Ferrari 312 B3, the first steps towards the revolution

2021-03-30 00:00

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Ferrari 312 B3, the first steps towards the revolution

The 312 B3 is a car that turns out to be far below expectations, as it was thought that it could be the car that would give a turning point to the 197


The 312 B3 is a car that turns out to be far below expectations, as it was thought that it could be the car that would give a turning point to the 1973 season, after not having extraordinary results in the previous year.


In fact, in 1972 the 312 B2 won a single victory with Jacky Ickx, at the Nurburgring, but the season saw the supremacy of the Lotus of Emerson Fittipaldi, while the Ferrari seemed to suffer from an inferiority in the engine department: despite the V12 of the Ferrari it was always the most powerful in the championship, the British Ford Cosworth engine was decidedly lighter and more manageable and collaborated with the British Lotus, Tyrrell and McLaren, all teams that managed to finish ahead of Ferrari in the 1972 constructors' standings.


The Ferrari 312 B3 can be considered among the worst Ferraris to have participated in Formula 1. The best results achieved during the season with this new car will be a fifth and a sixth place obtained with Jacky Ickx, but we must consider how in the first three races the Ferrari will go on track with the old 312 B2, and surprisingly will bring home the best results of the year: three fourth places, one with Ickx and two with Arturo Merzario, and another fifth place with the Belgian driver.


The 312 B3 is mainly remembered for being the first Ferrari to feature an aluminium monocoque, and for being the basis for the world championship successes arrived with the future 312 T.


1973 was a troubled year in Maranello: Enzo Ferrari had already left the company the year before due to health problems, and his place was taken by the designer Sandro Colombo, known for having been Gilera's technical director.


Mauro Forghieri, on the other hand, who has now been the director of the technical department for a decade, has to leave his job to design the 312 B3. The reasons for the departure are many, starting from the now lost confidence in the engineer from Modena, who is considered the main culprit for the lack of satisfactory results in recent seasons.


The focal point that causes his removal from office is the disagreement that emerged with Colombo in designing a monocoque, which moreover had to be built in Great Britain. Forghieri, not sharing this philosophy, is excluded from the project and locks himself up in the advanced projects office in Modena, in the old headquarters, setting to work on the design of the future 312 T.


It must be remembered that Forghieri was the first to design the 312 B3, but of course it was a totally different model from the 312 B3 designed by Colombo.


This is remembered as the Snowplough, a nickname given for the originality of the front of the car, which, however, will not be taken into consideration by the team of technicians from Colombo, who will design a single-seater that will have an ideology opposite to that of Forghieri.


Sandro Colombo's 312 B3, the first Ferrari with a monocoque


Colombo's first 312 B3 model stands out from other Ferraris as the first to be characterized by a pure monocoque. In fact, until the previous year, the Maranello technicians followed their tradition of building frames consisting of tubes covered with riveted aluminium sheets, following a less technological, but cheaper model, which also allowed Ferrari, over the years, to build competitive machines.


More precisely, the monocoque is manufactured by the English company Thompson, and differs from the Italian construction method because to connect the panels there is a nailing by means of concealed rivets. The car is characterized by a longer wheelbase than previous Ferraris, equal to about two and a half meters; in fact, with the weight distribution centred on the rear area, as stated by the Maranello technicians, the choice of the extended wheelbase should have provided better performance.


At its presentation, the car presents a peculiarity on the front, which will never be seen on the track, characterized by the fact that the wing is one with the rest of the chassis, formed by two side appendages and two small fins on the central part.


In addition, the radiators are positioned laterally on the car, but this solution, seen only on the day of the presentation, will be abandoned almost immediately, as the car complains of difficulty in dissipating the heat. Due to this need, it will be decided to move the radiator to the front, and then go back to mounting the ailerons. The rear wing, on the other hand, remains the same as on the 312 B2, even if there is some detachment from the car. For the first time in Formula 1, Ferrari is equipped with Goodyear tires.


An anonymous season of results


For the first three races of the 1973 season, all non-European events, Ferrari decided to take to the track with the old 312 B2. In the first race in Argentina Jacky Ickx qualified third and then finished fourth, while the Italian Arturo Merzario concluded with a high gap and far from the points.


In Brazil, Lotus-Fords clearly dominated qualifying, but Jacky Ickx managed to qualify third again, despite the important gap from the top two. In the race, however, it will be Arturo Merzario who will get a great performance, recovering thirteen positions and finishing the race fourth, right in front of Ickx, demonstrating a 312 B2 that is still competitive and reliable enough to fight in the points.


