Volume VIII, Number 4

A History of Ferrari in Formula One - The 1960's
By David Cook

We continue our look at the Kyosho brand series of Ferrari F1 cars. These models were distributed only in Japan as premiums in a coffee drink promotion for the Dydo company. Again, I cannot emphasize enough the absolutely amazing quality and attention to detail in these small-scale cars. Kyosho definitely has raised the bar over its rivals in the small-scale model field.

Unfortunately, the 1960's were not a memorable decade for Ferrari in F1. The company's racing efforts were divided by a huge effort in long-distance racing. The focus was on the 24 Hours of LeMans and the endurance championship, which it should be noted, Ferrari won from 1960 through 1965.

But when the F1 regulations changed again in 1961, Ferrari was ready. Engine size had been reduced to 1.5 liters and two different V6 "Dino" engines were available from the previous year's Formula 2 efforts ­ one with a 60-degree vee angle and a newer one with a flatter 120 degree. The season was a walkover for Ferrari. None of the British teams had new engines ready and Ferraris won 5 of the 8 world-championship events. In most events, 3 or 4 Ferraris were entered and many podium finishes were recorded. American Phil Hill won the drivers championship in a 156F1 (1.5 liter V6 engine) like the one pictured here.

For 1962 and 1963, Ferrari relied on the same equipment while it's British rivals leaped ahead with new V8 engines and lightweight monocoque chassis. Ferrari did not begin to catch up until 1963 when it hired British driver John Surtees. Surtees was already a motorcycle-racing champion including several seasons with the Italian MV Augusta team. He quickly made the switch to 4 wheels in the early 1960's and his engineering and race car development skills were a huge benefit to the team.

1961 Ferrari 156F1

1961 Ferrari 156F1

For 1964 Ferrari had a new 1.5-liter V8 engine and a semi-monocoque chassis. As in past seasons, the F1 team did not get 100% effort until after LeMans in June. Surtees won 2 races later in the season after several earlier podium finishes. The championship was totally knotted up going into the final race in Mexico with 3 possible winners ­ Graham Hill (BRM), Jim Clark (Lotus), or Surtees. In a most unlikely scenario, Clark led until the last lap when his engine failed. Since Hill and been delayed earlier by Surtees' teammate Bandini, second place was good enough for Surtees to clinch the title by 1 point in his 158F1 (1.5-liter V8) like the one pictured here. A lucky win you might say, but Ferrari and Surtees were in the right position to take advantage of their rival's misfortunes.

Take a close look at the two models side by side and notice the difference in tire size, especially at the rear wheels. Tire technology was moving ahead and would even more so in the 1970's. The "shark-nose" 156F1 was the last Ferrari F1 car to use wire wheels.

The rest of the 1960's were a bust for Ferrari, both in F1 and sports cars. At LeMans, Ford and then Porsche were flexing their muscles. A Ferrari has not won since 1965. The F1 regulations changed again in 1966, and Ferrari should have been ready to dominate with their 3-liter V12 engines. Indeed, they thought they would but seriously underestimated their rival's chassis and reliability, while overestimating the horsepower available from their engines. But things would begin to change for the better in the 1970's as Italian auto giant Fiat took a financial interest in Ferrari and it's racing activities.

1964 Ferrari-158F1

1964 Ferrari-158F1