Ferrari 156 F1

The Ferrari 156 was a racing car made by Ferrari in 1961 to comply with then-new Formula One regulations that reduced engine displacement from 2.5- to 1.5-litres, similar to the pre-1961 Formula Two class for which Ferrari had developed a mid-engined car also called 156 F2.

Ferrari 156
CategoryFormula One
Designer(s)Carlo Chiti
Predecessor246 F1/246 P
Technical specifications
ChassisTubular Spaceframe
EngineFerrari Type 178, 1,476 cc (90.1 cu in), 120° V6 2 valves per cylinder DOHC, naturally aspirated Mid-engined, longitudinally mounted
TransmissionFerrari Type 543/C 5-speed manual
Competition history
Notable entrantsScuderia Ferrari
Scuderia Sant Ambroeus
Notable drivers Phil Hill
Wolfgang von Trips
Richie Ginther
Willy Mairesse
Giancarlo Baghetti
Ricardo Rodríguez
Lorenzo Bandini
John Surtees
Ludovico Scarfiotti
Debut1961 Monaco Grand Prix
Constructors' Championships2 (1961, 1964)[1]
Drivers' Championships1 (1961Phil Hill)
n.b. Unless otherwise stated, all data refer to
Formula One World Championship Grands Prix only.

Phil Hill won the 1961 World Championship of Drivers[2] and Ferrari secured the 1961 International Cup for F1 Manufacturers,[3] both victories achieved with the 156.[4]



The 1961 version was affectionately dubbed "sharknose" due to its characteristic air intake "nostrils". Then-Ferrari factory policy inevitably saw all the remaining sharknose 156s scrapped by the end of the 1963 season. Nevertheless, such a 156 is exhibited in the "Galleria Ferrari"[5] at Maranello, probably a replica. A similar intake duct styling was applied to the five SP-series Ferraris[6] in 1961 and 1962 that were also designed by Carlo Chiti, and then again over forty years later to the Ferrari 360.

Ferrari started the season with a 65-degree Dino engine, then replaced by a new engine with the V-angle increased to 120-degrees and designed by Carlo Chiti. A V-6 engine with 120-degree bank is smoother at producing power because every 120-degree rotation of engine crankshaft produces a power pulse. This change increased the power by 10 hp (7 kW). Bore and stroke were 73.0 mm × 58.8 mm (2.87 in × 2.31 in) with a displacement of 1,476.60 cc (90.108 cu in) and a claimed 190 PS (140 kW; 187 hp) at 9500 rpm.[7] For 1962, a 24-valve version was planned with 200 PS (147 kW; 197 hp) at 10,000 rpm, but never appeared. At the 1962 British Grand Prix, Phil Hill raced a new version with a six-speed transmission mounted in front of the engine. In August, at the German Grand Prix, Lorenzo Bandini tested a non-sharknose variant with modified front and rear suspension and a smaller radiator,[8] heralding the 156 Aero used in 1963.

1963 Ferrari 156 Aero

The updated Ferrari 156, used in the 1963 and 1964 seasons, did not feature the distinctive sharknose design.[9] but had a rather conventional intake, somewhat larger than the Ferrari 158 introduced in 1964.

In 1963 the 12-valve version fitted with Bosch direct-fuel injection instead of carburetors achieved that power level. The last victory for the Ferrari 156 was achieved by Italian Lorenzo Bandini in the 1964 Austrian Grand Prix.[10]

Monza crash

On September 10, 1961, after a collision with Jim Clark's Lotus on the second lap of the Italian Grand Prix, the 156 of Wolfgang von Trips (Hill's teammate) became airborne and crashed into a side barrier, fatally throwing him from the car and killing fifteen spectators.

Famous drivers

  • English Blues singer-songwriter Chris Rea had a meticulous replica of the sharknose built for him to use in his 1996 film, La Passione.

Complete Formula One World Championship results

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Points WCC
1961 Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 188 1.5 V6
Ferrari 178 1.5 V6
Richie Ginther 2 5 3 15 3 8 Ret DNA
Phil Hill 3 2 1 9 2 3 1 DNA
Wolfgang von Trips 4 1 2 Ret 1 2 Ret
Olivier Gendebien 4
Willy Mairesse Ret Ret
Ricardo Rodríguez Ret
Pedro Rodríguez DNA
FISA Giancarlo Baghetti 1
Scuderia Sant Ambroeus Ret Ret
1962 Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 178 1.5 V6 D NED MON BEL FRA GBR GER ITA USA RSA 18 6th
Phil Hill 3 2 3 DNA Ret Ret 11
Giancarlo Baghetti 4 Ret DNA 10 5 DNA
Ricardo Rodríguez Ret DNS 4 DNA DNA 6 14
Lorenzo Bandini 3 DNA Ret 8 DNA
Willy Mairesse 7 Ret 4 DNA
1963 Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 178 1.5 V6 D MON BEL NED FRA GBR GER ITA USA MEX RSA 26 4th
Willy Mairesse Ret Ret Ret
John Surtees 4 Ret 3 Ret 2 1 Ret 9 DSQ Ret
Ludovico Scarfiotti DNA 6 DNS
Lorenzo Bandini Ret 5 Ret 5
1964 Scuderia Ferrari SpA SEFAC Ferrari 178 1.5 V6 D MON NED BEL FRA GBR GER AUT ITA USA MEX 45 (49) 1st
Lorenzo Bandini 10 5 3 1
Ludovico Scarfiotti 9
North American Racing Team Pedro Rodríguez 6


  1. In the 1964 season the 156 was used in 6 Grands Prix, driven by Lorenzo Bandini (4 races), Ludovico Scarfiotti and Pedro Rodríguez (each 1) and scored 9 points for the Constructors' Championship.
  2. FIA Yearbook 1973, Grey section, pages 118–119
  3. FIA Yearbook 1973, Grey section, pages 120–121
  4. Peter Higham, The Guinness Guide to International Motor Racing, 1995, pages 38–40
  5. Ferrari World: the official website dedicated to the Galleria Ferrari
  6. "Ferrari SP Series". Official Ferrari Website. Ferrari.
  7. "Ferrari 156 F1". Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  8. Blunsden, John (September 1962). "Skyfall över Tysklands GP" [Deluge on German GP]. Illustrerad Motor Sport (in Swedish). No. 9. Lerum, Sweden. p. 25.
  9. 1963 Ferrari 156 Aero on
  10. "Ferrari 156 F1-63". Retrieved 22 September 2019.
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