In South Africa, the last official race with the 312 B2, Merzario will once again climb the rankings to fourth place after an anonymous qualification, while Jacky Ickx will retire after a few laps due to an accident.


Back in Europe, Ferrari will bring two models of the 312 B3 to the Spanish Grand Prix, both entrusted exclusively to the top driver Ickx. One car mounts the radiators laterally, while in the other there is a single radiator centrally on the front. Although both cars will suffer from overheating problems, the Belgian driver will decide to race with the second model.


From this race, the new Ferrari 312 B3 will prove less competitive than expected, but the sorest point will be the reliability: Jacky Ickx will finish twelfth in the first race, six laps behind the winner, due to brake problems that they even force you to make a very long pit stop.


In the following round in Belgium, always with only Ickx on the track, he will not be able to finish the race, retiring due to a mechanical failure, despite the excellent third place obtained in qualifying.


In the Monaco Grand Prix Ferrari will field both cars, but once again no useful result will come: Ickx, despite being able to climb up to third position during the race, will be forced to retire due to a transmission problem; the same fate will also befall Merzario, who was also withdrawn due to a breakdown.


In the Swedish Grand Prix Ickx will be able to get the first world championship point with the new 312 B3, and then take another two in the following French Grand Prix, finishing fifth, while Merzario, after an excellent comeback, will finish seventh, just outside the zone points.


After the British Grand Prix, which ended with Ickx's eighth place, the Maranello team will find itself in the midst of the storm: in fact, Ickx will be accused of poor commitment, but the Belgian driver will point the blame for the poor results on the car.


Enzo Ferrari, having returned to the command of the team in full health, will decide to temporarily suspend participation in the championship, to allow the technicians to work on the car to make the necessary changes to the 312 B3, entirely entrusted to Mauro Forghieri, who thus officially returns to team.


At this point, Ferrari wants at all costs to try to end the season with dignity. Forghieri decides to make some changes to Colombo's 312 B3: first of all, he moves the radiators sideways, behind the driver; then the front wing is changed, which is now connected to the frame at the bottom; finally, an airscope is introduced to help the powerful twelve-cylinder engine which up to now is suffocated by the presence of two small air intakes placed on the sides, to collect a greater flow of air.


The Modenese designer decides to have Arturo Merzario do tests in Fiorano with the new single-seater, judged to be a more suitable and manageable driver than Jacky Ickx, who is now moving further and further away from the Ferrari orbit, in full controversy with the previous management of the racing department, so much so that he will come to compete at the Nurburgring with McLaren.


Merzario will be able to set the new record of the Fiorano circuit with the new 312 B3 of Forghieri, approving the developments carried out, and in the Austrian Grand Prix Merzario, after starting sixth, will finish seventh in the race, conditioned by a drop in power.


Both drivers are racing in Italy, and for Jacky Ickx this represents the last race with Ferrari, which ended in eighth place; in the last two events in Canada and the United States, only Merzario will race, without obtaining noteworthy placings.


Ferrari closes the championship with no win, no podium, and a disappointing sixth place in the constructors' standings; despite this, thoughts are already on the following year, with Enzo Ferrari feeling more serene, given above all by the encouraging steps forward from a technical point of view.


The Snowplough project, the Ferrari that will never compete on the track


As explained in the preamble, not a single model of the Ferrari 312 B3 has been created: in fact, the one that runs the championship is made by engineer Colombo, but the very first model designed is from Forghieri. A model remembered with the nickname Snowplough.


Initially, this car was considered to be the protagonist of the 1973 season, but Forghieri declares that it is only an experimental car, built for the sole purpose of trying new solutions for the future. The single-seater was presented on August 1, 1972, and is already adapted to the new rules that would come into force from May 1, 1973, including the most important one, that is, relating to the maximum width of the car, which would have changed from 110 to 140 centimeters.


The Snowplough is remembered almost as a legendary car, because it features revolutionary technical concepts for the world of Formula 1. This is the first car to be presented with a very large surface, both at the top and at the bottom, to obtain more downforce thus abandoning the long history of the tapered car body.


A new solution adopted by Forghieri, coming from the experience accumulated with prototype sports cars. For the first time, the radiator is not positioned at the front, but is instead split, and then positioned laterally on the inside of the bodywork (another great novelty).


