The 312T4 was the last of Ferrari’s flat 12-engined cars. The wide engine configuration presented aerodynamic problems for designer Mauro Forghieri at a time when teams were adding long ‘skirts’ to the side of the cars to increase downforce using the ground effect.
However the car was highly competitive, and took the team to the 1979 constructors’ championship.
The team began the 1979 season using the 312T3 from the previous year. Once equipped with the new car Gilles Villeneuve scored two wins on the trot at Kyalami and Long Beach.
Scheckter scored an important win in the Belgian Grand Prix and the initiative swung his way over the following races. By Monza Ferrari had decreed the drivers’ title would go to Scheckter, and Villeneuve was obliged to follow him home.