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     156-85 F1
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  Ferrari 156-85 F1
 

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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1985
Numbers built:9
Predecessor:Ferrari 126 C4
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:January 03, 2010
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Click here to download printer friendly versionFerrari never were very quick to respond to technical revolutions in motorsport as they preferred to rely on the gradual development of proven machines. For example, it is no coincidence that Ferrari scored the last front-engined Formula 1 and Le Mans wins. This strategy did at times backfire, with the best (worst?) example being the 1980 Formula 1 season; after Ferrari dominated 1979 season with a clean-sweep of both championships, the team scored just a handful of points and ended tenth in the constructor's cup. It could also be argued that Ferrari's 1979 performance was phenomenal, but either way, the Italian team had a considerable gap to bridge to regain competitiveness.

While it was instrumental in Ferrari's successes of the second half of the 1970s, the flat 12 engine by now formed the team's biggest handicap. Sure it was still powerful and reliable enough, but its width protruded too far into the Venturi tunnels under the car. These were essential to produce the ground effect all Formula 1 racers relied on for cornering speeds. The V8 and V6 engines used by the competition were much more suited for this application. Another ongoing development concerned forced induction; pioneered in Formula 1 by Renault. In the first years, the French struggled to get the powerful engines reliable, but by the turn of the decade they had become serious contenders. So when developing a new engine seemed inevitable, it was no surprise that Ferrari took the Turbo path.

Following in Renault's footsteps, Ferrari opted for a V6 engine with a displacement of just under 1.5 litres. Like the 1960s Dino V6 used in the Sharknose F1 cars, the new V6 had a wide V-angle of 120 degrees. To ensure the block was strong enough, it was constructed from cast iron and the cylinder heads were constructed from an aluminium alloy. The necessary boost of 1.7 bar was provided by two KKK Turbochargers. To prevent the dreaded Turbo-lag, fuel was injected in the Turbos to keep them spinning during braking and cornering. The engine was mated to Ferrari's familiar transverse gearbox and bolted directly to a straightforward aluminium monocoque. Dubbed the 126 CK, the Turbocharged Ferrari made an early debut during the practice of the 1980 Monza GP, but technical problems prevented it from taking part in the race.

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  Article Image gallery (3) Specifications