Retro Formula 1 – Ferrari 312T

If you’ve seen the recent Rush film about Niki Lauda and James Hunt you will know which era this livery is from. The illustration features the livery from the original 312T which then went through four more iterations between 1975 and 1980, racking up four constructors championships and three drivers championships. John will tell us a bit more about this F1 legend…

“Stemming from the 312B3 of 1974, 312T was the first version of a very successful line of cars for Ferrari starting in 1975 and ending with the 312T5 in 1980.

It was Austrian driver Niki Lauda’s second season with Ferrari and after impressing in 1974, he was a contender for the 1975 championship. Ferrari begun the year with the 213B3 and Lauda had a solid but unspectacular start. By the time the new 312T was ready to race though, nothing could stop him. He scored nine pole positions out of 12 races with the 312T in 1975, not to mention the five wins and three further podiums en route to the title.


His rich vein of form continued into 1976, as he scored two wins and a second place in the first three races of the year, before the 312T2 was introduced. Lauda went on to have his infamous fiery accident in the German Grand Prix that year, losing out in the title race to James Hunt.

The 312T saw Lauda through several career milestones; his 10th pole position (Spain 1975), his 10th Formula 1 podium (France 1975) and his 50th race start (Holland 1975). The pole position in France also marked the 75th for Ferrari.

There was another driver in the sister 312T throughout all of Lauda’s success. Clay Regazzoni was rarely as fast as Lauda, but he did have his moments. Indeed, he won the 1975 Italian Grand Prix at Monza – the race in which Lauda sealed the championship. He also scored his 10th fastest lap that day. As demonstrated in the infographic, fastest laps appeared to be Clay’s speciality, because although Lauda outscored him in the 312T in almost every department (Wins, 7-2; Poles 9-1; Points, 85.5-28), he chalked up five of his 15 career fastest laps in the 312T. Niki ‘only’ scored three. Plus, he beat Lauda into second place in the 312Ts final race, winning from pole position and with fastest lap in Long Beach 1976.

So, with its excellent handling – put down to a transverse gearbox (the “T” in the name) – and iconic livery, the 312T launched the Lauda legend and a new generation of Ferrari fans.”

- John Langridge


John LangridgeJohn Langridge is a racing driver based in Sussex, England. Want to know more? Check out his website at johnlangridge.com

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