As in previous years, the new car made its debut after the Championship had begun and so the 126 C3 replaced the 126 C2 version B only from the British GP, race number 17 of the season, onwards.

This was a highly innovative looking arrow-shaped car with a narrow nose cone and side pods that began just behind the driver and had completely new internal air flows with air expelled through the radiators on the flanks. Even the front suspension wishbones were slimmer and there were also various aerodynamic details on the two main wings. The car was also more powerful and its body consisted of two half-shells made entirely from carbon fibre and synthetic materials, which were glued together.

René Arnoux almost took the Drivers’ title. In fact, he remained in the running right until the last race, at Kyalami, when an early pull out in the competition prevented him from really going head to head against Nelson Piquet. However, together with Patrick Tambay, the Frenchman won Ferrari its second consecutive Constructors’ title. The Scuderia managed four wins that season, courtesy of Tambay at Imola and Arnoux at Montreal, Hockenheim, and Zandvoort.

Type rear, longitudinal 120° V6
Bore/stroke 81 x 48.4 mm
Unitary displacement 249.40 cc
Total displacement 1496.43 cc
Compression ratio 6.7 : 1
Maximum power 441 kW (600 hp) at 10,500 rpm
Power per litre 401 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, Kevlar and carbon-fibre composite structure
Front suspension independent pull-rod, twin wishbones, inboard springs over telescopic shock absorbers, anti-roll bar
Rear suspension independent pull-rod, 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 220 litres
Front tyres 23.5-10.5-13
Rear tyres 26.0-15.0-15