As in previous years, the new car made its debut after the championship had begun and so the 126 c3 replaced the 126 c2 version b only from the British GP, race number 17 of the season, onwards.
This was a highly innovative looking arrow-shaped car with a narrow nose cone and side pods that began just behind the driver and had completely new internal air flows with air expelled through the radiators on the flanks. Even the front suspension wishbones were slimmer and there were also various aerodynamic details on the two main wings. The car was also more powerful and its body consisted of two half-shells made entirely from carbon fibre and synthetic materials, which were glued together.
René Arnoux almost took the drivers’ title. In fact, he remained in the running right until the last race, at Kyalami, when an early pull out in the competition prevented him from really going head to head against nelson piquet. However, together with Patrick Tambay, the frenchman won Ferrari its second consecutive constructors’ title. The scuderia managed four wins that season, courtesy of Tambay at Imola and Arnoux at Montreal, Hockenheim, and Zandvoort.