At the start of 1971 a new car, the BRM P160 was unveiled to the press. Southgate had narrowed its track to give better straight-line speed and the tub was more pot-bellied than ever, lowering the center of gravity. Everybody in the team was crossing their fingers fir the engine to be less stressed and should improve the power-to-weight ratio. Switzerland’s Jo Siffert and New Zealander Howden Ganley were hired to replace Oliver and Eaton.
There was indeed a clear improvement but only when it came to practice. The BRMs showed well enough there, but races brought the old demons back and the only thing of note in the first part of the season was second place for Rodriguez in Holland.