BRM logo with text, BRM The Inside Story



A BRM P48 cutaway drawing

Rear Engined

By 1959 the BRM Type 25 had finally started to come good, taking its first Grand Prix win at Zandvoort and securing third place in the Constructors' Championship for the team.

Unfortunately, front engined cars were on the way out, and with Cooper taking the 1959 Championship it had become obvious to everybody in Formula One that the rear engined configuration was the way forward.

Work had begun on a new rear engined car, the Type 48, mid way through the 1959 season, and the car was introduced in 1960. In spite of the fact that the P48 was a new design, with its engine in a different place, the car was otherwise very similar to its predecessor. In fact several of the old P25s were cannibalised for parts.


For the 1960 Formula One season, BRM raced three P48s driven by Joakim Bonnier, Graham Hill, and Dan Gurney. BRM debuted the car in the second race of the season, the Monaco Grand Prix where all three cars finished, Bonnier scoring points for fifth. Graham Hill then went on to claim third place at Zandvoort.

Unfortunately this early promise quickly faded, with lack of reliability leading to only two more finishes in the last five races of the season.

BRM finished the season with a disappointing 8 points.

1960 BRM P48

BRM P48 elevation drawings


1961 was a transitional year, where the P48 MkII with a more conventional rear brake system, became the P48/57, and finally the P57.

New Regulations

Like the other British teams, BRM was caught off guard by new regulations for the 1961 Formula 1 season that limited engines to 1½ litres. They had a new 1½ litre V8 engine on the drawing board, but that is where it stayed, unused until the following season.

BRM opted to use the Coventry Climax engine instead. But the Climax was not as powerful as the Ferrari engine, and with the BRM being heavier than its British rivals it was to be another disappointing season for the team.

This time it wasn't reliability which proved to be the main problem, it was simply a lack of pace.