Ferrari 312B

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Ferrari 312B
Ferrari 312 B2.JPG
Ferrari 312 B2 of 1971/72
Category Formula One
Constructor Scuderia Ferrari
Designer(s) Mauro Forghieri
Predecessor 312
Successor 312T
Technical specifications
Chassis Aluminium monocoque
Suspension (front) Double wishbone, inboard spring/damper
Suspension (rear) Double wishbone suspension
Engine Ferrari 001 2,992 cc (182.6 cu in), Flat-12, naturally aspirated, mid-engine, longitudinally mounted
Transmission Ferrari Type 621 5-speed manual
Fuel Shell
Tyres Firestone
Goodyear
Competition history
Notable entrants Scuderia Ferrari
Notable drivers United States Mario Andretti
Austria Niki Lauda
Switzerland Clay Regazzoni
Belgium Jacky Ickx
Debut 1970 South African Grand Prix (312B)
1971 Monaco Grand Prix (312B2)
1973 Spanish Grand Prix (312B3)
Races Wins Poles F.Laps
70 (all models)
19 (312B)
24 (312B2/B2-72)
27 (312B3)
10
5
2
3
22
6
6
10
21
11
4
6
Constructors' Championships 0
Drivers' Championships 0
n.b. Unless otherwise stated, all data refer to
Formula One World Championship Grands Prix only.

The Ferrari 312B was a series of Formula One racing car models, designed and built by Scuderia Ferrari. It was the successor to the Ferrari 312 and was used from 1970 until early 1975. Several versions were made: the 312B, 312B2 and 312B3.

History[edit]

The early 1970s saw the return of success to the Scuderia; the unlucky Chris Amon left, while Jacky Ickx returned and was joined by Clay Regazzoni. Under the direction of Mauro Forghieri, Ferrari developed a new Flat-12 engine, colloquially referred to as a "boxer" (although not a real boxer engine), giving a lower center of gravity and a clear airflow beneath the rear wing.

A 1970 Ferrari 312B.
The 'snow plow' Ferrari 312 B3 at the Ferrari Museum

During the design's first season, in 1970, Ickx battled with Lotus's Jochen Rindt and won three Grands Prix, while the emotional Italian Grand Prix was won by Clay Regazzoni, following the death of Rindt in the week preceding the race. In the remaining races, Ickx could not pass Rindt's point score for the drivers title, and Lotus won the Constructors Championship ahead of Ferrari.

The 1971 started with a win by new signing Mario Andretti. Although being presented in January, the 312 B2 debuted only at the third round in Monaco, followed by the Dutch Grand Prix success for Ickx. However the B2 suffered with handling problems: the combination of the innovative rear suspension and the new Firestone tyres gave severe vibrations when driven close to the limit. Ferrari ultimately came second in the Constructors Championship, as Jackie Stewart and Tyrrell dominated the season.

In 1972 Ferrari fielded a revised B2 with a more conventional rear suspension, but could not keep up with the progress of the competition, dropping to fourth at the end of the year. Ickx won the 1972 German Grand Prix at his favorite track, the Nürburgring, but this was to be his last GP win. The sports cars season was a success for Ferrari though, with the Ferrari 312PB based on the F1 car.

During the season, Forghieri designed a radical new car featuring a square bodywork and full width nose on a very short wheelbase. This new 312 B3 was tested by Merzario and Ickx but never raced in a Grand Prix. The Italian press nicknamed it the spazzaneve (snowplow).

For 1973, FIAT executives imposed a new technical staff and Forghieri was transferred to the experimental department; his role was taken by Sandro Colombo, a former Gilera and Innocenti engineer. The spazzaneve project was discarded and replaced by a new design, still named 312 B3. A new full monocoque chassis was built by specialist English company TC Prototypes, under John Thompson's guidance, and the engine became a fully stressed member.

In the first races, Ferrari still used the old 312 B2: the car was no longer competitive, and Ickx only managed one fourth place at the opening GP of the season. The new 312 B3 debuted at the Spanish round, but proved to be slow and unreliable achieving even worse results. In addition to the sports cars, which were beaten by the French Matra, the F1 program of the Italian team was outclassed, and they even skipped some F1 races, notably the Nürburgring. This was not acceptable to Ickx, because the Nürburgring where the German Grand Prix was being held that year was his favorite race track.[citation needed] As a result, he left the team halfway through the season in order to contest the 1973 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring in a McLaren, where he took 3rd place behind the Tyrrells of Stewart and François Cevert.

During the summer Forghieri was recalled as technical director and set about revising the B3 incorporating some of the ideas used on his radical spazzaneve.

For 1974 Ferrari fielded a heavily revised car, named 312 B3-74, and signed BRM drivers Niki Lauda and Clay Regazzoni.

The car was succeeded by the 312T which was introduced for the 1975 Formula One season.

Clay Regazzoni driving a 312B3 at the 1974 Race of Champions

Complete Formula One World Championship results[edit]

Year Chassis Tyres Driver 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Points WCC
1970 312B F RSA ESP MON BEL NED FRA GBR GER AUT ITA CAN USA MEX 52
(55)
2nd
Jacky Ickx Ret Ret Ret 8 3 Ret Ret 2 1 Ret 1 4 1
Clay Regazzoni 4 4 Ret 2 1 2 13 2
Ignazio Giunti 4 14 7 Ret
1971 312B F RSA ESP MON NED FRA GBR GER AUT ITA CAN USA 33 3rd
Jacky Ickx 8 2 Ret Ret
Clay Regazzoni 3 Ret
Mario Andretti 1 Ret DNQ
312B2 Jacky Ickx 3 1 Ret Ret Ret Ret 8
Clay Regazzoni Ret 3 Ret Ret 3 Ret Ret Ret 6
Mario Andretti Ret 4 13 DNS
1972 312B2 F ARG RSA ESP MON BEL FRA GBR GER AUT ITA CAN USA 33 4th
Jacky Ickx 3 8 2 2 Ret 11 Ret 1 Ret Ret 12 5
Clay Regazzoni 4 12 3 Ret Ret 2 Ret Ret 5 8
Mario Andretti Ret 4 Ret 7 6
Nanni Galli 13
Arturo Merzario 6 12
1973 312B2 G ARG BRA RSA ESP BEL MON SWE FRA GBR NED GER AUT ITA CAN USA 12 6th
Jacky Ickx 4 5 Ret
Arturo Merzario 9 4 4
312B3 Jacky Ickx 12 Ret Ret 6 5 8 8
Arturo Merzario Ret 7 7 Ret 15 16
1974 312B3-74 G ARG BRA RSA ESP BEL MON SWE NED FRA GBR GER AUT ITA CAN USA 65 2nd
Clay Regazzoni 3 2 Ret 2 4 4 Ret 2 3 4 1 5 Ret 2 11
Niki Lauda 2 Ret 16 1 2 Ret Ret 1 2 5 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret
1975 312B3-74 G ARG BRA RSA ESP MON BEL SWE NED FRA GBR GER AUT ITA USA 72.51 1st
Clay Regazzoni 4 4
Niki Lauda 6 5

1 In 1975, 63.5 points were scored driving the Ferrari 312T.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • article about 312B
  • Tremayne, David & Hughes, Mark (1998). The Concise Encyclopedia Of Formula One, Paragon.