Formula 1
Formula 1
R
Australian GP
12 Mar
-
15 Mar
Next event in
46 days
19 Mar
-
22 Mar
Next event in
53 days
02 Apr
-
05 Apr
Next event in
67 days
16 Apr
-
19 Apr
Next event in
81 days
30 Apr
-
03 May
Next event in
95 days
07 May
-
10 May
Next event in
102 days
21 May
-
24 May
Next event in
116 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
04 Jun
-
07 Jun
Next event in
130 days
11 Jun
-
14 Jun
Next event in
137 days
25 Jun
-
28 Jun
Next event in
151 days
02 Jul
-
05 Jul
Next event in
158 days
16 Jul
-
19 Jul
Next event in
172 days
R
Hungarian GP
30 Jul
-
02 Aug
Next event in
186 days
27 Aug
-
30 Aug
Next event in
214 days
03 Sep
-
06 Sep
Next event in
221 days
R
Singapore GP
17 Sep
-
20 Sep
Next event in
235 days
24 Sep
-
27 Sep
Next event in
242 days
08 Oct
-
11 Oct
Next event in
256 days
R
United States GP
22 Oct
-
25 Oct
Next event in
270 days
29 Oct
-
01 Nov
Next event in
277 days
R
Brazilian GP
12 Nov
-
15 Nov
Next event in
291 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
26 Nov
-
29 Nov
Next event in
305 days

Ferrari's landmark F1 cars: Villeneuve's first race winner

shares
comments
Ferrari's landmark F1 cars: Villeneuve's first race winner
Dec 28, 2017, 1:46 PM

The Ferrari 312T3, introduced mid-season in 1978, helped Formula 1 legend Gilles Villeneuve to a maiden grand prix win - even if it was powerless to see off the revolutionary Lotus 79 over a full year.

Gilles Villeneuve, Ferrari 312T3
Gilles Villeneuve, Ferrari 312T3
Gilles Villeneuve, Ferrari 312T3
Gilles Villeneuve, Ferrari 312T3
Gilles Villeneuve, Ferrari 312T3
Gilles Villeneuve, Ferrari 312T3 passes Emerson Fittipaldi, Copersucar F5A-Ford

Ferrari lost one legend after the 1977 season when Niki Lauda left for Brabham, but gained a new one for the following year in Gilles Villeneuve.

Driving the Ferrari 312T3, Villeneuve won his first grand prix on home soil in Canada and went on to become arguably the most famous driver in the marque’s history.

Ranged against an army of Cosworth V8s, and BRM and Matra V12s, Ferrari's mighty three-litre flat-12 had character and power in spades.

But what it didn't have was a decent chassis to fire into the distance. All that changed, though, with the T generation of 312 cars in 1975.

This came about after a typical Ferrari clearing-of-the-decks in which Enzo appointed a young Luca di Montezemolo to run the team, who, in turn, rescued engineer Mauro Forghieri from corporate exile.

The resulting 312T took Niki Lauda to the world championship in 1975, and again in T2 form in 1977.

Forghieri's comprehensive re-engineering of the 312 concept focused primarily on weight distribution, with a redesigned aluminium monocoque chassis and a new transverse five-speed gearbox.

The flat-12 engine already carried its weight low, but its sheer length had entailed hanging the gearbox behind the rear axle - creating terminal understeer.

Packaging the transmission ahead of the axle sweetened 
the handling to title-winning effect.

By 1978, though, the game had moved on, and the arrival of Michelin had kicked off a tyre war.

Sensing an opportunity, Enzo Ferrari threw in his lot with the ambitious French tyre firm. Forghieri duly redesigned the 312T from nose to tail, creating the 312T3 with an updated chassis, a longer wheelbase, double wishbones replacing rocker arms, and new bodywork fettled in the Pininfarina windtunnel.

Ferrari had lost Lauda to Brabham, but gained the exuberantly talented Villeneuve to partner silky-smooth Carlos Reutemann.

It was a dream pairing, and when Reutemann won the second race of '78 in the old T2, then followed that up with victory at round four at Long Beach, in the new T3, it seemed he had a shot at the title.

Unfortunately for Reutemann, in Belgium Lotus introduced the 79, a car that would redefine the genre.

A Ferrari feature showcasing some of the famous Italian marque's cars, including the Ferrari 488 GTE and the Ferrari FXX-K Evo, will be the main feature at Autosport International in 2018, held on January 11-14. For ticket information, click here.

Stuart Codling

Next article
Wehrlein: "You couldn't see" my best F1 races in 2017

Previous article

Wehrlein: "You couldn't see" my best F1 races in 2017

Next article

Hamilton: French GP is at the wrong track

Hamilton: French GP is at the wrong track
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Carlos Reutemann , Gilles Villeneuve
Teams Ferrari Shop Now