Brabham introduced the BT49 at the end of 1979 and the car proved immediately competitive – Nelson Piquet qualifying on the front row of the grid at Watkins Glen.
He came closed to winning the drivers’ championship with the car the following year but was pipped by the Williams of Alan Jones.
The following year, driving a modified ‘C’ version of the car, Piquet beat Carlos Reutemann to the drivers’ championship, though Brabham again lost the constructors’ title to Williams.
The team continued to use the car, now in ‘D’ configuration, into 1982. Riccardo Patrese scored the seventh and final win for a BT49 in the Monaco Grand Prix.