Ferrari 312T

Ferrari 312T

by Luca Dal Monte

It is Mauro Forghieri’s masterpiece, the starting point for all Ferrari single-seaters of the second half of the 1970s. From an aesthetic point of view, it’s among the most beautiful Ferraris of all time, with the white air scoop desired by Enzo Ferrari to brighten his single-seaters on the black and white TV screens of the days, and the three stripes in the colours of the Italian flag.

The 312 T is the symbol and starting point of the technical revolution carried out by Ferrari with Mauro Forghieri’s return to the helm of the technical department. The engine is the powerful 180° V-shaped 12-cylinder boxer. But the real strength of the car is the transversely positioned gearbox, from which the model’s name T derives. Forghieri devised the solution in a successful attempt to find better mass concentration and, consequently, a more balanced car capable of adapting to most circuits in the Championship.

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Niki Lauda: In his second season with the Prancing Horse, Lauda brings back to Maranello a world title that had eluded Ferrari since 1964. Paradoxically for a driver who would be remembered as one of the greatest of all time, in 1975 press and public opinion attribute the conquest of the world championship more to the superiority of the 312 T than to his talent. In ’75, Niki also wins the International Trophy, the non-championship race organized by the London newspaper Daily Express, held at Silverstone in the spring.

Clay Regazzoni: Clay Regazzoni’s 1975 season is plagued by misfortune. Starting with high hopes for the world championship after narrowly missing out on the ’74 title at the last Grand Prix, Clay struggles more than his teammate to adapt to his new car. His competitive drive and occasional car failures betray him on several occasions. Nevertheless, he climbs onto the third step of the podium in Sweden and the Netherlands and secures an extraordinary victory at Monza.

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Debuting on the track at the 1975 South African Grand Prix, the 312 T wins the first of six races that year in Monaco with Niki Lauda. The Austrian driver wins four more Grand Prix in Belgium, Sweden, France, and the United States East. On his part, Clay Regazzoni wins the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on the day Lauda clinches the world title. With six victories in the season, the 312 T also secures the Constructors’ World Championship title. Ferrari also fields it in the first three races of the following season, which coincide with two wins by Lauda and one by Regazzoni.

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