Ferrari 312B F1 Car
1970 and 1971
Chassis: tubular spaceframe with stressed panelling.
Ferrari 12-cylinder horizontally opposed
Independent front and rear with coil springs, inboard at front
460bhp at 12,000rpm
Bore & Stroke
79 x 52.8mm
The Ferrari 312B was a Formula 1 car that the Scuderia Ferrari built and used in 1970 and 1971.
The Ferrari 312B finished in 1970 a long winless period of the Scuderia in Formula 1 in 1969, the Italian car maker Fiat joined Ferrari and created new structures. Especially the new financial security ensured peace in the racing team.
The 312B got a completely new suspension and a new engine. The twelve-cylinder engine in 180 ° V arrangement made at 2991 cc 460 hp. The engine was mounted in a rear extension of the chassis of light metal sheets and tubes.
For the new three-litre Formula in 1966 they developed one of their age-old sports-racing V 12 engines to suit, and won races occasionally though in
many cases unconvincingly into 1968. Then in 1969 their cars lost their competitive edge, and Ferrari fortunes slumped. It was during this season that chief engineer Mauro Forghieri was developing with Franco Rocchi a new twelve-cylinder engine in which the cylinder banks were laid horizontally, opposing one another on a common crankcase.
This flat-twelve engine placed its mass very low in the car, and thus potentially aided the car's cornering abilities; it was to develop into an extremely powerful unit, which survived ten years in Formula 1. The original 1.5-litre Ferrari flat-twelve had been developed by Forghieri for Formula 1 in 1964—65. A later development was the two-litre 212 E engine which won the 1969 European Mountain Championship in a sports Ferrari chassis, and in 79 mm x 52.8 mm, 2998.5 cc form the unit made its three-litre Formula 1 debut in 1970 in South Africa. It was claimed to produce 460 bhp at 1 1 ,600 rpm but was thirsty for fuel. In that year's Austrian Grand Prix, Jacky Ickx gave the new 312B (three-litre twelve-cylinder 'Boxer') its first victory, with team-mate Clay Regazzoni second. In Italy Regazzoni won; in Canada Ickx led another 312B 1—2 finish and the result were the same in Mexico City.
The first two appearances of this car were unsuccessful despite being driven by Jacky Ickx. Ickx nearly lost his life in a collision in Spain when his car was
destroyed by fire. Ignazio Giunti finally obtained championship points in the 312B by coming fourth in the Belgian GP. At Zandvoort Regazzoni came fourth, Although the car was competitive from the beginning, successes did not set until the middle of the 1970 season. Jacky Ickx won the Grand Prix of Austria and at the end of the year still the races in Canada and Mexico, but was at the end of the season in the overall standings behind Jochen Rindt second. The Austrian Lotus pilot was fatally injured in his training on the Lotus Grand Prix of Italy in Monza in his Lotus 72 and was posthumously world champion. The race was won by Clay Regazzoni in the 312B.Mario Andretti won in 1971 with the 312B still the Grand Prix of South Africa, then brought the Scuderia from the race in Monaco, the successor model, the 312B2, to the racetracks.
New 312B2 models were developed for 1971 with revised suspensions, but the 1970 model was outstandingly beautiful in mid-engine Grand Prix car terms and has gone into racing history as Ferrari's Grand Prix turning point. Ferrari were to have a low time again—in 1973 but bounced back from 1974, winning three consecutive Championships in 1975 to 1977, then another in 1979.
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