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Piquet formed a close and long-lasting relationship with Ecclestone and the team, losing the title after a narrow battle with Alan Jones in 1980 and eventually winning in 19.
He returned to racing in 1957 as manager of driver Stuart Lewis-Evans, and purchased two chassis from the disbanded Connaught F1 team, whose driver line-up over the years had included Lewis-Evans, Roy Salvadori, Archie Scott Brown, and Ivor Bueb.
His first racing experience came in 1949 in the 500cc Formula 3 Series, acquiring a Cooper Mk V in 1951.
He drove only a limited number of races, mainly at his local circuit, Brands Hatch, but achieved a number of good placings and an occasional win.
Brabham continued to run the Ford-powered BT49D in the early part of the season while reliability and driveability issues were sorted out by BMW and their technical partner, Bosch.
Ecclestone and BMW came close to splitting before the turbo car duly took its first win at the 1982 Canadian Grand Prix but the partnership took the first turbo-powered world championship in 1983. At the end of the year, Piquet left after seven years.
Ecclestone made him an offer of £100,000 for the whole team, which Tauranac eventually accepted.
Colin Seeley was briefly brought in against Tauranac's wishes to assist in design and management.
Although this was financially beneficial, the new BT45s were unreliable and the Alfa engines rendered them significantly overweight.
The 19 seasons saw Brabham fall towards the back of the field again, before winning two races again in the 1978 season when Ecclestone signed the Austrian double world champion Niki Lauda, intrigued by Murray's radical BT46 design.
He continued to manage Lewis-Evans when he moved to the Vanwall team; Salvadori moved on to manage the Cooper team.
Lewis-Evans suffered severe burns when his engine exploded at the 1958 Moroccan Grand Prix and succumbed to his injuries six days later; Ecclestone was rather shaken up and once again retired from racing.
Ecclestone entered two Grand Prix races as a driver, during the 1958 season, but failed to qualify for either of them.