Ferrari 312T

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LaudaNiki19760731Ferrari312T2.jpgNiki Lauda practicing at the Nürburgring during the 1976 German Grand Prix
Ferrari 312T
Category Formula One
Constructor Scuderia Ferrari
Designer Mauro Forghieri
Team Scuderia Ferrari
Drivers Niki Lauda,
Clay Regazzoni,
Gilles Villeneuve,
Carlos Reutemann,
Jody Scheckter
Chassis Aluminium monocoque
Front suspension Double wishbone, inboard spring/damper.
Rear suspension Double wishbone suspension
Engine name Ferrari 015
Capacity 3000cc
Configuration Flat-12,
Turbo/NA naturally aspirated,
Engine position mid-engine, longitudinally mounted
Gearbox name
Gears 5-speed transverse gearbox
Type manual
Tires Goodyear
Debut 1975 South African Grand Prix (312T)
1976 Spanish Grand Prix (312T2)
1978 South African Grand Prix (312T3)
1979 South African Grand Prix (312T4)
1980 Argentine Grand Prix (312T5)
Wins 27
Cons champ 4 (1975,1976,1977,1979)
Drivers champ 3 (Niki Lauda, 1975,1977)
(Jody Scheckter, 1979)
Fastest laps

The Ferrari 312T was a Ferrari Formula One car design, based on the 312B3 from 1974. In various versions, it was used from 1975 until 1980.

It was designed by Mauro Forghieri for the 1975 season. It was an uncomplicated and clean design, that responded to mechanical upgrades.

The car was a modified version of the 312B which had been used for the 1970 until 1974 seasons.

The 312T series won 27 races, four constructors' and three drivers championships, and was replaced for the 1981 season by the 126 C, Ferrari's first turbo F1 car.

Mechanical configuration

The car was powered by the powerful and ultra reliable Flat-12 engine which gave around 510bhp, the T in the name stood for 'transverse', as the gearbox was mounted in this way, improving the car's handling characteristics, which had been the downfall of its predecessor.



Niki Lauda tested the car extensively during the off season, ready for a full on championship challenge. The hard work paid off, for after a slow start in which Brabham, Tyrrell and McLaren put up strong competition, Lauda won 4 out of 5 races mid season before snatching the title at Monza by finishing third, whilst Clay Regazzoni's win in that race secured Ferrari its first constructors' championship since 1964. Lauda went on to win the American Grand Prix at season's end, confirming Ferrari's superiority in 1975.


Clay Regazzoni in a 312T2 in 1976.

The same drivers, Lauda and Regazzoni, were retained for the 1976 season. The 312T was used for the first three races of the season (Lauda won the first two and Regazzoni the third), and was then replaced by a modified version, the 312T2. This was effectively the same car, with detail changes to conform to the newly introduced regulations which included the banning of the tall air boxes - instead "NACA shaped" air intakes were placed on the cockpit sides. The 312T2 was if anything, more successful than the 312T. Lauda was comfortably leading the world championship after another 3 wins, when at the 1976 German Grand Prix at Nürburgring he had a massive accident caused by a suspected rear suspension failure. In the aftermath he nearly burned to death, but was miraculously back racing just 6 weeks later. Lauda conceded the title by just a single point to James Hunt, but the 312T2's superiority helped Ferrari win its second consecutive constructor's title.


Lauda and Carlos Reutemann used the 312T2B to great effect in 1977, for although it was no longer the best car it was good enough to win the driver's championship for Lauda, who won more through the car's reliability than outright speed. He took 3 wins, while Reutemann won once. The constructors' championship was also secured for a third successive season before Lauda walked out on the team before season's end. He was replaced by the fiery Canadian Gilles Villeneuve but he couldn't get a handle on the T2B, as its neutral handling didn't suit his oversteering driving style. The Ferrari 312T2 had a lot of development work done to it, with several different noses tried, many rear wing profiles some especially tailored for specific circuits designed and numerous changes to the suspension and rear bodywork.


