Niki Lauda aviating his 312T in the Eifel Mountains, 1975…
He won the race and the world championship for the first time that year.
Ferrari turned the corner of uncompetitiveness with the 312B in 1970, the combination of chassis and new ‘flat 12’ engine was very competitive in the second half of the season.
Into 1971-3 they largely lost the plot with their chassis…Mauro Forghieri returned from the wilderness in late 1973.
The 1974 combination of Lauda, then in his third year of F1, Ferrari ‘returnee’ Clay Regazzoni, Forghieri and very young Luca Di Montezemolo as Team Manager commenced an era of Ferrari success if not dominance.
The cars were powerful, relatively light despite the additional fuel load needed by the Flat12 relative to the Ford Cosworth V8, handled superbly and were as aerodynamically advanced as the competition, until the ‘game-changing’ Lotus 78 arrived at least .
Lauda, Regga, Reutemann, Villeneuve, and Scheckter extracted all the performance as well.
The 1975 312T, so called because of the transverse location of the gears within the ‘box was the start of a series of cars which won drivers world titles in 1975, ’77, and ’79 for Lauda twice and Jody Scheckter once.
The car was not the prettiest of the mid-70’s to my eye but was an incredibly cohesive, beautifully integrated design. Without doubt one of Ferraris finest.
Lauda was up for the developmental and testing task, it was why Ferrari hired him but he also proved he was a winner. Montezemolo welded the group into an effective fighting unit, rather than the ‘Palace Intrigues’ of Maranellos’ past holding the Scuderia back …
Pinterest unattributed, Werner Buhrer drawings