Ferrari 312T, Niki Lauda, French Grand Prix 1975 by Jim Bisignano


The weather was scorching hot on July 6, 1975 for the French Grand Prix at the Circuit Paul Ricard. All of the Formula One cars were sporting the tall, unmistakable 'periscope' engine air ducts. The long straights would allow top speeds in the vicinity of 190 mph., and aerodynamic adjustments were critical.

Driver Niki Lauda piloted his Ferrari 312T to a pole position in qualifying, putting the other teams on notice that it would be a tough afternoon. The 312T experienced teething problems after its debut at the South African Grand Prix, but by July 6, the ninth of fourteen races, Lauda had the car dialed in. He led every lap despite a late-race charge by James Hunt who finished second. 

At the race's conclusion, Lauda led the points chase with 47. He would eventually accumulate 64.5 points to clinch his first world championship and a constructor's title for Ferrari.

Jim Bisignano does a remarkable job imparting action to his gorgeous watercolor of Lauda at speed. The overall execution is sparse, and not overburdened with detail. The Ferrari is seen apexing a turn, the suspension working and Lauda leaning in against the g-forces. The painting is a marvelous depiction of a moment frozen in time for posterity, delivered by an artist at the peak of his powers.

The painting is attractively framed in matte black, with an inner protective overmatting of archival museum board. The artwork measures 26 x 16 inches, while the frame measures 35 1/2 x 25 1/2 inches.

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