After 1980’s total fiasco and Jody Scheckter’s departure, reaction was the word at Maranello’s headquarters. And the promising French Didier Pironi was drafted to partner Gilles Villeneuve – in theory, to help the Canadian to fulfil his promise and bring the team back to the top. If the turbo engines proved to be more than a match for the aspirated counterparts, then, the venerable 12cyl boxer could finally rest in peace.
The then new 126CK proved fragile and had a quite poor aerodynamic efficiency. The V6 turbo was also brutal – too much power, but hardly on the right time. Villeneuve was quoted to saying that its handling was similar to a truck. And by the Canadian hands, it even won two GPs, Monaco and Spain, but that was 100% drivers merit. The fifth place on Constructors Championship was way less than Ferrari could expect – better things should come in 1982, but that wasn’t to be. Once more, the DFVs had the better, this time with a young Brazilian called Nelson Piquet, who would show more of his talent way ahead.