Ferrari 312B3 - Ferrari 312B3

Ferrari 312B3

Constructor: ItalyItaly Scuderia Ferrari
Designer: Mauro Forghieri
Sandro Colombo
Predecessor: Ferrari 312B2
Successor: Ferrari 312 T
Technical specifications
Chassis: Aluminum Monocoque
Motor: Ferrari-V 12, 180°, 2991 cm³
Long: 4335 mm
Width: 2056 mm
Height: 900 mm
Wheelbase: 2500 mm
Weight: 580 kg
Tires: Goodyear
Petrol: Agip
Driver: BelgiumBelgium Jacky Ickx
ItalyItaly Arturo Merzario
SwitzerlandSwitzerland Clay Regazzoni
OsterreichAustria Niki Lauda
First start: 1973 Spanish Grand Prix
Last start: 1975 Brazilian Grand Prix
Starts Siege Poles SR
World Cup points:
Leadership laps: k. A. / tba
Template: Infobox racing car / maintenance / old parameters

The Ferrari 312 B3 was a Formula 1 race car, which the Scuderia Ferrari in the Formula 1 World Championship in 1973 and in the enhanced version Ferrari 312 B3-74 also in 1974 and in the first two races in 1975 began. The designer was mainly Mauro Forghieri , who was temporarily replaced by Sandro Colombo. In the 1973 season, the Type B3 was driven by Jacky Ickx and Arturo Merzario , and in the following years by Clay Regazzoni and Niki Lauda. Although the 312 B3 is considered one of the least competitive vehicles in Ferrari F1 history, it laid the foundation for the development of the 312 T-Series , which brought the team back to the top of Formula 1.


The story of the Ferrari 312 B3 is the story of a metamorphosis. The first 312 B3 appeared in Formula 1 in 1973 and was a failure. After Ferrari had built a test car with an extremely short wheelbase, the 312 B3 made its debut at the Spanish Grand Prix with Jacky Ickx at the wheel. With this design Ferrari abandoned the construction principle of the lattice frame and presented the first monocoque Formula 1 Ferrari. The chassis was built by the British racing car company John Thompson's Prototypes .

The two works drivers Ickx and Arturo Merzario struggled the entire season with the racing car, which had many defects. When Ickx was fired after the British Grand Prix (he returned to the Ferrari cockpit for the Monza race ) and the now one-car team did not compete in the Austrian Grand Prix , the rumor spread that the Scuderia would withdraw completely from Formula 1 the round.

As early as 1973, the body was constantly being changed, so during the season the radiators were relocated from the side pods to the front, which earned the car the nickname “snow plow”.

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo , 26-year-old assistant to Enzo Ferrari, brought Mauro Forghieri, who had been transferred to the development department, back to Scuderia at the end of 1973 and commissioned him to overhaul the car. In 1974 the 312 B3 got smoother surfaces, the cockpit was moved as far forward as possible to improve the center of gravity. The engine was also completely redesigned so that the 12-cylinder now developed 495 hp. Under Montezemolo's leadership and with the new works driver Niki Lauda , the Scuderia found its way back to its old size. Then there was the homecomer Clay Regazzoni , who, spurred on, matured from a young Austrian to become a top driver. Lauda won in Spain and in theNetherlands . Regazzoni triumphed at the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring when he stormed record laps on dry tires on a track that was partially wet with rain.

Ferrari lost the world championships for both drivers and designers to Emerson Fittipaldi and McLaren , as the stability of the 312 B3 remained the Achilles' heel of Scuderia.

Development: the "snow plow" project

The Ferrari 312B3 „Snowplow“ in the Ferrari-Museum

The 1972 season was disappointing for Ferrari overall: Jacky Ickx had taken pole positions several times, but only won the German Grand Prix . In addition, the 312 B2 seemed to have reached the end of its development potential and to be inferior to the English competitors who drove with an engine like the Ford Cosworth DFV , which was less powerful, but lighter and easier to maintain than the classic V12 from Ferrari.

In view of this situation, Mauro Forghieri decided to develop a concept with which he could test a whole range of ideas and problem solutions that he wanted to use from the following season. [1] This prototype called B3 was introduced in August 1972nd [2] It already complied with the new regulations that should come into force on May 1, 1973, including the "obligation to deformable structures on the sides", which significantly increased the width of the car.

This design was far removed from Ferrari's earlier principles: it had a completely newly developed, "original" front section that earned it the nickname "snow plow" ( Italian spazzaneve ); [3] the radiator, which was previously installed in the front of the car, was divided and placed on the side behind the front wheels. The air flowed in through the two large inlets at the front. [2]

Another special feature of the concept was the extremely short wheelbase of just 2.33 meters. [2] That was because the project was the sum of the considerations of the designer at the time:

  • Keep weights as concentrated as possible around the center of gravity to reduce the moment of polar inertia .
  • A wide body shape to achieve as much downforce as possible. This solution resulted from the test results with the sports car prototype 312 P .
  • A newly developed aerodynamic line to create an initial “ ground effect ”. [2]

The only connection points to the previous car were the chassis, which was built as a tubular space frame typical for Forghieri , as well as the flat 12-cylinder engine that hung on a crossbar. [2]

Although the vehicle did not convince in test drives, did not start at any Gran Prix start and Forghieri was then withdrawn as a designer from the Formula 1 team and replaced by Sandro Colombo, these ideas did not remain a mere "design exercise": Forghieri (reinstated as a designer) developed it further in 1974 with the B3-74 and led it to triumph with the 312 T in 1975 .

