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Ferrari 312

Ferrari 312

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The Ferrari 312 was a racing car used in Formula One
Formula One
Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the highest class of single seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile . The "formula" designation in the name refers to a set of rules with which...

 from 1966 to 1969, designed by Mauro Forghieri
Mauro Forghieri
Mauro Forghieri is an Italian Formula One car designer.-Early life and Ferrari:Forghieri was born in Modena, the only child of Reclus and Afra Forghieri. His father, a turner, did war work during World War II for the Ansaldo mechanical workshops of Naples...

.

For the 1966 Formula One season
1966 Formula One season
The 1966 Formula One season was the 17th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1966 World Championship of Drivers and the 1966 International Cup for F1 Manufacturers which were contested concurrently over a nine race series that commenced on May 22 and ended on October 23...

, there was a change in the technical regulations, now allowing 3000 cm³ engines. The F1 teams, even though asking for "the return to power", were more or less surprised and not well prepared.

Ferrari's first 1966 car consisted of a 3.3-liter V12 engine
V12 engine
A V12 engine is a V engine with 12 cylinders mounted on the crankcase in two banks of six cylinders, usually but not always at a 60° angle to each other, with all 12 pistons driving a common crankshaft....

 that was taken from the Ferrari 275P2
Ferrari P
The Ferrari P series were prototype sports cars in the 1960s and early 1970s.Although Enzo Ferrari resisted the move even with Cooper dominating F1, Ferrari began producing mid-engined racing cars in 1960 with the Ferrari Dino-V6-engine Formula Two 156, which would be turned into the Formula...

 sportscar prototypes, modified to 3000cc, and mounted in the back of an F1 chassis. The designation 312, which would be used for a number of later cars, indicated a 3 litre, 12 cylinder engine. The engine was rather heavy, and due to the reduced capacity, lower on power and especially torque. John Surtees
John Surtees
John Surtees, OBE is a British former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and Formula One driver from England. He was 500cc motorcycle World Champion in 1956 and 1958–60, Formula One World Champion in 1964, and remains the only person to have won World Championships on both two and four wheels...

 drove this contraption unsuccessfully in Monaco while Lorenzo Bandini
Lorenzo Bandini
Lorenzo Bandini was an Italian motor racing driver who raced in Formula One for the Scuderia Centro Sud and Ferrari teams.-Career:...

 drove a Ferrari Dino 2.5-liter V6. Surtees won the second race, the 1966 Belgian Grand Prix
1966 Belgian Grand Prix
The 1966 Belgian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Spa-Francorchamps on 12 June 1966. It was the second round of the 1966 Formula One season. The race was the 26th Belgian Grand Prix which to this point had only been held at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit...

, a track that favoured power with its long straights, but the '64 champion departed after a row with manager Eugenio Dragoni. The issue was about priorities in racing, as Ferrari was under pressure from Ford in sports car racing, and the F1 effort was somewhat neglected. Mike Parkes
Mike Parkes
Michael Johnson Parkes was an English racing driver.He participated in 7 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting on July 18, 1959. He achieved two podiums, and scored a total of 14 championship points. He also secured one pole position...

 replaced Surtees, who went to Cooper
Cooper Car Company
The Cooper Car Company was founded in 1946 by Charles Cooper and his son John Cooper. Together with John's boyhood friend, Eric Brandon, they began by building racing cars in Charles' small garage in Surbiton, Surrey, England in 1946...

 which used Maserati
Maserati
Maserati is an Italian luxury car manufacturer established on December 1, 1914, in Bologna. The company's headquarters is now in Modena, and its emblem is a trident. It has been owned by the Italian car giant Fiat S.p.A. since 1993...

 engines, to finish second in the driver championship with a further win. For Ferrari, Ludovico Scarfiotti
Ludovico Scarfiotti
Ludovico Scarfiotti was a Formula One and sports car driver from Italy. Just prior to entering Formula One, he won the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans for Ferrari. He later participated in 12 World Championship Formula One grands prix, and many non-championship races. He won one World Championship...

 also won a race, the 1966 Italian Grand Prix
1966 Italian Grand Prix
The 1966 Italian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Monza on September 4, 1966. It was the seventh round of the 1966 World Championship. The race was the 36th Italian Grand Prix and the 32nd to be held at Monza...

 at Monza which helped Ferrari finish second in the Constructors Championship.

