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  Ferrari 312 B
 

  Article Image gallery (23) Chassis (4) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1970
Numbers built:4
Designed by:Mauro Forghieri
Predecessor:Ferrari 312/69 F1
Successor:Ferrari 312 B2
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:October 03, 2013
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Click here to download printer friendly versionWhen Formula 1 switched to a three-litre displacement limit ahead of the 1966 season, many believed this would herald a new era of Ferrari domination. Although some victories were scored, the Italian team did not manage to win any championships with the subsequent evolutions of the V12-engined 312 F1. With the company's future secured in 1969 through an agreement with Fiat, Ferrari could afford to start with a clean sheet ahead of the 1970 season.

Dubbed the 312 B, the new-for-1970 Ferrari was built around the latest development of the flat 12 designed by Mauro Forghieri. An engine of this configuration was first seen in 1964 in the 1.5-litre 1512 F1 and later in the decade enlarged to 2-litre in the one-off 212 E Montagna hill-climb racer. Although the 'B' in the type name was short for 'Boxer', the new engine was in fact a V12 with a 180º cylinder angle. This is a much shorter solution than an actual boxer, which effectively is a flattened in-line engine.

Like the European Hill-Climb Championship winning 212 E flat 12, the new, all-aluminium three-litre engine featured double overhead camshafts with four valves per cylinder. The camshafts were driven by gears fitted at the front of the engine. Equipped with a Lucas fuel-injection system, the new engine produced around 450 bhp at 11,000 rpm. At least on paper, this meant the flat 12 was the most powerful engine on the grid in 1970. It was mated to a five-speed gearbox that had also been developed in-house.

Unlike the dominant Cosworth DFV V8, Ferrari's new V12 could not be used as a fully stressed member. Instead, it was mounted under an extension of the chassis. This was of Ferrari's familiar semi-monocoque design consisting of a steel spaceframe with stressed aluminium panels adding rigidity. In-board at the front, the 312 B's suspension also followed conventional lines. The completed car featured small front wings mounted on either side of the nose and a multi-element rear wing placed on top of the engine.

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  Article Image gallery (23) Chassis (4) Specifications