This Ferrari 312 T5 chassis 048 was the last 312 T built and the sixth of the six T5s to be produced. It was the last flat 12 cylinder Formula One Ferrari built and the last driven by Gilles Villeneuve, interesting he was also the only driver of s/n 048. Significantly in Prancing Horse history it was also the last normally-aspirated, pre-computer Ferrari single-seat racing car built.
Gilles Villeneuve debuted the car at the 1980 British Grand Prix, both he and reigning champion Jody Scheckter struggled with engine problems and finished 19th and 20th respectively for Ferrari, with Villeneuve`s race ending prematurely with engine failure. At the German Grand Prix, Villeneuve collected his fourth point for the season with a battling 6th place. During the Dutch Grand Prix Villeneuve had given the Scuderia one of Ferrari`s few 1980 highlights, running as high as third before his tyres went off, he eventually finished a storming 7th.
In the car`s final appearance at the Italian Grand Prix in Imola, Villeneuve was supposed to debut the Ferrari 126C, but chose to start the race in the 312 T5. For Imola 048 was again refitted with inboard rear brakes as tried in the Belgian Grand Prix, when the need for downforce led Ferrari engineers to return to the inboard placement of the 1979 T4 to open up the exit of the sidepods venturi area to increase precious low-pressure airflow. On the sixth lap, Villeneuve crashed the 312 T5 at the corner which now bears his name, he was unhurt.
In period Ferrari 312 T5 048 was returned to Imola specification, complete with inboard rear brakes and race-specific NACA-ducted brake venting body cowling.
In 2016 the car returned to the Ferrari Factory where the Clienti department went over the car. Last year as part of Ferrari`s 70th Anniversary celebrations 048 was on display for the Finali Mondiali 2017 event at Ferrari's Mugello race track. The final races of the F1 Clienti program took place along with an exhibition of iconic and important Formula One cars from the past years of which this Ferrari 312 T5 is certainly one.
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