Here is my personal take on the 1966 season.

We are focusing on the later season cars so the Lotus 33 and the BRM 261 do not figure in our calculations of how the season went for each team.

Historically the Brabham won the World Championship of 1966. The BT19 was not the fastest car but handled well and was reliable. It mostly won on tracks where handling was at a premium and did not score too well at power circuits. The exception to this was Reims where Black Jack took the win from the inexperienced Parks who was in his first GP. Brabham also won the British GP ( Brands ), Dutch ( Zandvoort ), German ( Nurburgring ) and came second in Mexico.

The Ferrari was probably the best car of 1966. If Surtees had stayed with Ferrari the World Championship could have been different. Surtees/Ferrari won at Spa, Parks and Scarfotti wiped the floor with the opposition at Monza. Bandini led at Monaco but reliability issues meant he finished 2nd.

The Lotus43 even the hands of Clark was not a contender due to its over weight engine and unreliability. Its weight became apparent as soon as it was delivered to Lotus and it took four strong men to lift it from the back of the truck. But the incredible Clark did manage to win the USA GP at Watkins Glen. The BRM H16 engine was very powerful but lacked low end torque. The Lotus 43 chassis was not bad but compromised by the engine.

BRM's factory team faired worst than Lotus with the H16 for the same reasons. Although the car was powerful, the bus engine in the back meant power to weight was not amongst the top runners. Stewart won at Monaco but not with the P83 H16 which was not ready for Monaco.

Cooper benefited by Surtees joining them after his Ferrari debacle and by the end of the season the car was competitive. Surtees thought the Cooper handled well although a touch on the heavy side. The Maserati engine although long in the tooth produced plenty of usable power. Surtees/Cooper came second at Nurbugring and went on to win the Mexican GP.

Honda were late into the game with their 3lt V12. The car was noted for its tremendous acceleration but generally faded as the race went on, possibly due to it eating up its tyres. The 273 was also a bit on the heavy side. Ginther was a steady driver but maybe not in the same league as Clark and Surtees so this also influenced the car's results. Ginther shot into the lead of the Mexican GP but faded to finish 4th.

Gurney's Eagle had to make do with the 2.7 litre 4 cylinder Climax engine as his V12 Weslake designed engine was not ready. It did make an appearance at Monza but reliability issues meant Gurney still favouring the Climax engine for the last few races of 66. With the light weight Climax engine the Eagle chassis handled well and despite giving away many hp Gurney was able to qualify well at the twisty circuits as well as scoring two 5th places at Spa and Mexico.

Paul Skingley