1980 Ferrari 312 T5 F1As the 1970s were coming to a close, work began at Maranello on a 120-degree 1.5-liter V6 engine to serve as a replacement for the naturally-aspirated 3-liter flat 12-cylinder engine. As far back as the mid-1960s, Ferrari had introduced a flat-12 Formula 1 engine in the preceding 1.5-liter Formula 1 era. It was later developed into 2-liter form to win the 1969 European Mountain Championship in the Ferrari 212E Montagna sports car piloted by Swiss Peter Schetty. Work continued on the flat-12, growing in size to 3-liter displacement and used initially in the original 312B model campaigned through 1970. It was driven by such individuals as Jacky Ickx, Clay Regazzoni and Ignazio Giunti.
The Ferrari 312B of 1970 developed into 1973 when the 312 B3 model emerged. The team was rebuilt for 1974 and Ferrari opted out of sports car endurance racing competition to concentrate its attention and resources solely upon Formula 1. Adding to the team's success, Regazzoni was joined by German driver Niki Lauda. Lauda drove the modified B3 to nine pole positions but poor reliability resulted in just two victories. Regazzoni scored another victory for the team and was runner up in the championship behind McLaren's Emerson Fittipaldi.
For the 1975 season, many improvements and modifications were made, including a new transverse gearbox, earning the car its name - 312 T (transversale). The flat 12 engine offered 485 horsepower and was directly bolted to the gearbox. After three Grand Prix events of the season, the 312 T was finally ready. Lauda immediately secured the pole position, followed closely by this teammate in another 312 T. A maiden victory, however, was not obtained as the 312 T crashed on the first lap. Four of the next five Grand Prix events were won by Lauda. Regazzoni won at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza and Lauda secured another victory in the final Grand Prix of the season. Niki Lauda won the Drivers' World Championship title for Ferrari, the marque's first driver's title since Surtees' title of 1964. The marque won the Formula 1 Constructors' championship title.
Mid-way through the 1976 season, Ferrari introduced the 312 T2. It had been built to comply to with new airbox regulations and featured new air intakes on either side of the cockpit. Lauda and the 312 T2 proved to be a winning combination until a bad crash on the Nürburgring left him badly burned. He returned a short time later to continue the hunt for the championship, but it was not enough to prevent McLaren's James Hunt from taking the title.
Lauda and the T2 won the driver's and constructions championship in 1977.
The 1978 season saw the perfection of ground-effect aerodynamics in the form of the Lotus-Cosworth Type 79. Ferrari's entry was the 312 T3 and it secured five Grand Prix victories, four with driver Carlos Reutemann and one for new French-Canadian star Gilles Villeneuve. For the first time in four seasons, they fell short of the World titles as Mario Andretti became only the second America ever to win the Formula 1 Drivers' title (Phil Hill won for Ferrari in 1961).
The contemporary setup of ground-effects on Formula 1 cars used venturi tunnel 'underwing' sections along each side of their Cosworth-Ford V8 engines, providing downforce. The Ferrari cars, with their flat-12 cylinder engines and horizontally-disposed cylinder blocks, had no under-floor space in which to match this technology. Instead, Ferrari worked on increase horsepower and making much better use of the 'over-body' surfaces of their F1 cars.
The next evolution of Ferrari's F1 car was the 312 T3 which had around 515 horsepower. The rival's Cosworth DFV V8s produced 490 horsepower. The T3 was not able to match the pace of the Lotus 78, but its reliability allowed Gilles Villeneuve and Carlos Reutemann to remain in contention for victory.
The Ferrari 312 T4 emerged in 1979 and was piloted by South African driver Jody Scheckter joining Gilles Villeneuve. Although the Renaults with their purpose built ground effect racers were faster, the 312 T4 earned Ferrari another driver's and constructor's championship. Scheckter led Villeneuve by four points at the end of the season, emerging as World Champion Driver. He had won the Belgian, Monaco and Italian Grand Prixs. Villeneuve won the South African Grand Prix and both the United States GPs, West and East, at Long Beach and Watkins respectively.
Ferrari's new turbocharged 1.5-liter V6 was not race-worthy for the 1980 season, so the Ferrari 312 T5 model was developed, becoming the ultimate evolution in the long line of 3-liter flat-12 engined Ferraris. It proved to be faster than its World Champion predecessor, yet the ground-effects car opposition had proved to be faster still. The tires provided by Michelin also foiled Ferrari hopes and ambitions as carcass and compound development focused more upon the needs of the front-running opposition, including Williams, Brabham Renault and Ligier.
For the 1980 season, Ferrari dismantled 312 T4 cars chassis number 037, 039, and 041 and rebuilt them into 1980 Ferrari 312 T5s chassis 042, 043, and 044. They were visually similar to the 1979 cars but had slightly different bodywork, reworked monocoque chassis with slimmer front ends, and modifications to the suspension geometer and wings.
The flat-12 engines also received attention. They were given new cylinder heads with a wider included angle between inlet and exhaust valves in redesigned combustion chambers. These modifications allowed for more space beyond the heads to enlarge available underwing-venturi space. These cylinder heads were later dropped by the time the cars raced at the Monaco Grand Prix back in Europe.
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2017
Chassis Num: MAT/045
As spectators, fans and constructors contemplate the steady NASCAR-ization of Formula One - spec tires, spec electronic engine-control units, long-life engines and transmissions, restricted in-season aerodynamic development, engine rev limits, contri....[continue reading]
This Ferrari 312 T5, chassis number 046, was driven during the 1980 season by reigning Formula 1 World Champion Driver Jody Scheckter. Its innagural outing was at the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami on March 1st of that year. The two T5 entries q....[continue reading]
1980 Ferrari Concepts
Related Drivers Jody David Scheckter
Joseph Gilles Henri Villeneuve
Related Teams Scuderia Ferrari
1980 Formula One Season
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