Only tragedy saw Ferrari lose out on what looked like a sure-fire Drivers’ title in 1982. On May 8, one of Ferrari’s and the world’s most popular drivers Gilles Villeneuve was killed practice. Barely three months later, Didier Pironi, who had a very strong lead in the rankings having won Imola and Zandvoort, was severely injured in the German Grand Prix warm-up and had to pull out of the rest of the season. The 126 C2 proved itself to be quite a competitive car and in the end, won the Constructors’ title, thanks in part to Patrick Tambay (first at Hockenheim) and Mario Andretti, who were called in to replace the two unlucky drivers.

The car was a development of the previous model but was about 20 kg lighter. It retained the engine solution with twin overhead compressors with just one wastegate valve. Each compressor received the exhaust gas from a line of cylinders and fed the opposite line to achieve a kind of fluid dynamic balance. The race for power had also begun and this was achieved by increasing the supercharged pressure.

Type rear, longitudinal 120° V6
Bore/stroke 81 x 48.4 mm
Unitary displacement 249.40 cc
Total displacement 1496.43 cc
Compression ratio 6.5 : 1
Maximum power 426 kW (580 hp) at 11,000 rpm
Power per litre 388 hp/l
Maximum torque -
Valve actuation twin overhead camshafts per bank, four valves per cylinder
Fuel feed twin turbos, Lucas-Ferrari electronic indirect injection
Ignition electronic, single spark plug per cylinder
Lubrication dry sump
Clutch multi-plate
Frame monocoque, Hexcel carbon-fibre and aluminium honeycomb composite structure
Front suspension independent, twin wishbones, inboard springs over telescopic shock absorbers, anti-roll bar
Rear suspension independent, twin wishbones, inboard springs over telescopic shock absorbers, anti-roll bar
Brakes discs
Transmission 5/6-speed + reverse
Steering rack-and-pinion
Fuel tank capacity 240 litres
Front tyres 23.5-10.0-13
Rear tyres 26.0-15.5-13