Ferrari Friday … open heart surgery

Michele Alboreto’s Ferrari 126C4, 1984 F1 World Championship

the engine used in the C4, the last evolution of the 126 , had a major revision to the one used in the C3, the gearbox also received several modifications making it the strongest & lightest Ferrari had built so far

the engine itself was a water cooled 120° V6 with twin turbo charging (KKK), the 1.496,43cc’s produced 660bhp in race tune & around 850bhp in qualifying using a maximum turbo pressure of 3,2bar

this was on par with what the main competition produced (Renault & BMW), but the car’s chassis was its downfall, not producing enough downforce in comparison with McLaren (therefor needing to use more wing) resulting in playing played catch up with the Marlboro liveried cars all season long

McLaren dominated with Lauda becoming champion & Prost following closely in 2nd place, Alboreto finished 4th with less than half the points total of either Lauda or Prost

in the constructor’s championship the difference was even bigger, McLaren won with 143,5 points against Ferrari’s 57,5 - still enough though to become vice-champion


Ferrari Friday … leading the pack

Jacky Ickx, Ferrari 312B2, 1972 British Grand Prix, Brands Hatch
Niki Lauda, Ferrari 312T, 1975 Italian Grand Prix, Monza
Gilles Villeneuve, Ferrari 312T5, 1980 Brasilian Grand Prix, Interlagos
Michele Alboreto, Ferrari 126C4, 1984 Belgian Grand Prix, Zolder


During the 1924-1925 circa, Alfa Romeo’s Italian racer, Antonio Ascari predicted that the car prices were going to soar and started using his reputation (Antonio Ascari was the fastest man on earth during his time) to win Alfa Romeo dealership rights in the whole of Lombardy – one of the richest and most industrialised regions of Italy. In the same group was a young Italian who was 10 years Ascari’s junior and having started his own racing career alongside Ascari in 1919, he held the Italian racer in great admiration. Ascari then told Ferrari to do the same in the region of Emilia-Romagna; a valuable advise that was followed through by Ferrari to much of his success. Antonio Asacri however was killed while leading the French GP but Ferrari continued to move on with great strength. He later recruited Alberto Ascari, Antonio’s son to be the first among two drivers to drive for Ferrari in the 1950 when Formula One was first contested under the FIA. Ferrari was also the man to enhance Gilles Villeneuve career stating that he saw the spirit of Nuvolari in the young Canadian calling him a bundle of nerves when they first met (picture above).

Enzo Ferrari died in 1988, which meant that he would never again see his name dominating the Formula One charts. It was also the time when McLaren-Honda’s reign was at the peak of its power. McLaren won all of the 1988 races except for one and in that particular race, for the very first time the world saw a McLaren being taken over by something other than another McLaren. It was at the Italian GP that Gerhard Berger and Michele Alboreto of Ferrari took the 1-2 victory just a few weeks after Ferrari’s death. That was the day Formula One preserved the little innocence it had left just to honour the Italian aristocrat without a single greed or the usual fight to win. McLaren’s Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna gave away a spot (perhaps) just so Ferrari’s drivers could take the podium for the very first time in the 1988 season just so they could honour the principal and the founder of Ferrari and a man who himself was once a Grand Prix racer. 

Happy Birthday, Enzo Ferrari - 18 February 1898