And the latest innovation that begins its history in this competition is that of the ground effect: despite up to now the habit is to try to let the minimum amount of air enter under the car, Forghieri understands, observing sports cars, which with a substantial car body can obtain a decent aerodynamic load, exploiting the air flow that crosses the space between the bottom of the car and the asphalt, and to do so builds a car with a wide and less fusiform bodywork possible, taking advantage of the regulatory change regarding the width of the single-seaters.


To all this, the Modenese engineer develops an original front part that is used to generate load: a curved, almost rounded profile wing, which is centrally one with the rest of the frame.


The first tests carried out with this car, carried out in Fiorano, Monza and then Misano, are not convincing because the car is nervous and difficult to drive, so much so that there is still a lot of work to be done in development. Although it was even thought that the Snowplough could make its debut in the championship already in the appointment at Monza, during 1972, this car will be set aside by the technical team of Colombo, which had replaced Forghieri starting from 1973, not even taking it into consideration, and in so doing will not even run a race.


But the new solutions applied on this experimental car will be applied by Mauro Forghieri starting from the 1974 season on the new Ferrari 312 B3-74, resulting, starting from the following year, on the 312 T, winning concepts.


Ferrari 312 B3-74, a red winning return


After Ferrari's return to the command of the team, and with Forghieri returning to his original role as leader of the racing department, Ferrari seems to have found a balanced set-up in the team, so much so that it can afford to start a new path again, with the aim of finding the competitiveness necessary to return to fight for the championship.


In addition, another fundamental pawn comes in Sports Management, which allows you to restore a certain serenity and calm the tension present in the team after the last disappointing seasons: it is Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, a man with an important charisma and an enviable sensitivity who he manages to reconcile relations with the press, also managing Ferrari's possible reactions in the best possible way, even managing to create friendships with the same journalists.


Then will come the return of Clay Regazzoni, who had spent a year with BRM, who, when asked by the patron Ferrari, about who he wanted as a teammate, will suggest the name of Niki Lauda, ​​an Austrian driver who had joined him in the same BRM in 1973.


And so, the new Regazzoni-Lauda duo is formed, replacing the previous Ickx-Merzario duo. The new riders will prove to be close-knit, consuming the Fiorano track hard in winter tests and, as stated by Forghieri, working alongside him with great passion.


Similarities with the Snowplough


The new 312 B3-74 can be defined as new up to a certain point, because Forghieri implemented many solutions that had already been seen on the experimental project of the Snowplough.


A flat and wide single-seater, consisting of a short wheelbase, in which the radiators are positioned laterally, and above all a car that tries to exploit the downforce and therefore the ground effect, a strength used only by Ferrari that will allow it to be competitive again.


Furthermore, Forghieri decides to keep the monocoque made by the British, also listening to the needs of Ferrari, which does not want to throw away of the material that had already proven to be effective.


The technical director decides to rebuild it in his own way, moving the cockpit to a more advanced position and placing another small tank behind the driver, which is added to the two already present on the side, thus increasing the fuel capacity, allowing better distribution. of the weights, a problem that Arturo Merzario had promptly reported during the tests carried out with the old 312 B3 modified during the summer of 1973.

Finally, the airscope above the roll bar introduced during the modification of the 312 B3 is maintained, while the front wing is full width.


The season: a bitter ending with the title lost by Regazzoni


In the opening race in Argentina, Ferrari immediately demonstrates the progress made over the winter. In qualifying Regazzoni loses pole position only in the last moments, in favour of the Swedish Peterson. The race immediately becomes uphill for the Swiss. In fact, in the first variant he must avoid the impact with the American Revson's Shadow, which had just hit Mike Hailwood's McLaren, and ends up spinning.


Regazzoni makes an excellent comeback, making the most of the difficulties of his opponents and demonstrating the excellent competitiveness of the 312 B3-74, and ends the race in second, ahead of Niki Lauda, ​​himself the author of an excellent race.


In the second race held in Brazil Lauda gets a good third time in qualifying, while Clay Regazzoni is eighth, even if conditioned by a break in the gearbox. In a race suspended after about thirty laps, Regazzoni ranks second, while Lauda retires after a few laps due to a fault in the engine valve.


