Former Ferrari designer Mauro Forghieri has passed away at the age of 87, and has received an outpouring of emotion from figures associated with the team.
Forghieri was a long-time technical director with the Scuderia between the 1960s and 1980s, winning four Drivers’ Championships and seven Constructors’ titles with his designs, which pioneered some of Formula 1’s most iconic innovations in the process.
He was also the mastermind behind the iconic Ferrari 312 T series, which brought momentous success for the Scuderia from 1975 to 1979, winning three Drivers’ and four Constructors’ titles in that time through Niki Lauda and Jody Scheckter.
Ferrari confirmed the news of Forghieri’s passing on social media, writing on Twitter: “Legends last forever. Remembering Mauro Forghieri. 1935 – 2022. It’s been an honour making history together. Ferrari and the world of motorsport will never forget you.”
Current Formula 1 CEO and former Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali expressed his emotion at the news, saying in a statement: “I am very saddened to hear the news that our friend Mauro Forghieri has passed away.
“He was a huge part of F1 and Ferrari and leaves behind an incredible legacy for all of us. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this sad time.”
Forghieri was credited with a number of innovations across gearbox, chassis and engine in his time penning Ferrari’s designs, becoming the first engineer to put an aerodynamic rear wing on a car when he trialled the phenomenon at the 1968 Belgian Grand Prix – with driver Chris Amon going on to take pole position by almost four seconds from his nearest rival.
Forghieri’s Formula 1 work combined with his designs in sports car racing in his time with Ferrari, and the bulk of his and the team’s success together came with Luca di Montezemolo managing the Formula 1 team in the 1970s.
He also gave an emotional tribute of his own, telling the ANSA news agency: “With Mauro Forghieri, not only does one of the greatest Italian technicians, appreciated throughout the world, pass away, but also a friend and collaborator with whom I shared wonderful years and unforgettable sporting successes. I am close to his family and will miss him greatly.”
Lapo Elkann, director of brand promotion at Ferrari’s parent company Fiat, also wrote on Twitter: “Ferrari loses one of its brightest minds. One of those engineers to be proud of all over the world. Mauro Forghieri is and always will be the history of the Cavallino.”