During the 1972 season Ferrari chief designer Forghieri designed a radical new car featuring a square bodywork and full width nose on a very short wheelbase. This new 312 B3 nicknamed spazzaneve (snowplow) was tested by Merzario and Ickx but never raced in a Grand Prix. For 1973 The spazzaneve project was discarded, Forghieri was transferred to the experimental department of FIAT, and the position of chief designer was taken by Sandro Colombo, a former Gilera and Innocenti engineer. New design, still named 312 B3 was developed . A new full monocoque self-supporting chassis was created by specialist English company TC Prototypes, under John Thompson’s guidance, and the Ferrari Flat-12 engine became a fully stressed member. The old 312 B2 were used in first three races of the 1973 season, with Jacky Ickx and Arturo Merzario behind the wheel. The car was no longer competitive, and Ickx and Merzario only managed three fourth places in 3 first GP of the season. At the fourth race, held in Spain, the 312 B3-73 made its first appearance. The performance of the new car was not better, than the old one. The best achievement was 5th place in the French Grand Prix. So the Scuderia spent the season without wins. During the summer Forghieri was recalled as technical director to incorporate some of the ideas used on his radical spazzaneve, and both Ickx and Merzario was replaced for the next season by Clay Regazzoni and Nicki Lauda.
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