Further development to type 312B3-74

In August 1973, Enzo Ferrari called Mauro Forghieri, who had meanwhile been withdrawn from the development of the F1 car, back to the team because the performance of the 312 B3 had not improved even under the direction of Sandro Colombo. Forghieri's first changes proved to be effective, but the season was almost over and lost, so Scuderia was fully focused on 1974.

Despite keeping the type designation B3, the car built in 1973 under the management of Colombo, the Forghieri monoposto from 1974 was a completely different car than the previous one. The 312 B3-74 was a very flat and wide car with side radiators, a generously dimensioned front wing and a noticeable air intake (airscope) above the roll bar. Almost all of the other cars were narrow and tall, but the choice of this design scheme proved very satisfactory, as the new Ferrari was better able to use aerodynamic effects than the competition to generate more downforce. Forghieri later stated that the idea came to him when he was working on the 312P projectof 1971/72, and found that the large and sloping body surface of these types produced more downforce than the Formula 1 car, which used the same "flat" 180 ° 12-cylinder 3-liter engine. The cockpit was designed in a more forward position than the previous car, with the pedals moved very far into the front of the car. Thanks to the space gained behind the seat, the car could be equipped with a larger fuel tank that extended into the side pods.

Painting and sponsorship

The Ferrari 312 B3 "Spazzaneve", as a direct successor to the B2, was painted in the classic Rosso Corsa like its predecessors . Only a small area behind the cockpit was white. TAG Heuer , Firestone and Shell were sponsors and technical partnersplaced prominently on the vehicle. The types 312 B3 and 312 B3-74 developed from the “Snowplough Project” were also painted in “Rosso Corsa”, with new white stripes that were previously untypical for Ferrari “shared” the red paint. There were two noticeable changes to the technical partners: The relationship with Shell ended, the team agreed with Agip on the delivery of fuel and started a partnership that was planned to last 22 years. In addition, the tire supplier Firestone was replaced by Goodyear .

Built copies

A total of 7 chassis (the "Spazzaneve" version not included) of the type 312 B3 were built: [4] [5]

  • 312B3 / 010. Driven for Jacky Ickx's debut at the 1973 Spanish Grand Prix. Used in 7 GP in 1973, then converted into the Ferrari 312 B3-74, driven by Niki Lauda in the Race of Champions and the Monaco GP
  • 312B3 / 011. First used by Arturo Merzario at the 1973 Monaco Grand Prix. Used in 4 GPs in 1973, converted into the new version, driven by Clay Regazzoni in 6 races from the Argentina GP
  • 312B3 / 012. First start with Merzario at the French Grand Prix in 1973. Used in 4 GPs in 1973, then converted into a Ferrari 312 B3-74 and used in 6 races at the 1974 World Championship by Niki Lauda
  • 312B3 / 014. New car from Clay Regazzoni in 7 races in 1974 and Niki Lauda once raced. In 1975 it is used by Clay Regazzoni at the beginning of the season
  • 312B3 / 015. Niki Lauda's new 1974 car in 7 races, damaged at the 1974 Spanish Grand Prix
  • 312B3 / 016. New Clay Regazzoni car driven in only 2 races in 1975.
  • 312B3 / 020. New car driven by Niki Lauda in just two races at the opening of the 1975 World Championship

Note: The chassis numbers 13 and 17 were probably not assigned out of superstition [6] . After racing, the 020 chassis was converted into a “test carrier” for initial trials with the new Ferrari 312 T, which was not used until 1975 (then with the serial 018 and 019 chassis). The first three chassis were modified by Ferrari by removing some panels in the chassis to change the driver's position.



