Ferrari 312 (F1): A Complete Historic Overview

Ferrari 312 (F1): A Complete Historic Overview

The era of the 312 Ferrari Formula One cars, through their highs and very many lows.

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Photos: Ferrari

Overall Performance

Year

Races

Wins

Podiums

Pole Positions

Fastest Laps

1966

9

2

6

3

4

1967

11

0

4

0

2

1968

12

1

5

4

0

1969

11

0

1

5

0

1970

13

4

9

3

7

1971

11

2

7

3

4

1972

12

1

6

4

3

1973

15

0

0

0

0

1974

15

3

12

11

6

1975

14

6

11

9

6

1976

16

6

13

4

7

1977

17

4

16

2

3

1978

17

5

9

2

3

1979

15

6

13

2

6

1980

14

0

0

0

0

Total

202

40

112

52

51

 

Ferrari campaigned the first 312 car – called the 312 F1 – in the 1966 F1 Season. The designation 312 meant the cars were fitted with a 3.0-L 12-cylinder engine. The Ferrari 312 B (1970) and Ferrari 312 T (1975) are two of the major upgrades compared to other cars that were considered updates.

With 27 race wins, 4 Constructors’ and 3 Drivers’ Championships, the Ferrari 312 T series (1975 – 1980) is the most successful car in the history of the sport.

1966 Ferrari 312 F1

1966 Ferrari 312 F1

The V12 engine returned to Formula One but it wasn’t an easy ride for the famous team in red. New rules came with the new season, the 1.5-L supercharged engine and three-litre aspirated engine favoured the Ferrari, but the car was too commanding, prone to their English competition. Ferrari only managed two victories in that season.

1967 Ferrari 312 F1-67

1967 Ferrari 312 F1-67

1967 was a year to forget for Ferrari but to also remember a special someone, Lorenzo Bandini, who lost his life three days after his terrific crash at the Monaco Grand Prix in May.  The 312 F1-67 was an updated version of the previous year, it was a lot lighter but asked a lot from the driver. The car was competing for the championship but after the loss, Ferrari weren't satisfied with the continuation of the season, due to competitors using avant-garde technology, resulting in a P4 finish.

1968 Ferrari 312 F1-68

1968 Ferrari 312 F1-68

The 312 F1-68 had a few structural and aerodynamic adjustments with a four valves per cylinder engine, which made it aggressive towards the championship but not reliable. Ferrari created the first single-seater with wings, other teams followed but it yet got banned due to three spectators sadly losing their lives.

1969 Ferrari 312 F1-69

1969 Ferrari 312 F1-69

Continuing with the V12 engine, the 312 F1-69 was developed further and given a powerful engine, aerodynamics improved with new front flaps and a full width rear wing. With the new designs of the car, Ferrari were hopeful this season, but it wasn’t their time. The 312 F1-69 failed on them, reaching the end of its life, therefore they had to bring in the 1968 model for the last few races. Fiat bought a stake in the company this year, Ferrari also still having control over their racing activities.

1970 Ferrari 312 B

1970 Ferrari 312 B

A fresh start with a new series of twelve-cylinder boxer engines, making the car more competitive with the top team, Lotus Ford. Testing began back in September of 1969 for the 312 B, but Chris Amon wasn’t given the choice to race in the car in the Italian Grand Prix, after it broke in three tests at Modena. The car was quick but not reliable at the start, too many faults happened with the car. In various grand prix’, there were a few issues, flat-twelve valve gear broke, oil leak, failure from the differential and a broken clutch. Taking pole position multiple times but the car wasn’t working for the team.

1971 Ferrari 312 B2

1971 Ferrari 312 B2

The 312 B2 debuted in Monaco in May, even though it was presented in January. The B2 was a completely different car, the nose cone was low, the rear suspension had been redesigned with twin struts, spring/dampener group attached above the gearbox, and the rear wing mounted to an appendage of the roll bar.

The Ferrari 312 B2 was also used during the 1972 Season.

1973 Ferrari 312 B3

1973 Ferrari 312 B3

Ferrari were looking for new ways to improve the aerodynamics of the car, which is the reason for the version of the 312 B3, which was also known as the “snow plough”, due to the design of the nose. They used a similar engine and suspension as the earlier model, while adding new parts to the front of the car. The B3 didn’t get used in any of the races and is still in possession of a collector, while the car was an introduction into the generation of aluminium monocoque without an internal tubular steel structure.

1974 Ferrari 312 B3-74

1974 Ferrari 312 B3-74

Forghieri was called back this year, he kept the English-built monocoque but changed everything else. The weight distribution was changed, the radiators were in the flanks, and the wheelbase was shorter, keeping the periscope air intake.

1975 Ferrari 312 T

1975 Ferrari 312 T

Niki Lauda answered the prayers of the Tifosi and were back on the top step after 11 years, taking success in the Constructors’ and Drivers’ championship. Due to Lauda's pickiness during the development process, the 312 T was immensely more reliable and persistent. The previous model's suspension had been scrapped and redesigned, more spring-shock groups on the front axle.

1976 Ferrari 312 T2

1976 Ferrari 312 T2

The height of the car was limited due to the periscope air intakes being banned, generating further changes to the car; ducts had modifications. The T2 became lighter due to the previous year's suspension being recycled and a new chassis structure.

1977 Ferrari 312 T2B

1977 Ferrari 312 T2B

The T2B was an upgraded model of the T2, which after a few races Niki Lauda wasn’t happy with the car; led to a colossal upgrade program. A revised bodywork and suspension along with a new rear wing are the modifications we saw appear on the T2B. Alongside this, there were three new chassis constructed, 312 T2B – 029, 030 and 031, alterations made to each car; specifying a certain circuit.

1978 Ferrari 312 T6

1978 Ferrari 312 T6

The forgotten six-wheeler Ferrari. Designed by Mauro Forghieri to reduce the total aero drag, with four front tyres at the back. The T6 was tested around Fiorano but never raced, even though it wasn’t classed legal as such, but its width exceeded the dimensions for a participating grand prix car.

1978 Ferrari 312 T3

1978 Ferrari 312 T3

Ferrari continued with the T series with an engine that had twelve horizontally opposed cylinders that were updated and stimulated up. The T3 was used from the South African Grand Prix, round 3 of sixteen, the first two races were raced using an altered version of the 1977 312 T2.

1979 Ferrari 312 T4

 1979 Ferrari 312 T4

At the start of the season for the first two races, the T3 was used, the T4 made its debut in South Africa, instantly winning two races. The suspension was made to minimise drag, also the rear brakes had modifications to improve grip and traction control.

1980 Ferrari 312 T5

1980 Ferrari 312 T5

After a year of celebrations in 1979, the joy wasn’t conveyed at the beginning of the 80s for the team in red. The 312 T5 was the last of its kind as a single-seater, it had spilled with innovation. From a smaller more powerful engine, slight change to the suspension and new rear brakes. The Michelin tyres were not specifically developed for the normally aspirated engine-powered cars but leaning more towards the new turbocharged car.

Ferrari would replace the 312 series with the 126C for the 1981 F1 Season, which was the company’s first turbocharged Single Seater.

Written by Gracey Guy.


1 comment


  • Peter Robinson

    A brilliant article very proud of you


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