Ferrari 312B2

Ferrari 312B2

by Luca Dal Monte

The 312 B2 is the natural evolution of the 312 B, replacing it from the third race of the 1971 season, the Monaco Grand Prix, where it finishes third with Jacky Ickx. The Belgian driver wins the subsequent Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, but then the 312 B2 loses the competitiveness it seemed to have inherited from the previous model, and throughout the rest of the season, as well as the following, despite achieving another victory (the 1972 German Grand Prix, again with Ickx) and some podium finishes, it will never be the real protagonist again.

Essentially, the B2 does not differ much from the B, except for even more extreme research in the field of aerodynamics. The rear wing is moved behind the rear wheel axis and is effectively integrated with the canopy covering the roll bar, providing complete coverage of the engine. There is significant on-going effort also on the front end, which frequently changes over the two years of the model’s life, always in pursuit of the best possible aerodynamics.

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Drivers:

Jacky Ickx: Due to the lack of competitiveness of the B2, the Belgian driver, who many had considered a favourite for the 1971 title, is never actually in contention to become world champion neither in that season nor the following one. With one victory per year, however, he is the only driver to bring success to the 312 B2. He finishes fourth in the World Championship standings in both 1971 and 1972.

Clay Regazzoni: Clay Regazzoni is another major disappointment due to the lack of competitiveness of the B2. Over two seasons, he manages to secure only four podiums: two third places at Zandvoort and Hockenheim in 1971, a third place in Spain the following year, and, still in 1972, a second place again at the German Grand Prix, this time at the N├╝rburgring circuit.

Mario Andretti: Primarily engaged in American races, the great Mario Andretti contests only a handful of times in two seasons at the wheel of the 312 B2 without achieving results worthy of his reputation.

Our model cars:

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The power of the 180┬░ V-shaped 12-cylinder boxer engine is increased to produce 470 HP. Suspension modifications are also made during its development. As in the previous model, the use of white colour is significant, combined with the classic Ferrari red, in an attempt to brighten the Prancing Horse’s single-seaters on the era’s television monitors.

Despite a promising start, the 312 B2 fails to meet expectations. The real problem is reliability. Over two years of racing, alongside two victories and eight podiums, the B2 suffers twenty-one retirements.

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