The F310 proved to be a front-running car, but without the outright pace or superb reliability which led to the Williams FW18s dominating 1996. Schumacher was able to win three Grands Prix, but the F310's shortcomings were shown by Irvine's run of eight consecutive retirements, most of them mechanical, as well as three straight double retirements. Development also proved troublesome, with the cars having to use the 1995 car's parts early in the season whilst structural problems were cured.
This car was notable as being the first Ferrari F1 car to use the then more conventional V10 engine format. The name F310 refers to the engine type, a 3 litre, 10 cylinder (V10) - a nomenclature consistent with that used for Ferrari's F1 cars from 1966 to 1980 (the 312, 312B and 312T), and similar to that used for the 2006 Ferrari 248. The engine was also called the 310.
Initially, the F310 was the only car in the 1996 field to have a low nose section, with the other teams having all switched to the more aerodynamically efficient high nose which was first seen on the 1990 Tyrrell 019. From the start, however, chief designer John Barnard had announced his intentions to design a high nose for the car, saying that the F310 would be an ongoing project with the ultimate goal to win the world championship. The high nose was eventually adopted permanently from the Canadian Grand Prix onwards.
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