Charles Leclerc Drives Ferrari's Infamous Spaghetti Car

Formula One / 4 Comments

Luckily, Ferrari's strategy team was not around to ruin the day.

Ferrari's famous Classiche department recently rebuilt one of its most notorious F1 cars. The 1967 Formula 1 car went by the designation 312 F1. Once it was done, it handed the car over to Charles Leclerc to drive around Ferrari's Fiorano track. Considering Leclerc's history with classic F1 racing cars, it was a bold move.

The 312 F1 is equipped with a 3.0-liter naturally aspirated V12, built for F1 racing. The FIA changed the rules for the 1966 season, doubling the allowed capacity from 1.5 liters to 3.0 liters. The maximum race distance was also lowered from 312.5 to 250 miles. Remember, this was back when the Formula 1 season consisted of nine races and not 24 as it will be next year.

Scuderia Ferrari/Facebook Scuderia Ferrari/Facebook Scuderia Ferrari/Facebook Scuderia Ferrari/Facebook

The car was affectionately known as "Spaghetti" due to the intricate exhaust system, which resembled Italy's most famous dish. Ferrari leaned into the nickname, even going as far as painting the system white, so it resembled pasta even more.

Ferrari's 3.0-liter naturally aspirated engine produced over 400 horsepower, but it was a bit of a pig. Teams could choose between two engine options; an NA 3.0-liter or a supercharged 1.5-liter. As we now know, forced induction eventually won the battle. A modern F1 car uses a tiny 1.6-liter V6 hybrid that can produce roughly 1,050 horsepower.

The problem was twofold. Ferrari's 3.0-liter was heavy, and this was around the era when F1 cars swapped front- for mid-mounted engines. Without computers or wind tunnels, it had no way of knowing how the car would behave until it was built.

The Official Ferrari Magazine The Official Ferrari Magazine

The 312 is one of the worst-performing racing chassis ever built. It competed in 38 races and only won three. Even though it was a pig, it's notable for one reason. It was the first F1 car to be fitted with a rear wing. You can't imagine a modern F1 car or a road car like the 296 GTB without a rear wing.

The rear wing is obviously responsible for downforce, but it also houses the drag reduction system, which gives the car a few extra miles of speed if a racer gets within one second of the vehicle in front.

The 1967 model you see here is not technically correct, but we can forgive the unknown owner and the Classiche department. Aerodynamic regulations were only introduced in 1968, which is when the 312 F1 gained its odd mid-mounted wing.

The Official Ferrari Magazine The Official Ferrari Magazine

The 312 killed Lorenzo Bandini at the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix and ended Mike Parks' career at the Belgian Grand Prix a few weeks later. The 312's reputation is likely why Charles Leclerc never fully opened the car up, but the current owner intends to use it in historic races. Good luck to you, sir.

Leclerc is becoming a classic F1 expert and has been behind the wheel of the 1951 375 F1, the 1975 312 T, and, from 1979, 312 T4.

"I am very happy to have had this opportunity," said Charles. "Going from my current F1-75 to this 312 F1 is like switching to a whole different sport, although the excitement you get from driving any Ferrari is always the same. But I really enjoyed everything about this Spaghetti."

You can watch a video of the drive on The Official Ferrari Magazine website linked below.

The Official Ferrari Magazine The Official Ferrari Magazine

Join The Discussion



Related Cars

To Top