Designed by Ferrari’s new designer, Carlo Chiti, the Ferrari 156 F1 had a tubular spaceframe chassis that proved serviceable but could not match the designs of Lotus or BRM. Visually, the car was beautiful, simple and remarkable at the same time. At the front it featured the famous sharknose, named after its distinctive two-fold air inlet.
The Ferrari 156 F1 was powered by the 120 degrees V6 engine designed by Vittorio Jano and Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari. Due to the latter’s untimely death, Enzo Ferrari decided to name all 6 cylinder engines “Dino”. The angle of the cylinder blocks allowed for the engine to have a lower centre of gravity. Because the engine was substantially wider, its rear placement was deemed necessary. Importantly, except for being dominant in power, the engine was also lighter than the competition, including the Coventry-Climax engine which the British teams were using.
Ferrari and its drivers dominated the scene in 1961, winning both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles with the Ferrari 156 F1. The 156 F1 won five of its eight Grands Prix (three with Phil Hill, and one each for Wolfgang Von Trips and Giancarlo Baghetti). The same car was used also in 1962, but with modest success.
Ferrari 156 F1 Specifications
- Type rear, longitudinal 120° V6
- Bore/stroke 73 x 58.8 mm
- Displacement 1476.60 cc
- Compression ratio 9.8 : 1
- Maximum power 140 kW (190 hp) at 9500 rpm
- Power per litre 129 hp/l
- Frame tubular steel
- Front suspension independent, unequal-length wishbones, co-axial springs and telescopic shock absorbers
- Rear suspension independent, unequal-length wishbones, co-axial springs and telescopic shock absorbers
- Brakes discs
- 5-speed + reverse
- 150 litres