driver No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Points Rang
1973 Formula 1 season Flag of Argentina.svg Flag of Brazil (1968–1992).svg Flag of South Africa (1928–1994).svg Flag of Spain (1945–1977).svg Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Flag of Monaco.svg Flag of Sweden.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of the Netherlands.svg Flag of Germany.svg Flag of Austria.svg Flag of Italy.svg Flag of Canada.svg Flag of the U.S..svg 12 6.
BelgiumBelgium Jacky Ickx 1 2 12 DNF DNF 6 5 8 DNS 3 DNS4 DNS 5 8 DNS 6 DNS 6
ItalyItaly Arturo Merzario 1 DNS 5 DNS 5 DNF DNS 5 7 DNS 5 DNS 3 DNS 5 7 DNF 15 16
1974 Formula 1 season Flag of Argentina.svg Flag of Brazil (1968–1992).svg Flag of South Africa (1928–1994).svg Flag of Spain (1945–1977).svg Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Flag of Monaco.svg Flag of Sweden.svg Flag of the Netherlands.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Germany.svg Flag of Austria.svg Flag of Italy.svg Flag of Canada.svg Flag of the U.S..svg 65 2.
SwitzerlandSwitzerland Clay Regazzoni 11 3 2 DNF 2 4 4 DNF 2 3 4 1 5 DNF 2 11
OsterreichAustria Niki Lauda 12 2 DNF 16 1 2 DNF DNF 1 2 5 DNF DNF DNF DNF DNF
1975 Formula 1 season Flag of Argentina.svg Flag of Brazil (1968–1992).svg Flag of South Africa (1928–1994).svg Flag of Spain (1945–1977).svg Flag of Monaco.svg Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Flag of Sweden.svg Flag of the Netherlands.svg Flag of France.svg Flag of the United Kingdom.svg Flag of Germany.svg Flag of Austria.svg Flag of Italy.svg Flag of the U.S..svg 72,57 1.
SwitzerlandSwitzerland Clay Regazzoni 11 4 4 8
OsterreichAustria Niki Lauda 12 6 5
1Fixed start numbers were only available from the 1974 Formula 1 season. Previously, the numbers varied from race to race.
2The first races of the 1973 season were contested with the previous model 312B2 .
3 Ferrari did not start due to lack of competitiveness.
4Ferrari did not compete, but allowed regular driver Jacky Ickx to contest the Grand Prix for McLaren as an exception .
5 Not on the registration list.
6 Jacky Ickx had left the Scuderia, so, as has already been done several times this season, they entered with just one car.
7Of these, 63.5 points were achieved with the successor model 312T .
8 The remaining races of the 1975 season were contested with the successor model Ferrari 312T.
colour abbreviation meaning
Gold victory
silver 2nd place
Bronze 3rd place
green Placement in the points
blue Classified outside of the point ranks
violet DNF Race not finished (did not finish)
NC not classified
Rot DNQ did not qualify
DNPQ failed in pre-qualification (did not pre-qualify)
Schwarz DSQ disqualified
White DNS not at the start (did not start)
WD withdrawn
Light Blue PO only participated in the training (practiced only)
TD Friday test driver
without DNP did not participate in the training (did not practice)
INJ injured or sick
EX excluded
DNA did not arrive
C Race canceled
no World Cup participation
other P / bold Pole-Position
SR / italics Fastest race lap
* not at the finish,
but counted due to the distance covered
() Deletion results
underlined Leader in the overall ranking

Technical specifications

Parameters Ferrari 312 B3, 1974[7]
Motor Ferrari 12-cylinder boxer ,
mid-engine (lengthways behind the driver)
Displacement (bore × stroke) 2991 cm³ (78,5 × 51,5 mm)
compression 11,8 : 1
power 490–495 PS (ca. 360 kW) at 12,500 / min
Valve control 2 overhead camshafts per cylinder bank,
Mixture preparation Lucas intake manifold injection
ignition Marelli - Transistorzündung
Power transmission 5-speed gearbox, Ferrari type 627,
rear-wheel drive
body Aluminum monocoque, bearing the drive group
Front suspension double wishbones with stabilizer,
coil springs and Koni shock absorbers
Rear suspension double wishbones with stabilizer,
coil springs, Koni shock absorbers and an upper trailing arm each
steering Rack and pinion steering , two-part steering column
brake Lockheed disc brakes, internal at the rear
wheelbase 2500 mm
Front / rear track 1600/1640 mm
Tire size front / rear 9.2 / 20.0-13 and 16.2 / 26.0-13
Dimensions L × W 4335 × 2056
Empty weight (without driver) that. 580 kg


  • Mike Lang: Grand Prix! Race-by-race account of Formula 1. Haynes Publishing Group, Sparkford 1982, ISBN 0-85429-321-3.
  • David Hodges: Racing cars from A to Z after 1945. Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 1994, ISBN 3-613-01477-7 .
  • Pino Casamassima: History of the Scuderia Ferrari. Nada Editore, Vimodrome 1998, ISBN 88-7911-179-5 .
  • Leonardo Acerbi: 60 years of Ferrari. Heel, Königswinter 2007, ISBN 978-3-89880-815-6 .


Commons : Ferrari 312 B3 - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Ferrari 312 B3. Retrieved May 7, 2020 .
  2. a b c d and Marco Vitali: "Winning mutations" . Hrsg .: Ferrari World. November 1999, S. 32–51.
  3. Eliseo Ferrari: 1947-1997 Ferrari. Fifty years of history . Hrsg .: Edizioni Il Fiorino. Modena 1997.
  4. See Austosprint 1973-74 collection
  5. See Austosprint 1974-75 collection
  6. Fergus McGuckian: Anomalies in Finance: Friday the 17th & Superstition in the Italian Stock Market. Social Science Research Network, 1. November 2010
  7. Curbs No. 26, Medien Bonn, August 2018.