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  Ferrari 1512 F1
 

  Article Image gallery (38) Chassis (1) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1964 - 1965
Numbers built:3
Designed by:Gestione Sportiva
Predecessor:Ferrari 158 F1
Successor:Ferrari 312 F1
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:December 26, 2013
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Click here to download printer friendly versionEven though Ferrari were a dominating force in single seaters and especially sports cars in the early 1960s, the Italian marque continued to explore new technical avenues to maintain and expand their domination. After taking the driver's championship in the first year of the 1.5 litre Formula 1 era in 1961, Ferrari's fortunes had dwindled with the advent of the advanced V8 engined British racers. The Scuderia's desire to reclaim the title was especially clear in 1964 when cars with three different engine configurations were fielded in one season.

Ferrari started off the season with the latest evolution of the V6 engine that had proven so successful in 1961, but was now outclassed by the Coventry Climax and BRM V8s. With the monocoque Lotus chassis setting new standards in rigidity and lightweight, Ferrari required a powerplant that was more than on par with the Brits. Launched a few races into the season the all new 1.5 litre V8 proved to be just that. In the hands of multiple motorcycle World Champion John Surtees, the '158' was a frequent winner and brought Ferrari their second world championship of the decade. To this day Surtees is the only rider/driver to score World Championships both on two and four wheels.

Despite the successes scored with the V8, it became clear late in the season that it was just a stop-gap before an all new 12 cylinder racer was to take over. Designed by young engineer Mauro Forghieri, the V12 engine had an angle of 180 degrees, but should not be confused with a boxer engine, which features a completely different crankshaft design. It was extremely compact and despite having four more cylinders it fitted in a 158 chassis. With 24 plugs, four distributors and four coils it was a very complex engine, initially good for around 220 bhp. Its biggest advantage was the low centre of gravity of the flat configuration, which positively affected the handling.

Due to problems concerning the 250 LM's homologation Ferrari had lost their license and they were forced to debut the '1512' under Luigi Chinetti's North American Racing Team (NART) flag in the Watkins Glen Grand Prix late in the 1964 season. Livered in blue and white the new racers were on the pace in qualifying where Lorenzo Bandini recorded the third time. An engine failure forced the talented Italian to retire in the race. Three weeks later he took to the track again in the first 1512 and finished third in the Mexican Grand Prix closely trailing Graham Hill.

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  Article Image gallery (38) Chassis (1) Specifications