The Ferrari 312 B2 was a Formula One racing car produced by the Scuderia Ferrari and was unveiled in January 1971, but didn’t debut until the Monaco GP.
The direct successor to the Ferrari 312 B is not a further development of the 1970 race car, this was practically a new car with an engine with shorter stroke which allowed to increase its power at higher revs. The nose cone was low and squareish, the flanks straight, and the rear wing attached to an appendage of the roll-bar. The rear suspension was also innovative with twin struts and spring/damper groups mounted above the gearbox and connected to the hub with thrust arms. These construction details of the Ferrari 312 B2 were interesting enough but its performance was affected by other factors. The 12-cylinder 180˚ V-engine had now 485 bhp at 12.500 rpm.
The Ferrari 312 B2 was designed unter the reign of Mauro Forghieri, it was in some parts innovative but in some parts not state of the art. The outside shape wasn’t that uncompromising as the Lotus 72. The three works drivers Jacky Ickx, Clay Regazzoni and Mario Andretti were struggling the whole season with the tires, they were not able to get the tires to the right temperature. Ickx was driving the Ferrari 312 B for the Italian GP at Monza but retired due to engine failures. A winning race was the rainy Dutch GP, the tire problems were not that strong in the heavy rain and Jacky Ickx was always a very fast driver in the rain. Also the reliability of the Ferrari was really bad.
In the 1971 Grand Prix season which ended with Jackie Stewart’s second Drivers Championship World Title, Ferrari scored two wins in the first part of the season (one in South Africa at the Kyalami race track with Mario Andretti with the Ferrari 312 B and the other in Holland at the Dutch GP with Jacky Ickx), but couldn’t keep up the performance in the second half. In the end, the Scuderia Ferrari managed 33 points, to take fourth position in the Constructors’ classification. Fourth was also as good as the Prancing Horse drivers could manage in the Driver’s Championship’s , thanks to Jacky Ickx. Two wins, three third places but also ten retirements caused the bad results of the 1971 Grand Prix season of the Scuderia Ferrari but also for the 312 B2.
1972 was an in-between season for Ferrari with the same performances in the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships. Its only success came in Germany where Jacky Ickx beat his team mate Clay Regazzoni. The Belgian was the best driver that season, but still ended up way behind World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi driving the Lotus 72 D.
The Ferrari 312 B2, which was used in different modifications from 1971 to 1973, was not the best performing Ferrari Formula One race car ever, that is for sure, but I think it is a beautiful F1 car with a very unique design, of course a mind-blowing sound – and it is a Ferrari, need I say more.
Back to the road of success for the Scuderia Ferrari starts with recruiting the young Austrian driver Niki Lauda for the 1974 season and the brand new Ferrari 312 B3 followed than by the 312 T and two driver’s titles by Niki Lauda, but this is another story.
Ferrari 312 B2: TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
MODEL 312 B2
TYPE Formula One single seater
YEAR OF PRODUCTION 1971
TOTAL NUMBER OF BUILD CARS 4
ENGINE rear, longitudinal 180˚ V12, light aluminum cylinder block and head
BORE AND STROKE 80 mm x 49,6 mm
CUBIC CAPACITY CYL. / TOTAL 249.31 cc / 2991,80 cc
VALVE ACTUATION DOHC per bank, 4 Valve per cylinder
FUEL FEED Lucas indirect injection
IGNITION electronic, single spark plug per cylinder
TRANSMISSION Multi plate clutch, 5-speed + reverse
HORSEPOWER 485 bhp at 12.500 rpm
CHASSIS semi-monocoque, tubular steel chassis with riveted aluminium panels
BRAKES Ferodo Discs all around
SUSPENSION FRONT independent, unequal-length wishbones, inboard coil springs over telescopic shock absorbers, anti-roll bar
SUSPENSION REAR independent, unequal-length wishbones, upper radius arms, coil-over- shocks mounted horizontally above the diff., anti-roll bar
WHEELBASE 2380 mm
LENGTH 4020 mm
WIDTH 1740 mm
HEIGHT 950 mm
WEIGHT WITHOUT FUEL 558 kg
FUEL TANK 233 litres
NOTABLE DRIVERS J.Ickx, C.Regazzoni, M.Andretti, A.Merzario, N.Galli
FIRST GRAND PRIX Monaco 1971
LAST GRAND PRIY South Africa 1973
TOTAL OF GRAND PRIX STARTS 24
POLE POSITIONS 6
FASTEST LAPS 4