Ferrari stormed back to victory with the 312 T4 in 1979, dominating both Championships. The battle for the Drivers’ title turned into a duel between Villeneuve and South African Jody Scheckter, who won three races each, but the latter eventually triumphed due to a more consistent performance. The 312 T3 was used for the first two races of 1979. In fact, the T4 made its debut in South Africa and immediately won two races. Another double, this time at Monza, brought further glory: a win for Villeneuve and the Championship for Scheckter.

The car was a further evolution of the T series which brought three Drivers’ and four Constructors’ titles to Maranello, but the transverse dimensions of the engine’s horizontally opposed cylinder layout were at odds with its aerodynamic development. To overcome this problem, the Ferrari technicians broadened its flanks still further to house the air intakes that would channel air to the radiators and to the intake ducts. The suspension was redesigned too to minimise drag, while the rear brakes were inboard to reduce the non-suspended mass and improve grip and traction control.

Type rear, longitudinal 180° flat-12
Bore/stroke 80 x 49.6 mm
Unitary displacement 249.31 cc
Total displacement 2991.80 cc
Compression ratio 11.5 : 1
Maximum power 379 kW (515 hp) at 12,300 rpm
Power per litre 172 hp/l
Maximum torque -
Valve actuation twin overhead camshafts per bank, four valves per cylinder
Fuel feed Lucas indirect injection
Ignition electronic, single spark plug per cylinder
Lubrication dry sump
Clutch multi-plate
Frame monocoque, light alloy structure with aluminium panels
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-speed + reverse
Steering rack-and-pinion
Fuel tank capacity 190 litres
Front tyres 23/59 x 13”
Rear tyres 38/68 x 13”