I filmed this magnificent Ferrari 126 C2 Gilles Villeneuve type of car at the Modena Trackdays at Spa Francorchamps. It is pretty much the type of car in which Villeneuve crashed in Zolder, Belgium. Please vote thumbs up if you like the video! Thanks!
With the arrival of Harvey Postlethwaite and a complete overhaul of the car in time for the 1982 season, things looked better. The turbo engine was further developed and reliability found, while the chassis was completely redesigned, featuring Ferrari’s first genuine full monocoque chassis featuring honeycomb aluminum panels for the structure. Smaller and nimbler, the 126C2 handled far better than its predecessor. Villeneuve and Didier Pironi posted record times in testing with the new car and began the season promisingly with several solid results. Then came the infamous race at San Marino after which Villeneuve accused Pironi of having disobeyed team orders. The fallout from the race preceded Villeneuve’s death in an horrific accident during qualifying at the next round in Belgium, which left Pironi as team leader. Pironi himself was nearly killed in a similar accident in Germany, putting an end to his motor racing career, but this didn’t stop Ferrari from winning the constructors’ championship that year. The 126C2 was further developed during the season, with new wings and bodywork tried, and the engine’s power boosted to 650 bhp (485 kW; 659 PS) in qualifying trim and around 600 bhp (447 kW; 608 PS) in races. An improved chassis was designed and developed mid-season that was introduced for the French Grand Prix that changed the rocker arm front suspension to a more streamlined pull-rod suspension. A thinner longitudinal gearbox was also designed and developed to replace the transverse gearbox to promote better undisturbed airflow from the underside of the ground-effects chassis’s side-pods.
Mandatory flat bottoms for the cars were introduced for 1983, reducing ground effect, and the 126C3 was designed with this in mind. Postlethwaite designed an over-sized but effective rear wing which clawed back around 50% of the lost downforce, whilst further compensation came from the engineers who boosted the power of the engine even further, to around 800 bhp (597 kW; 811 PS) in qualifying and over 650 bhp for racing, generally regarded as the best power figures produced in 1983. Patrick Tambay and René Arnoux scored four wins between them and were both in contention for the world championship throughout 1983 but late unreliability cost them both. However, Ferrari took the constructors’ title for the second year in a row.
The 1984 season was not as successful, as McLaren introduced their extremely successful MP4/2 car, which was far more effective than the 126C4 and dominated the year. Although the 126C4 won only once in 1984 fittingly it was at the Belgian Grand Prix at Zolder where Villeneuve had been killed in 1982 and it was Italian Michele Alboreto driving the #27 (as Villeveuve had done) who won his first race for the team. Alboreto also scored the team’s only pole position of the season at Zolder. Ferrari ultimately finished as runner up in the constructors’ championship, some 86 points behind the dominant McLarens and 10 points clear of the Lotus-Renaults.
The 126C series cars won 10 races, took 10 pole positions and scored 260.5 points.