Notes on the cars at Brands Hatch
Ferrari produced a brand new T5 for Villeneuve (048), while Scheckter had his usual car (046) and the spare was 044 (marked 043).
Tyrrell had their usual three cars, 010/4 (marked 3) for Jarier, 010/2 for Daly and 010/1 the spare.
Brabham had three BT49 cars, number 8 for Piquet (marked 07), number 6 for Rebaque (marked 03) and number 3 (marked 06) as the spare. The last car was fitted with the transverse Weismann gearbox and modified rear suspension during practice, but was converted back to a Hewland for race day as a stand-by.
McLaren had M29C/2 (Watson) and M29/C4 (Prost) with M29C/3 as spare. Some strengthening of the rear suspension has taken place and the underside of the car has been made much smoother.
ATS had their usual pair of cars for Marc Surer, 04/03 (marked 5) and 04/02 (marked 4).
Lotus had the usual three cars, 81/1 (Andretti), 81/3 (de Angelis) and 81/2 the spare. Riveted aluminium sides to the cockpit featured on the cars, giving greater beam strength to the monocoque and the rear suspension mountings had been stiffened.
Ensign had rebuilt MN14 after its crash in France and MN12 had been converted to short wheelbase, so that both cars were now ostensibly the same.
Renault showed no important changes, with RE23 for Jabouille, RE24 for Arnoux and RE22 as the T-car. In practice RE24 suffered severe frontal damage and Arnoux raced RE22.
Fittipaldi produced the first of their new series, F8/l, which E.F. drove. Rosberg had F7/3 which had been rebuilt from the fuel tank rearwards using F8 components for suspension and gearbox so that it was really an F71/2. The spare car was F7/1.
Alfa Romeo had three cars, 179/03 built inti) the latest form with the lower engine mounting for Depciller and 179/02 which was actually a totally new car using the old identification, for Giacomelli. Both cars had a new rear cross-member for the suspension mountings, giving a cleaner exit for the under car air. During the meeting the muletta 179/01 was also converted to this new layout.
Ligier had JSll/15/04 for Pironi and a totally rebuilt car for Laffite retaining the number JSI 1/15/03. The spare car was JSll/15/01.
Williams had their usual cars for Jones (FW07B/7) and Reutemann (FW07B/S) and a brand new spare car for Jones (FW07B/8). This new car used much of the running gear off FW07B/6 which has been dismantled and the monocoque sold to RAM Racing as a spare for their three cars. Williams number 8 was fitted with the latest design of gear linkage which runs rearwards over the drive-shaft rather than under it, giving a much more positive movement. It has been tested for some time on the Research and Development car FW07/4. It was this "test" car that was in the MIRA wind tunnel, doing research for the future, not the spare Brands Hatch car, as was reported in the Daily Telegraph; and the research programme had nothing to do with the British Grand Prix as was reported.
RAM Racing had FW07/2 (marked 1) for Keegan and FW07/3 (marked 4) for Mrs. Wilson. Their third car FW07/l was at the factory being repaired after an accident; and that is the sum total of Williams FW07 cars built.
Arrows had A3/S for Patrese, A3/4 for Mass and A3/l as the spare. The first two cars started practice with small skirts under the nose, but soon reverted to the older type of nose.
Osella had their usual pair of cars and Cheever raced the second one. - DSJ.