Ferrari is one of the most well-known teams in motorsports. Today, we know Ferrari as one of the top teams in Formula 1 and a Supercar Manufacturer. Let’s take a look back and see what they have accomplished in the sport.
Formula 1 had its inaugural season in 1950. This was the first season of the Formula 1 World Championship. Ferrari is the only team that has taken part in every Formula 1 Championship since its inauguration. Formula 1 will not be so without the Prancing Horse on the grid.
The inaugural season of the Formula 1 World Championship saw Alberto Ascari and Peter Whitefield behind the wheel of the Ferrari. Ferrari had hopes that they could win, But Alfa Romeo’s 3 drivers took the top 3 places with Ascari in 4th. Alfa Romeo was the favorite going into the Inaugural Season. We saw Alfa Romeo’s Nino Farina take the Championship with Juan Manuel Fangio in 2nd place just 3 points behind. The Constructors Championship was not introduced yet.
The next year, we saw Ferrari increase the number of drivers in their team to 4. The team came closer to winning the Championship. The Great Britain Grand Prix in 1951, marked the first Grand Prix win for Ferrari. They won a total of 3 races during that season. Ascari was placed in second place with Fangio taking the title.
Over the next 2 years, Alberto Ascari will be seen taking the World Driver’s Championship. In 1954, Ascari left Ferrari over a dispute about his salary. This saw Fangio take the title with Mercedes.
On 26th May 1955, Ascari had gone to Monza to see his friend test drive a Ferrari Sports car. Although Ascari was not supposed to drive that day, he decided to complete a few laps without the proper attire. He had a major accident that threw him out of the car. His Injuries were far too severe for him to survive. He died minutes after the accident.
1956 saw another title for Ferrari after Juna Manuel Fangio joined the team, but left the following year to go to Maseratti, with whom he won again in 1957.
Introduction of the World Constructor’s Championship
The World Constructors Championship was introduced in 1958. Although we did not see Ferrari take a WCC until 1961, they did take home one Drivers Championship in 1958.
1961 was Ferrari’s first Constructor’s championship in Formula 1. Phil Hill took home the Driver’s Trophy that season. Ferrari had their ups and downs during the next few years having won only one other Championship during the 1960s.
Niki Lauda joins Ferrari
The 1970s saw Niki Lauda make his Formula 1 debut with the BRM team in 1973. After just one year of racing, Niki Lauda had done enough to earn a seat at Ferrari. The Prancing Horse placed 2nd in the 1974 Constructors Championship, with Niki Lauda placing 4th at the Driver’s Championship.
Ferrari took home the World Constructor’s Championship for three consecutive years from 1975 to 1977. However, in 1976, Niki Lauda had a major accident with his car catching on fire. He was trapped inside the car, unable to get out. Moments later, he was pulled out by some of the other drivers. He suffered severe burns all over his body including his face and had inhaled toxic fumes which damaged his lungs.
Niki Lauda was so anxious to get back to racing. He missed only 2 races before his return. During his return, he was still wearing bandages on his head to cover his fresh burns. He had to wear a specially designed helmet to ensure that he was comfortable inside the cockpit.
His absence allowed James Hunt of McLaren to catch up with Niki Lauda’s lead. Before the last race at the Japanese Grand Prix, Hunt was just 3 points behind Lauda in the championship. As the race started, there was a tremendous amount of rain. Niki Lauda decided that it was too dangerous to drive under this weather and decided to retire from the race. Hunt went on to win the championship by just 1 point.
Lauda went on to win the championship in 1977 as well, after which he left Ferrari. Ferrari won one other WCC in the 70s in 1979.
Scuderia Ferrari won 2 WCCs in 1982 and 83. Apart from these 2 years, the 80s were dominated by Williams and McLaren. None of the Ferrari Drivers could achieve a WDC in the 80s.
The 1980s saw a lot of drivers competing for the Championship. We saw Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg, Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet, Niki Lauda, and a young Ayrton Senna. Among these drivers, Ferrari was not able to achieve any more than it did.
The Arrival of Michael Schumacher
With the fight between McLaren, Williams, and Benneton raging on, Ferrari did not stand a chance in the early 1990s. 1996 marked the arrival of Michales Schumacher into the Scuderia Ferrari. This addition to the team gave the Prancing Horse a fighting chance for the title.
Ferrari came in second place from 1996 to 1998. The 1999 season was looking very promising for Ferrari. But the British Grand Prix saw Michael Schumacher go into the wall at around 200kmph. This led to him breaking his leg. Schumacher missed most of the remaining races except for the last two, in which he placed second.
However, Schumacher’s teammate, Eddie Irwine was able to keep up with the pace of Hakkinen in the Mclaren This helped the team bag 1st place in the Constructors Championship.
The 2000 season was the beginning of the best years for Ferrari in Formula 1. With Michael Schumacher now completely healthy, he was stronger than ever and out for redemption. He completely dominated the next 5 years in Formula 1, making him the only driver to have 7 WDC (5 with Ferrari and 2 with Benetton). This was the peak of Schumacher and Ferrari. A partnership that can never be forgotten.
2002 was the most dominant year for Ferrari. Michael Schumacher was in the lead with 144 points, which was 70 points ahead of his teammate in P2, who was almost 30 points ahead of the cars behind. They led the WCC by 129 points.
The FIA introduced new regulation changes to the car during the 2005 season, which did not fall into Ferrari’s hands. 2004 marked the last championship for Schumacher. He retired from Ferrari after the end of the 2006 season.
The last champion
The 2007 season saw a close battle between the Ferrari Drivers and the McLaren Drivers. Ferrari had Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa behind the wheel, while McLaren had Fernando Alonso, who had just won 2 titles with Renault, and a Rookie named Lewis Hamilton.
The battle between the 2 McLaren Drivers was intense. The drivers were so focused on beating each other, that it actually cost them points. This saw Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen take the WDC.
There was a controversy involving the Ferrari, McLaren, and Renault F1 teams which involved the theft of technical information. A second hearing on the matter found McLaren guilty and was excluded from the WCC and had to pay a fine of $100 million. This led to Ferrari winning the WCC in 2007. Ever since then, Ferrari has not won another Championship.
Ferrari has had drivers like Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, and Charles Leclerc come close to winning a championship for the team, but none of them were successful. The last 15 years have been the worst years for the Prancing Horse. It is the longest Ferrari has gone without winning a Championship.
|Juan Manuel Fangio||3||5||30*||1|
The above table shows some of the remarkable Ferrari Drivers and their statistics during their term with the team. The * indicates that all or some of their points were not based on the current scoring system. Under the current scoring system, those drivers would have scored a lot more points. From the above table, it is clear that Schumacher has been the best driver for the team.