The 312T3 was introduced for 1978 for Villeneuve and Reutemann. It was much cleaner aerodynamically, and the flat 12 engine was tuned to give around 515bhp. A switch to Michelin tyres meant a redesign of the suspension was necessary. All the hard work came to nothing though as the pioneering Lotus 79 ground effect "wing car" took on and beat all comers with ease that season, and Ferrari were left to pick up the pieces of any Lotus failures. Reutemann won 4 races, whilst Villeneuve broke his duck at the final race to win his home race in Canada, but it was more a season of consolidation. Reutemann moved to Lotus for 1979, replaced by Jody Scheckter. Ferrari was only 3rd in the Constructors Championship.


In 1979, a siginificant amount of progress was made in aerodynamics and to challenge Lotus, Forgheiri realised he had to follow their lead and design a ground effect car for 1979. The 312T4, introduced for 1979 was closely based on the 312T3. Its origins placed restrictions on the aerodynamic design since the 312T3 had not been designed with ground effect in mind, and the flat 12 engine was too wide to permit the correct underbody design to optimise the ground effect. It was good enough to win 6 races in 1979, three each for Villeneuve and Scheckter. Other solid placings helped Ferrari win its fourth constructors' championship in 5 seasons and Scheckter his one and only drivers' title.


The 1980 season saw further aerodynamic progress by Cosworth DFV teams, and a heavily-updated version of the 312T4, the 312T5 was introduced. As with the previous season, Ferrari was totally outclassed as their wide 312 "Boxer" engine did not suit the aerodynamic needs. The car was unreliable, slow and wasn't very effective against the competition. For the first time since 1973, Ferrari did not win a race for an entire season, and the team finished 10th in the Constructors' championship. Scheckter even failed to qualify in Canada and, after only managing 2 points, retired from the sport at the end of the year.

See also

Ferrari Formula One cars
40s 1950s 1960s 1970s
8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
125 275
500 553
801 412
256 156 158
312 312 B 312 T
1980s 1990s 2000s
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
312 T 126 C 156/85 F1/86 F1/87 640 641 642/643 F92A F93A 412T F310/B F300 F399 F1-2000 F2001 F2001
F2004 F2004M
248 F2007

3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Scuderia Ferrari
22px-Flag of France.png Jean Todt | 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Mario Almondo | 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Stefano Domenicali | 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Luca Baldisseri
Current drivers:
22px-Flag of Finland.png Kimi Räikkönen | 22px-Flag of Brazil.png Felipe Massa | 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Luca Badoer | 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Giancarlo Fisichella (Test Driver) 22px-Flag of Spain.png Marc Gené (Test Driver)
Notable Former drivers:
22px-Flag of Germany.png Michael Schumacher | 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Alberto Ascari | 22px-Flag of Argentina.png Juan Manuel Fangio | 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Mike Hawthorn | 22px-Flag of Austria.png Niki Lauda | 22px-Flag of South Africa.png Jody Scheckter | 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png John Surtees | 22px-Flag of the United States.png Phil Hill | 22px-Flag of Brazil.png Rubens Barrichello | 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Eddie Irvine | 22px-Flag of France.png Jean Alesi | 22px-Flag of France.png Alain Prost | 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom.png Nigel Mansell | 22px-Flag of Austria.png Gerhard Berger | 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Michele Alboreto | 22px-Flag of France.png René Arnoux | 22px-Flag of France.png Patrick Tambay | 22px-Flag of the Canada.png Gilles Villeneuve | 22px-Flag of Argentina.png Carlos Reutemann | 20px-Flag of Switzerland.png Clay Regazzoni | 22px-Flag of the United States.png Mario Andretti | 22px-Flag of Belgium (civil).png Jacky Ickx | 22px-Flag of Germany.png Wolfgang Graf Berghe von Trips | 3dflagsdotcom italy2bs.gif Lorenzo Bandini
Formula One cars:
125 | 275 | 340 | 375 | 500 | 553 | 625 | 555 | D50 | 801 | 412 | 246 | 256 | 156 | 158 | 1512 | 312 | 312B | 312T | 126C | 156/85 | F1/86 | F1/87 | 640 | 641 | 642 | 643 | F92A | F93A | 412T | F310 | F310B | F300 | F399 | F1-2000 | F2001 | F2002 | F2002B | F2003-GA | F2004 | F2004M | F2005 | 248 | F2007 | F2008 | F60 | F10 | 150° Italia | F2012