In the South African Grand Prix, Ferrari returned to pole position with Lauda, ​​a result that had not happened since the 1972 Italian Grand Prix, in which the pole was achieved by Jacky Ickx: for the Austrian it is the first pole position ever. The start of the race will be quite troubled with Lauda holding the lead, and Regazzoni being forced to put two wheels off the track, without suffering worse consequences.


In the final part of the race both Lauda and Regazzoni, firmly on the podium behind Reutemann, will have to finish their race early: the Swiss will be the first due to an oil pressure problem, while the Austrian just four laps to the term will stop due to a fuel injection problem and in doing so Ferrari will be forced to go home empty-handed, when it now seemed to be able to comfortably collect another double podium.


In the Spanish Grand Prix Niki Lauda gets his second consecutive pole, beating Peterson and teammate Regazzoni. The race will be characterized by light rain in the first part, with Ronnie Peterson taking the lead in front of the two Ferrari bishops, but will have to leave the leadership after a few laps due to engine failure.


The Ferrari drivers will dominate the rest of the race, even managing to round off all the opponents remaining in the race, and obtaining a fantastic double, with Lauda's first career victory and Regazzoni's second place; a full result that was missing from the 1972 German Grand Prix.


In Belgium Clay Regazzoni will take pole position, the fourth in his career, which will remain the only season of the Ticino, but in the race, it will be Fittipaldi who will triumph, with Lauda who will finish second just a few tenths from the Brazilian, although the Ferrari driver will suffer strong vibrations during the last laps due to a balancing problem of the front wheels. Regazzoni, on the other hand, runs out of petrol during the race, being pulled out by Scheckter in the final stages, and comes fourth.


In the Monaco City Grand Prix, the Reds dominate qualifying, with Lauda starting from pole in front of Regazzoni. The race will be remembered as the first act of a duel between the two Ferrari drivers in 1974, which, however, the engineer Forghieri does not see because he was amused and excited to see his protagonist cars again after a long time.


At the start, despite the recommendations of the sporting director Montezemolo not to hinder himself, and in a nutshell to keep his positions frozen, Regazzoni parades the leadership at Lauda at the start, and commands the race for several laps, but the Austrian presses him from the first around, trying to be seen behind Regazzoni and also trying to attack.


In the meantime, it is expected that they could intervene from the pits to communicate greater prudence and discipline to the drivers, instead it seems that everyone trusts the drivers and their common sense, until Regazzoni makes a mistake, spinning at the Rascasse during the twenty-first round. This allows Lauda to take the lead, but after ten laps he is forced to abandon, once again due to an ignition problem.


Regazzoni instead will be capable of overtake several drivers, also taking risks in overtaking, and will finish fourth, but regret having lost a probable victory thrown to the wind. From this race onwards, the Swiss driver will be very impressed because many men in the Maranello team, including Montezemolo himself, will indicate him as the most responsible for not giving way to Lauda, ​​and consequently because he could easily win the race with the retirement of his teammate.


The Swedish Grand Prix will be another appointment to forget for Ferrari: despite the good result in qualifying, both Regazzoni and Lauda will not finish the race, both due to a gearbox failure, allowing Fittipaldi to extend the lead in the standings in the comparisons of the Ferrari colour bearers.


During the weekend in the Netherlands, the Red is back as the protagonist occupying the entire front row, with Niki Lauda winning his fourth start on pole. The second double of the year will arrive, thanks to Lauda’s second success, which came in front of Regazzoni.


In the next stage in France Niki Lauda starts again in front of everyone, reaching five pole positions. But in the race, after being passed by Peterson, he will have to slow down his pace due to a brake problem and, afraid of being able to finish the race due to some vibrations, he will decide to consolidate the second position, leaving the victory to the driver of the Lotus. With the third place of team mate Regazzoni, Ferrari will climb to the top of the constructors' championship, while Lauda and Regazzoni will overtake leader Fittipaldi in the standings.


In Great Britain Niki Lauda continues his unstoppable march of pole positions, now reached six, but once again in the race, after having commanded for most of the time, the Austrian begins to slow down his pace: the driver thinks it was a suspension out of order to cause the abnormal behaviour of his 312 B3-74, but it is the slow puncture of a tire that compromises his race.


Unaware of this, Lauda remains on track, but is pulled out by Scheckter and Fittipaldi until he decides to pit on the penultimate lap. What happened next is incredible: the Austrian, when he is about to leave the pits, is stopped by a commissioner with a red flag due to the public entering the track, and at the end of the race Lauda is classified ninth. Thanks to an appeal by Ferrari, the judges signed up for a lap to Lauda, ​​who will thus rise to fifth place, obtaining those two points that will allow him to remain in the lead in the championship.


