The Ferrari 412 T2 is the forty-second car used by Scuderia Ferrari to compete in the Formula 1 World Championship. The car is designed by John Barnard, and driven by Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger.
The car immediately turns out to be very conventional and quick to fine-tune, but is still the protagonist of fluctuating performances throughout the championship.
Furthermore, various failures prevent the two drivers from fighting for the title.
In 1995 a new regulation came into force that brought the displacement limit to three liters, forcing Ferrari's technicians to review the engine, which is the classic V12 but with an angle of 75°, and is capable of expressing a maximum power of about 700 horsepower and reach the high speed of 17.000 rpm.
The engine is also about seven centimeters shorter and continues to have variable height and geometry intake horns. The use of a particular light alloy for the engine block also saves about ten kilos.
The extensive use of composite materials in numerous elements of the single-seater makes it possible to reduce weight and centralize the center of gravity, also thanks to the new fuel tank reduced to one hundred and forty liters by regulation.
As far as aerodynamics are concerned, the nose of the T2 has a classic sloping and squared shape, in contrast to the widespread trend among designers that provides for a high and rounded nose.
The rear suspensions abandon the previous year's scheme to restore the uniball system and the classic torsion bars adopted for the last time on the 640 F1 of 1989; always the rear suspensions are no longer anchored directly to the gearbox, but have additional supports that bind them to the frame.
The side air intakes are now wider and squared off, to ensure greater airflow to the V12, with the consequent abandonment of the characteristic Coca-Cola shape.
The bonnet is low and enveloping, completely sealing the rear of the car by connecting with the rear wing bulkheads. In addition, the clutch control is mounted behind the steering wheel for the first time, with a rocker arm positioned above the gearbox. This solution is used only by Berger, while Alesi prefers to continue using the pedal control.
During the year, several updates are introduced to try to close the gap with the Renault motorized teams. Numerous, in fact, the aerodynamic and engine interventions, but if at first the drivers declare that they are satisfied with the car and its ease of set up, over time traction problems emerge that will never be solved.
During the season Barnard will also be forced to change the shape of the steering wheel, which creates blisters and calluses in the hands of Berger, who is often forced to abandon the test sessions for this reason. The first tests are carried out in the first half of February on the Fiorano circuit.
Just the Austrian, due to an exit from the track, damages the car and the tests are suspended for a few days, moreover the bad weather conditions will prevent the drivers from completing a good number of laps.
One great cry of victory
During the course of the season the performances proved to be quite fluctuating and the good speed qualities of the car were nullified also due to the reliability, which in some cases deprived the two Ferrari drivers of excellent placings.
The 412 T2 is still a fairly successful car, both in terms of engine and chassis, and finally able, when possible, to seriously annoy the Renault-powered teams that, at the end of the season, place four drivers in the first four places in the world championship and take the first two places among the builders.
1995 therefore sees Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger conquer several podiums, and there are even some tensions within the pits between the drivers and the wall after the signing of reigning World Champion Michael Schumacher from Benetton is made official in the middle of the championship for the following season.
The first race disputed is at the Brazilian Grand Prix, on March 26, 1995, which sees Schumacher's victory and Berger's third place. In the aftermath of this race, quite a few controversies will unleash after Schumacher and second-placed David Coulthard, respectively on Benetton and Williams, will be disqualified for using irregular Elf petrol, with consequent victory at the table for the Austrian Ferrari: the controversies will continue for the next two weeks, when the FIA will partially cancel the disqualifications, condemning only the teams for negligence and returning the placings to their drivers.
Until the Canadian Grand Prix the 412 T2s of Berger or Alesi will always manage to get on the podium: Gerhard Berger wins third place in Imola, Barcelona and Monte Carlo, while Jean Alesi two second places in Buenos Aires and Imola, but above all he will win his only win of the season in Montréal, as well as the only one of his career.
Starting from fifth place, the Ferrari driver is the author of a perfect race from the start, an occasion in which he immediately manages to overtake Damon Hill. The fight is therefore between Jean Alesi, Michael Schumacher on Benetton and Gerhard Berger, but both cars of the two rivals are victims of technical problems during the race.
The Austrian is slowed by a problem in the pits, which relegates him to fifth position, while the German is forced to make a further pit stop while in first position. Jean Alesi's masterful conduct of the race meant that the Italian-French driver was finally able to win a well-deserved and unpredictable victory over the competition.
During the lap of honour, the Ferrari driver involuntarily turns off the car due to too much joy and exultation, then is brought back to the pits by Schumacher himself, who demonstrates enormous respect for the Italian-French with this act.
Alesi will return to the podium at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, finishing second at the finish, while Berger will get two third places in Germany and Hungary. In the Belgian Grand Prix, the Austrian driver will even be the author of the only pole position of the year for the 412 T2, followed in second position by his French teammate, a result that was later thwarted by Alesi's retirements first due to suspension problems, and subsequently of the same Austrian due to electrical problems.
But the biggest disappointment of the season comes on the occasion of the Italian Grand Prix due to an absurd race accident: after a daring start the Ferrari drivers occupy, with great advantage, the first two positions of the race when on lap thirty-third the room -car of Alesi's car, which sets the pace, detaches and cuts off an arm of Berger's front suspension.
With less than ten laps to go, Alesi is also forced to retire due to a broken bearing with consequent brake problems; any attempt by the Frenchman to try to finish the race, which will see the victory of Johnny Herbert, is in vain.
After coming close to another possible victory in the European Grand Prix, with the French driver forced to give up first place to Schumacher only in the last laps due to the wear of his tires, the season ends with Alesi and Berger in fifth and sixth place in the world rankings; Ferrari finished third in the constructors' standings behind Benetton and Williams, with a total of 73 points, one victory, one pole position, and ten podiums.