Having qualified with their fuel tanks brimmed, so as to mitigate the dominance, the two BT46Bs of John Watson and Niki Lauda lined up second and third on the grid, six- and seven-tenths respectively adrift of Andretti’s Lotus.
In the race, Andretti held sway for 38 laps until Lauda found a way by. With the American’s Cosworth DFV engine expiring just eight laps later, Lauda romped to a 34-second win. Cue a paddock-full of crestfallen rivals.
The film features vox-pops from Murray, Ecclestone, Andretti and Watson. All are pretty vocal on the various merits and misfortunes of the technology, depending on which camp they were in.
What is clear is that, contrary to popular theory, the car was never banned. Ecclestone withdrew the BT46B before the next race in France; he had his eye on F1’s bigger picture, of course.
What is also indisputable is that this sort seat-of-the-pants, daredevil engineering ingenuity doesn’t see the light of day in modern F1’s prescriptive times.