While 1979 was a year of triumphs, the 1980 season was the exact opposite. Ferrari managed only eight points, just one more than its worst ever record set in 1969. Reigning World Champion Jody Scheckter even suffered the indignity of failing to qualify on one occasion in Canada, making it into the points just once. The season was dominated by Williams which won both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ titles, thanks to the skills of Australian Alan Jones. The 312 T5 was the last of the normally aspirated single-seaters. A six-cylinder turbocharged car, the 126 C, debuted in qualifying but was not yet up to racing. The result was that the Scuderia had make do with the naturally aspirated model for the whole season, even though it had quite clearly been brought as far as it could go in terms of development.

There’s no doubt that the 312 T5 was the heir to the T4′s crown, but it brimmed with innovation in its own right too: from its narrower, more powerful engine, to its squarer flanks, tweaked suspension and new rear brakes. Its road-holding problems were due at least in part to the use of Michelin tyres which were simply not sufficiently developed for use on an normally aspirated engine-powered car, and far more suited to turbocharged cars.

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-Ferrari 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 5/6-speed + reverse
Steering rack-and-pinion
Fuel tank capacity 185 litres
Front tyres 23/59 x 13”
Rear tyres 38/68 x 13”