The two works Ferraris driven by Surtees and Mairesse were virtually identical and were developed from a model built for the Italian Grand Prix last year, but not raced. It will be remembered that last August at the German Grand Prix Ferrari experimented with a lighter car, following Lotus and Lola trends, and using a more reclining driving position. Bandini drove the car until he spun off on the wet track. In September a new car was built using a rear suspension layout very much like the English cars and it was obvious that the Ferrari engineers were beginning to get the idea of light weight as practised by the English Grand Prix contenders.
Unfortunately a mistake was made in the design of the rear suspension, as far as the geometry was concerned, and the car was put away. Undoubtedly assisted by Surtees and Parkes the 1963 Ferraris are a development of the late 1962 car and are only intended as an interim model, new V8 and V12 cylinder engines being under development. A lighter and more compact tubular space frame is used, with double wishbones and coil spring front suspension on previous Ferrari lines but the rear suspension is a radical change, having a lower wishbone pivoted on the chassis at its apex, a single upper transverse arm and two long radius rods, springing being by coils.
The rear brakes are inboard and at last Ferrari has succumbed and fitted cast alloy wheels, with five-pin drive and knock-off eaved hub nut, these wheels being of his own design and manufacture. The rear-mounted engine is the proven 120 degree V6 cylinder unit but now fitted with Bosch high-pressure direct fuel-injection into the cylinders, the injection pump being mounted in the vee of the engine and driven by an internally toothed belt. The air inlets have long trumpets and like the Lucas low-pressure system used by Climax and B.R.M. the Bosch layout uses slide throttles, with one plate for each batch of three inlets.
A very compact 6-speed gearbox is mounted between the engine and the final drive unit, operated by a left-hand gear lever in the cockpit and the driving position is very reclining, the driver’s feet being under the rack-and-pinion steering box. This model will obviously have to be used by the team drivers for the first part of the season, until the new power units and the chassis to take them are built.
The two Coopers driven by McLaren and Maggs were 1963 models, being developed from last year’s cars. The general layout is unaltered, though the geometry of the rear suspension has been improved to give a more level ride when the brakes are hard on. Most of the alterations have been detail ones, such as using more frame tubes to carry water, in particular the off-takes from the rear of the Climax V8 cylinder heads, and a lower frame member on the left is used as a “catch tank” for the engine breathers, a reservoir now being obligatory. Two narrower fuel tanks form the sides of the body and a third one forms the seat and these “breathe” into another frame tube, while the rear cross member is used for the 6-speed Cooper gearbox to breathe into. For power the Cooper naturally depends on the new short-stroke fuel-ignition Coventry-Climax V8 engine, which like the Ferrari and the B.R.M. engines for 1963 must be giving close on 200 b.h.p. or it will get left behind. The latest body-shell follows Lotus 25 lines in that the gearbox and rear-end are left exposed.
The latest Brabham-Climax V8 is a development of last year’s car as far as the chassis is concerned, the only major change being the use of a special Volkswagen gearbox in place of the Colotti gearbox. A VW casing is used, mounted upside down and reversed, so that it sticks out the back of the car, and it is fitted with special 5-speed intervals designed to take the power of the Climax V8 engine.
The new “monocoque” B.R.P. car, designed around Lotus 24 suspension ports is not expected to appear before Spa, nor is the new B.R.M. with its single tube chassis frame. Like the Lotus 25 both these designs will be vulnerable in the event of a crash so no attempt will be made to introduce them at Monte Carlo. The A.T.S. made another non-appearance at Silverstone, so that it is getting like the old V16 B.R.M., having failed to appear at Pau, Imola, and now Silverstone. A lot of people are waiting to see what Lotus will produce for the serious races of 1963.
D. S. J.