Regazzoni, on the other hand, closes in fourth place, remaining quietly in contention for the title.


Lauda will be criticized by the press for his error of judgment and will even question the place of honour he had at Ferrari, certainly not just any team, but the young Austrian will not pay too much attention to the criticisms received.


In the German Grand Prix, raced in the terrifying Nurburgring circuit, once again it is Lauda who set the best time in qualifying, reaching seven pole positions of the season, beating his teammate Regazzoni by just three tenths. But at the start of the Grand Prix Lauda will not have a good start, so much so that he will be paraded by Regazzoni and Scheckter.


Already at the curve that leads into the Nordschleife Lauda attempts an attack that is too risky, perhaps of inexperience, against Scheckter: the Austrian delays the braking too much and ends up hitting the South African's Tyrrell, wheelies and ending the race against the guards.


Regazzoni just needs to manage his own pace to easily win the race. For the Swiss this is the second success in his career, the only season, which allows him to climb to the top of the standings, thanks to the retirements of rivals Lauda and Fittipaldi.


In his home Grand Prix, in Austria, Niki Lauda signs the eighth pole position, while the championship leader Regazzoni stops only in eighth place on the grid. In the race there will be one twist after another: Scheckter breaks the engine after only eight laps, and the next will be Lauda, ​​also due to an engine valve problem; finally, Fittipaldi will also have to retire due to an engine failure. All this turns in favour of Clay Regazzoni, who, however, is unable to take advantage of it too much: in fact, due to a misunderstanding in the pits between him and the mechanics, the Ticinese loses about a minute, ending up losing many positions. The Swiss finished fifth, earning just two points, throwing away a golden opportunity to significantly increase the lead in the standings.


In the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, at Ferrari's home, Niki Lauda achieves a historic ninth pole position, which allows him to equal Peterson's pole position record of the season, and also sets a new record of consecutive pole positions in Formula 1, equal to six.


Lauda in the race the lead of the race, while Regazzoni climbs up the rankings to reach second position. When everything seems to be going well for the Maranello team, within a few laps a possible brace goes to pieces in front of all the fans: Lauda retires on lap 32 due to the breakdown of the cooling system, after spraying oil the track, while Regazzoni was forced to abandon the race eight laps later, due to engine failure.


A heavy defeat for Ferrari, also negatively seasoned by the presence of its fans. Despite everything Clay Regazzoni will be able to keep the top of the drivers' standings with only two races to go, but with just one length ahead of Scheckter's Tyrrell and three points against a newfound Fittipaldi, while now the Lauda's hopes of returning to the game for the world title.


In the Canadian Grand Prix, the penultimate round of the world, Fittipaldi stopped Lauda's streak of six consecutive pole positions, beating the Austrian by just a few cents, with Regazzoni starting from the third row. At the start Lauda immediately jumps to Fittipaldi, while Regazzoni goes back to third place. During the race Scheckter passes the Ticino from Ferrari. For many laps this will be the order of the standings, until Scheckter breaks the brakes and ends the race prematurely with an accident.


Another sensational and unfortunate twist hits the Ferrari of Niki Lauda, ​​firmly in the lead up to now: due to the debris left on the track by Watson after his off-track, Lauda slips on it and ends up hitting the protective walls, losing a probable victory, but above all the possibility of continuing to play for the world championship. Emerson Fittipaldi, finding himself first, wins the race ahead of the only Ferrari left in the game, that of Regazzoni.


Now, with just one round from the end of the championship, Fittipaldi's McLaren and Regazzoni's Ferrari find themselves paired at the top of the standings, and with a constructors' championship still open to victory between the Woking team and the Maranello team, separated by themselves five points.


The final act of the world championship is played in the USA, at Watkins Glen. The week is quite troubled for the Red. Starting from the expired passport of the engineer Forghieri, who will not be able to take any flight to New York and will have to take an extraordinary one to Chicago, a city more than a thousand kilometers away from that of Watkins Glen: for the Modenese designer it will be quite a trip tormented, so much so that he will arrive at the place of the Grand Prix only at the end of the tests.


