Introduced in the 1970 season, the 312B finally meant Ferrari's return to competitiveness after a number of bleak seasons. Fitted with a completely new flat-12 engine, the 312B scored four victories in its first season. After the first races of 1971 a slightly revised version was introduced. With a new car and a very talented new driver from the United States, Mario Andretti, expectations were high.
Andretti lived up to the expectations by winning the first race of the season, still with the 312B. The revisions carried through to create 312B2 unfortunately did not have the expected results. Most noticable changes were the sleeker nose and the in-board mounted rear springs and shock-absorbers. It proved equally quick, but a terrible reliability let the red racer down.
Throughout the season, Ferrari entered three works drivers; Jacky Ickx, Clay Regazzoni and Mario Andretti. The drivers switched back and forth between the 312B and 312B2 and recorded some very good qualifying results, but rarely finished a race. In the Dutch Grand Prix, Jacky Ickx finished and scored the 312B2's only win of the season.
Although the results were disapointing, Ferrari used the 312B2 for another season. Again in the hands of the Ickx, Regazzoni and on some occasions Andretti, it did not fare much better. At the German Grand Prix, Ickx managed to qualify his 'B2' on the first row, right behind poleman Jacky Stewart in his Tyrrell. After an exciting race in which the lap-record was broken multiple time by Ickx, he finished first, followed by Regazzoni. A rare highlight in another dismal season.
Featured is 312B2/005, the most successful of the B2s constructed. It made its debut in the non-championship race at Brands Hatch in 1971, where Regazzoni drove it to victory. Its moment of glory was the 1972 Nürburgring Grand Prix, with Ickx scoring the chassis' only world championship victory. Jacky Ickx is seen here driving 005 at the 2006 Monaco Historic Grand Prix.