168 pages – that’s how thick the current book of technical regulations for Formula 1 is. Many fans look back with nostalgia to a time when the premier class of motor racing had virtually no restrictions in place. In those days, pioneering vehicle designs were not left on a shelf to gather dust but were unleashed on the race track.
The F165 is one such legendary vehicle, and it is still regarded as one of the boldest of all Ferrari concepts. At the Red Bull Ring Classics (9th ‑ 11th June), you will have the opportunity to see what are probably the two most elaborate and faithful replicas, including one of Phil Hill’s world championship-winning car.
In 1961, Ferrari competed for the first time with a mid-engined monoposto designated the Type 156. The racing car was dubbed ‘Sharknose’ due to its idiosyncratic cooling intake. Carlo Chiti’s design caught the eye not only for its looks but also for its speed.
In the course of seven races, the Ferrari booked six pole positions and scored five wins (including fastest race lap). It took the driving genius of Stirling Moss to prevent Ferrari from making it a clean sweep. At the end of the season, the drivers’ and constructors’ titles both went to Ferrari, but nobody felt like celebrating.
World championship leader Wolfgang Graf Berghe von Trips started Ferrari’s home race in Monza from pole position, but von Trips’ Ferrari and Jim Clark’s Lotus later collided, with fatal consequences. The Ferrari flew off sideways over the embankment and broke apart.
Wolfgang Graf Berghe von Trips succumbed to the injuries he sustained in the crash, and the title went to Phil Hill. In 1962, the Sharknose cars were unable to repeat the successes of the previous year. As the story goes, Enzo Ferrari was so annoyed, he ordered all nine Ferrari 156s to be shredded and buried under a layer of concrete in the Ferrari factory grounds.
At the Red Bull Ring Classics 2023 you will get the chance to see replicas of Phil Hill’s championship-winning car with the original 120-degree V6 engine and of Ricardo Rodríguez’s sister car with the 65-degree V6 engine. Jason Wright took great trouble to build the cars exactly as they were back then.
The ambitious project took more than three years. At the Red Bull Ring Classics, the replicas, created with perfection in mind, will really look the part among all the other icons of racing history.