In addition, Regazzoni will also have a bad week: in one of the pre-tests scheduled during the break between one Grand Prix and the next, the Swiss is the victim of an accident, in which he gets a bruise on his left foot. When Forghieri finally manages to join the team at Watkins Glen, he will notice that the atmosphere is very agitated.


Particularly pessimistic is Regazzoni, not only because he did not recover after the accident in the tests, but also because he does not feel comfortable with the American track, as well as feeling enormous responsibility. The drivers are not satisfied with the car's behaviour and, in the absence of Forghieri, Giacomo Caliri takes on the role of team manager who decides to please the drivers by upsetting the basic set-up of the 312 B3-74, which for the whole year had offered Ferrari great performances.


The results will not improve at all, and indeed the qualification will prove to be disappointing with Niki Lauda who will get the fifth time, despite having sold the engine, being therefore forced to use the forklift, while Regazzoni will be only ninth, noting the worst seasonal performance in testing.


The decisive race for the world championship will prove to be a disaster because both cars will be undriveable. Regazzoni will stop in the pits after fifteen laps to ask for adjustments and to change the tires now destroyed by the suspension joints that have now worn out. This pit stop will make Regazzoni slip away from the points, while the direct opponent Fittipaldi is in sixth position.


Team-mate Lauda can only try to take away precious points from Fittipaldi and Scheckter, but the Austrian will be forced, for the fifth consecutive race, to retire. This time the cause is due to the failure of the front suspension. In the end Regazzoni will finish only eleventh, lapsed by a few laps, while Fittipaldi will only need the fourth final place to win his second world title in Formula 1. And of course, the first place in the constructors' classification will also be won by McLaren, with the Ferrari coming just behind.


A bitter epilogue this Watkins Glen for Ferrari, which will remain in memory above all for the way in which the team from Maranello fails a decisive race for the world title, which had been missing for exactly ten years.


Forghieri will affirm that this final result of the 1974 world championship is not so much thanks to Fittipaldi's McLaren, but a gift from Ferrari which, despite the great season experienced with high-level results, had to manage two drivers who until a few races from in the end they were practically level on points.


It is fair to say, however, that the 1974 season represented a real revolution, given that in just one year we went from the disappointing performances of the previous year, to a year full of positive results and high-level performances.


Even the structure of the team has changed considerably, not only with the engagement of Montezemolo, but with the idea of ​​Forghieri, then applied, of dividing the mechanics team in two: the one led by Giulio Borsari who follows Regazzoni, and the another led by Ermanno Cuoghi, who takes care of the young Lauda. A working method that in the future will become a routine practice in this competition. The roles of the technical managers of the two teams, Antonio Tomaini and Tommaso Carletti, are also very important.


The 1974 world championship, although full of great results, among which Lauda's two victories in Spain and the Netherlands and Regazzoni's success at the Nurburgring, was tainted by numerous retirements, especially due to injection and ignition problems of the car that took away fundamental points, which would certainly have changed the fate of this championship.


After this last United States Grand Prix, the sporting director Montezemolo intends to fire engineer Caliri, guilty of having negatively modified the set-up of the car, as well as poor management of the drivers, but Forghieri in some way convinces Enzo Ferrari to take him to the Advanced Studies Department of Fiorano, avoiding his possible dismissal. In the end, he couldn't have all the responsibilities on him, as Forghieri stated, since the requests he satisfied were provided by the pilots.


But returning to the final results of the 1974 season, Regazzoni ends the championship in second place, behind only Fittipaldi, for just three championship points. Lauda, ​​on the other hand, certainly penalized by the five zeros obtained in the last five races, must give up his dreams of glory and finish in fifth place.


Regazzoni managed to stay in the game for the title thanks to his consistency in performance, despite the fact that he brought home only one victory, while Lauda was extremely penalized by the nine retirements recorded, despite the two triumphs brought to Maranello.


But the Austrian turns out to be a really fast driver, an observation that we can declare by observing the results obtained in qualifying: Lauda dominates almost all the official tests, obtaining the beauty of nine pole positions, and even equalling the seasonal pole record held by Ronnie Peterson. Also, in the race he will be able to pull off excellent performances, but due to his lack of experience on some occasions he makes naive mistakes, compared to Regazzoni who is shrewder and with greater shrewdness.


But thanks to Lauda's speed and his tireless commitment to the development and search for the best set-up, Ferrari will dominate the 1975 season driving the 312 T, a car on which Forghieri has already been working starting this season.


Nicola Battello

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