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  Ferrari 126 C4

  Article Image gallery (20) Chassis (2) Specifications  
Click here to open the Ferrari 126 C4 gallery   
Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1984
Numbers built:7
Successor:Ferrari 156-85 F1
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:July 31, 2009
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Click here to download printer friendly versionThroughout the winter, the 126 CK was further developed in preparation for the 1981 season. The services of Canadian Gilles Villeneuve were retained and Frenchman Didier Pironi replaced 1979 World Champion Jody Scheckter who had retired from Formula 1 after the dreadful season. Even though it was difficult to drive and rarely reliable, the new Turbocharged Ferrari was much closer to the top runners on pace, especially in Villeneuve's hands. At the first European race in San Marino, the quick Canadian put the 126 CK on pole and recorded the fastest lap, but changing conditions in the race saw him drop back to seventh, two places behind Pironi. There finally was success in Monaco where Villeneuve scored a somewhat first victory for the Turbocharged Ferrari. He would copy the result in the next race, but in the remainder of the season Ferrari rarely challenged for victory.

British chassis expert Harvey Postlethwaite was hired to construct a better chassis for 1982. He replaced the old-fashioned sheet aluminium with a honeycomb construction, which offered far more rigidity without a weight penalty. The 126 C2 was a great improvement, but the others had made progress as well. World Champions Brabham had switched to the very powerful BMW Turbo engines and McLaren used a new carbon composite monocoque. Ferrari started the season well, culminating in a one-two at San Marino. However Villeneuve felt that Pironi had stolen the victory from him and in the practice session for the next race, he tried to get even, with fatal consequences. Pironi and Villeneuve's replacement Patrick Tambay took a victory each in the remainder of the season. Sadly Pironi was involved in a heavy accident as well and could not race anymore. At the time he led the championship. A small consolidation for Ferrari was winning the constructor's trophy.

While Postlethwaite worked on a carbon fibre monocoque, the C2 served for several more races of the 1983 season. It was altered though to comply with the new flat-bottom regulations that were the result of the banning of ground effects. In this 'B' spec, the 126 C2 added another 2 wins to its tally. The carbon fibre C3 was ready in time for the British Grand Prix and its potential was underlined by drivers Tambay and Rene Arnoux placed first and second after qualifying. Arnoux scored two wins and the drivers scored sufficient points to add another constructor's trophy to Ferrari's tally. The C3 was slightly modified to become the C4 for 1984 and Michele Albareto joined the team to replace Tambay. He was the first Italian in almost a decade to drive for Ferrari. There was just one win this season, for Albareto in Belgium. Ferrari finished runner up in the championship behind the dominant McLaren team.

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  Article Image gallery (20) Chassis (2) Specifications