The 156-85 proved a very competitive, if not incredibly reliable car, especially during the second half of the season. It was also the first single-seater designed at Maranello entirely using CAD/CAM and was completely new. Very obvious features included the fact that the driver’s position was very far forward, a longer wheel base, radiators parallel to the direction of movement and big wheel hubs. The engine had also been completely redesigned to develop almost 800-bhp (more in tests) with side exhausts and central intakes. Thanks to a lower centre of gravity and a new suspension, the car was fast but failed to perform consistently in the second half of the Championship.

Michele Alboreto took second in the Drivers’ Championship, losing out on the title to Alain Prost. The Italian driver won in both Canada and Germany and was placed on several occasions, but his performance was not good enough to give him a fighting chance at the title. Ferrari took second in the Constructors’ Championship too, thanks in part to the good work of Swede Stefan Johansson, who over from Arnoux from the second race of the season onwards.

Type rear, longitudinal 120° V6
Bore/stroke 81 x 48.4 mm
Unitary displacement 249.40 cc
Total displacement 1496.43 cc
Compression ratio 7 : 1
Maximum power 574 kW (780 hp) at 11,000 rpm
Power per litre 521 hp/l
Maximum torque -
Valve actuation twin overhead camshafts per bank, four valves per cylinder
Fuel feed twin turbos, Weber-Marelli 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-speed + reverse
Steering rack-and-pinion
Fuel tank capacity 220 litres
Front tyres 25.0-10.0-13
Rear tyres 26.0-15.0-13