goozee...who...told F1 Racing, "It was my mistake. We were at Brands Hatch and there had been a bit of a panic getting the cars ready for the start. We always warmed up the DFVs with the metering unit set to 'full rich' but we were supposed to put them back to 'lean' for the race. In the melee I left the little wheel at 'full rich' and Jack ran out of fuel, as we know. I got quite a bollocking for it after the race...For some reason Ron, who's still a good friend, incidentally, has always been blamed. It's good to set the record straight after so long."

#31 Charles E Taylor

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 11:36

Some more information on this subject of DFV Fuel Cams may provide some further enlightenment.


At the Swedish GP in Anderstorp in 1977 the Lotus 78 of Mario Andretti finished with the metering unit set to Full Rich!

The Lotus 78 was the dominant car at this event and was unchallenged until it ran out of fuel 2 laps before the finish. Andretti made a pit-stop for fuel and was placed sixth at the flag. After the race, the fuel metering unit was found in the “Full Rich” position, his mechanics were devastated.

During the investigation, Andretti came to the salvation of his crew. He confirmed that the car had indeed started with the mixture set correctly, around 30% race distance he noticed a change in engine response and felt the engine go “Full Rich”.

For many laps when passing the pits Andretti signalled to the team that something was wrong by pointing at the fuel filler on the side-pod. (This was before car to pit radio comms). Some further insight was pointed out by the visiting driver Larry Perkins who mentioned to the team that the engine was no longer crackling on the overrun into the hairpin just after the pits.

The team fully understood that they were in fuel trouble and got ready for a pit-stop. This happened 2 Laps before the flag. Andretti afterward commented that he knew he was in fuel trouble and tried to drive as efficiently as possible, but still could not make it to the finish.

As a response there was a lot of discussion about this problem with other teams, it turned out that many drivers had experienced this issue.

As a countermeasure the team adopted the fitment of a Terry Clip, over the spring on the Metering Unit Cam. This was fitted after the engine had been warmed-up just prior to the race. This prevented the Cam from shifting position.

Posted Image
Terry Clip


Some points to ponder.

The Lotus 78 was completely dominant at this race and was driven very conservatively once the problem occurred.

Even though the engine went to “Full Rich” around 30% distance, the car still ran out of fuel a full 2 laps before the flag.

The driver and even some knowledgeable team personnel noticed this issue immediately.


In the next GP at Dijon Andretti won after John Watson ran out of fuel on the last lap.


Funny Old Game!



Charlie

#32 john winfield

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 12:32

Charlie,
Interesting points! Coincidentally, I was at Dijon in 1977, and at Brands in 1970, watching two excellent Brabham performances, both of which ended in huge disappointment.
In 1977 I recall DSJ commenting, presumably in Motor Sport, how impressed he was that Andretti had never given up and was therefore close enough to benefit from Watson's fuel hiccough; the Martini Brabham recovered and finished less than a couple of seconds down. This makes me think about 1970 and one of those (futile I know..) 'what ifs'. Having tailed Rindt for many laps, once Jack nipped past the Lotus with twelve laps left, he pulled away very quickly, starting the last lap around fifteen seconds ahead. Imagine if Nick Goozee had realised his mistake, and had communicated via the pit board, or if Jack himself had realised that the BT33 was running rich, would more conservative driving in the final twelve laps have saved enough fuel to 'move' the moment the engine cut out from Stirlings to, say Paddock, beyond the chequered flag?

Jack was impressively quick in the final phase of the race but the Alain Prost approach of 'winning at the slowest speed possible' comes to mind. Perhaps Jack just felt in the groove, and, having been bottled up behind Rindt for so long, kept his foot down when he really didn't need to. Ironically, the memory of Rindt hunting him down at Monaco, may have led Jack to extend his lead unnecessarily, which may have cost him the British race. I wonder whether Jack holding the lead at, say, five seconds would have seen him swoop past us at Clearways that final time, still ahead, to take another fine win, aged 44.

John

Edited by john winfield, 06 October 2012 - 12:34.


#33 Mekola

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 19:17

No-one remembers when Carlos Reutemann ran out of fuel in the last lap when was almost to win in his home 1974 Argentinian GP?
Also was the last victory of Denny Hulme in F1.

#34 Tim Murray

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 20:29

Yes indeed - the fates certainly seemed to be conspiring against Carlos that day. First his airbox broke, then an ignition lead came off putting him onto seven cylinders and allowing Hulme and Lauda to get past him, then he ran out of fuel.