In his 27 years with the team, the Italian was a legendary figure who oversaw four Formula 1 drivers’ championships and seven constructors’ championships.
Forghieri was a true engineering all-rounder who made advancements in the design of chassis, engines, and gearboxes.
The 312 T series, which won three drivers’ and four constructors’ championships between 1975 and 1979, is one of his most well-known designs for Ferrari.
At the 1968 Belgian Grand Prix, Forghieri was the first engineer to attach aerodynamic rear wings to a vehicle, giving Ferrari driver Chris Amon the pole position and a lead of nearly four seconds over the next fastest vehicle.
And he designed Ferrari’s first turbocharged engine. Introduced in 1981, four years after Renault pioneered the technology in F1, Ferrari became the first team to win the constructors’ title with a turbo car in 1982, and repeated the feat in 1983.
Ferrari marked his death by saying: “Legends last forever. It’s been an honour making history together. Ferrari and the world of motorsport will never forget you.”
Formula 1 president Stefano Domenicali said: “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.”
After key players left the team in 1961 in what was known as “the great walk-out,” leaving him as the only engineer left on staff, Forghieri joined Ferrari in 1960 and within a year, at the age of 27, was in charge of the design programme.
The Scuderia Ferrari technical director position was soon given to him; he held it until 1984.
The 250 GTO GT car’s design was finished by him, and one of these vehicles is currently the most expensive vehicle ever sold at auction.
Forghieri’s first F1 victory as a designer came at the 1963 German Grand Prix, and a year later Ferrari won a drivers’ and constructors’ title double, with Briton John Surtees prevailing in a close contest with fellow countrymen Jim Clark and Graham Hill.
Ferrari’s fortunes waned in F1 in the late 1960s as the Ford Cosworth engine came to the fore.
But Forghieri’s designs continued to have success in sports-car racing, including with the elegant 330 P4 that engaged in battles with the Ford GT40 that have gone down in racing folklore, and which recently featured in the Hollywood movie Ford v Ferrari.