Ferrari and its drivers dominated the scene in 1961, winning both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles with the 156 F1. The 156 F1 was the new single-seater developed from the previous year’s F2, of which it retained everything except for the engine architecture which adopted a 120° vee-angle between the cylinder banks instead of the 65° used on the Dino series. This solution meant that the centre of gravity could be lowered to improve stability. The car looked different too, thanks to a slender nose cone and two angled air-intakes. The same car was actually used again in 1962, albeit with more modest success.

The 156 F won five of its eight Grands Prix (three with Phil Hill, and one each for Wolfgang Von Trips and Giancarlo Baghetti). The battle for the title culminated the German and the American driver at Monza. Tragically, however, Von Trips’ car went off the track and ploughed into the spectators, killing 13 of them. Hill, unaware that his friend and team mate lay dead, won the race and title, but his joy soon vanished when he learned the terrible news.

Type rear, longitudinal 120° V6
Bore/stroke 73 x 58.8 mm
Unitary displacement 246.10 cc
Total displacement 1476.60 cc
Compression ratio 9.8 : 1
Maximum power 140 kW (190 hp) at 9500 rpm
Power per litre 129 hp/l
Maximum torque -
Valve actuation twin overhead camshafts per bank, two valves per cylinder
Fuel feed two Weber 40 IF3C carburettors
Ignition two spark plugs per cylinder, two coils
Lubrication dry sump
Clutch multi-plate
Frame tubular steel
Front suspension independent, unequal-length wishbones, co-axial springs and telescopic shock absorbers
Rear suspension independent, unequal-length wishbones, co-axial springs and telescopic shock absorbers
Brakes discs
Transmission 5-speed + reverse
Steering rack-and-pinion
Fuel tank capacity 150 litres
Front tyres 5.00 x 15
Rear tyres 6.00 x 15