The Ferrari 156 was a racecar made by Ferrari in 1961 to comply with then-new Formula One regulations that reduced engine displacement from 2.5 to 1.5 litres, similar to the pre-1961 Formula Two class for which Ferrari had developed a mid-engined car also called 156.
Ferrari started the season with a 65 degrees Dino engine, then replaced by a new engine with the V-angle increased to 120 degrees and designed by Carlo Chiti. This increased the power by 10 hp (7 kW). Bore and stroke were 73.0 x 58.8 mm (2.3 in) with a displacement of 1,476.60 cc and a claimed 190 hp (142 kW) at 9,500 rpm. For 1962 a 24-valve version was planned with 200 hp (149 kW) at 10,000 rpm, but never appeared. In 1963 the 12-valve version fitted with Bosch direct-fuel injection instead of carburetors achieved that power level. The last victory for the Ferrari 156 was achieved by Italian Lorenzo Bandini in the 1964 Austrian Grand Prix.
A V-6 engine with 120 degree bank is smoother at producing power because every 120 degree rotation of engine crankshaft produces a power pulse.
Phil Hill won the 1961 World Championship of Drivers and Ferrari secured the 1961 International Cup for F1 Manufacturers, both victories achieved with the 156.
The 1961 version was affectionately dubbed "sharknose" due to its characteristic air intake "nostrils". Then-Ferrari factory policy inevitably saw all the remaining sharknose 156s scrapped by the end of the 1963 season. Nevertheless such an F 156 is exhibited in the "Galleria Ferrari" at Maranello, probably a replica. A similar intake duct styling was applied over forty years later to the Ferrari 360.
1963 Ferrari 156 Aero
The updated Ferrari 156, used in the 1963 and 1964 seasons, did not feature the distinctive sharknose design. but had a rather conventional intake, somewhat larger than the Ferrari 158 introduced in 1964.
On September 10, 1961, after a collision with Jim Clark's Lotus on the second lap of the Italian Grand Prix, the 156 of Wolfgang von Trips (Hill's teammate) became airborne and crashed into a side barrier, fatally throwing him from the car and killing fifteen spectators.