It suddenly dawned on Brabham as the 1978 Formula 1 season was beginning that it had a problem. No one had quite cottoned on to what Lotus had found with the previous season's type 78, but the lightbulb came on with the appearance of the 79 in winter testing.
There began the thought process in the fertile mind of Gordon Murray that spawned one of the most controversial grand prix cars ever in the Brabham BT46B, the fan car of one-race, one-victory fame.
The problem the British team had was the flat-12-cylinder powerplant that came with its Alfa Romeo deal. Brabham designer Murray knew it was, quite literally, an obstacle to generating the same kind of downforce as the latest ground-effect Lotus. Just where the venturi underwings should have been sweeping upwards, Murray had immovable objects in the form of Italian four-valve cylinder heads.