Phil Hill, 1961


It’s amazing to think, with the current controversy raging about team orders and corporate shenanigans seeping into the noble Scuderia’s image, that in the first year of Ferrari’s entry into the rear engined, 1500cc Formula One, they were so gentlemanly and yet still dominant.

The Shark nosed 156 had at it’s heart a V6 engine whose banks were angled at 120 degrees: crucially smoother and more efficient than other engines with less of a rake. This, combined with the innovative nostrils on the shark nose (an aerodynamic  styling flourish that was revived for the F430 more recently) and of course the skills of Hill and his team mates, made the 156 unbeatable.

There’s great footage below of the Spa GP of that year, when the 156 Ferraris finished in the top four places.  Let’s hope Ferrari shake off their recent tarnishes and return to their haloed roots.