In 1967, the team fired Dragoni and replaced him with Franco Lini. Chris Amon
Chris Amon
Christopher Arthur Amon MBE is a former motor racing driver. He was active in Formula One - racing in the 1960s and 1970s - and is widely regarded to be one of the best F1 drivers never to win a championship Grand Prix...

 partnered Bandini to drive a somewhat improved version of the 1966 V12 car. At the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix
1967 Monaco Grand Prix
The 1967 Monaco Grand Prix was a Formula One race held at Monaco on May 7, 1967.- Race report :The opening few laps were eventful - Jack Brabham spun in front of Bruce McLaren and Jo Siffert who collided taking avoiding action, whilst Jim Clark had to take to the escape road.Jackie Stewart swept...

, Bandini crashed and suffered heavy injuries when he was trapped under his burning car; several days later he succumbed to his injuries. Ferrari re-hired Mike Parkes, but Parkes suffered career-ending injuries weeks later at the 1967 Belgian Grand Prix
1967 Belgian Grand Prix
The 1967 Belgian Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Spa-Francorchamps on June 18, 1967.- Race report :Jim Clark led off the grid from pole position and maintained that position for the first 11 laps and was 20 seconds ahead of Jackie Stewart and Dan Gurney when he had to come into the...

. A fatal crash, another bad crash, no GP win and only 5th in the Constructors Championship marked a bad year for the Italians. In addition, the new Ford Cosworth engine that had its debut in the Lotus 49
Lotus 49
The Lotus 49 was a Formula One racing car designed by Colin Chapman and Maurice Philippe for the 1967 F1 season. It was designed around the Cosworth DFV engine that would power most of the Formula One grid through the 1970s and was the first successful Formula One car to feature the engine as a...

 would dominate F1 in the 15 years to come.
The 1968 season was little better. Young talent Jacky Ickx
Jacky Ickx
Jacques Bernard "Jacky" Ickx is a Belgian former racing driver who achieved 25 podium finishes in Formula One and six wins in the 24 hours of Le Mans.- Racing career :...

 won the wet 1968 French Grand Prix
1968 French Grand Prix
The 1968 French Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at the Rouen-Les-Essarts Circuit on 7 July 1968. It was the sixth round of the 1968 Formula One season.- Classification :- Notes :* Milestones:** 1st Win - Jacky Ickx...

 with his driving skills, but had few other successes. Things became more complicated during the season by the introduction of aerodynamic aids into F1, and their quick development. At the end of the season, the Scuderia was only 4th in the Constructors Championship, and there was also no success in sportscar racing as Ferrari did not take part at all in 1968. Manager Franco Lini quit, and Ickx also, moving to Brabham. To provide for the future, during the summer of 1968, Ferrari worked out a deal to sell his road car business to Fiat
Fiat
FIAT, an acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino , is an Italian automobile manufacturer, engine manufacturer, financial, and industrial group based in Turin in the Italian region of Piedmont. Fiat was founded in 1899 by a group of investors including Giovanni Agnelli...

 for $11 million; the transaction took place in early 1969, leaving 50% of the business still under the control of Ferrari himself.

During 1969 Enzo Ferrari set about wisely spending his newfound wealth to revive his struggling team; though Ferrari did compete in Formula One in 1969, it was something of a throwaway season while the team was restructured. Amon continued to drive an older model and Pedro Rodríguez
Pedro Rodriguez (racing driver)
Pedro Rodríguez was a Mexican Grand Prix motor racing driver. He was born in Mexico City and was the older brother of Ricardo Rodríguez.-Career:...

 took Ickx' place; at the end of the year Amon left the team that again had no GP win and was only ranked 5th in the Constructors Championship.

The car was succeeded by the 312B
Ferrari 312B
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...

 which was introduced for the 1970 Formula One season
1970 Formula One season
The 1970 Formula One season included the 21st FIA Formula One World Championship season, which commenced on March 7, 1970, and ended on October 25 after thirteen races...

.

PC Simulation


In 1998, a driveable, detailed virtual recreation of the 1967 Ferrari 312 appeared as one of the leading cars in Grand Prix Legends
Grand Prix Legends
Grand Prix Legends is a computer racing simulator developed by Papyrus Design Group and published in 1998 by Sierra Entertainment...

, a PC-based simulation of the 1967 F1 championship. The 1966 version was part of the free '66 Mod' for 'GPL', which was introduced in 2007. It included further refined driving physics.

Popularity


In 2011, TheF1Times.com rated the 312 as being "The Most Beautiful Formula One Car of All Time", stating "Ferrari’s 312 remains in some opinions as one of the most aesthetically-pleasing Formula One cars of not only the 1960s, but of all time."

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