The History Of Ferrari
| Ferrari, a symbol of passion, style, and technology.
The oldest surviving, the most well known, and the most loved team in Grand Prix Motor Racing.
I don’t know. I can’t answer that question, except to say that Ferrari is not just another Formula One team… something about it makes a great many people, including myself, want to make it a part of them and absorb it into their soul.
The cars always look so beautiful; maybe that is what attracts so many people to the team. The models after the 1996 car (F310) don’t look as nice as they once did, but Ferrari still always produces a car that seems to look more beautiful than any other car on the grid.
Scuderia Ferrari was in its early days nothing more than a team running privateer Alfa Romeo’s really. The team’s founder, the much-loved Enzo Ferrari, was born in 1898, into a pretty rich family in Modena, Italy.
The family owned a car by the time Enzo was still very young, when cars were rare, and this is probably what sparked his passion for the sport of motor racing.
When Enzo was 10, he was taken with his brother Dino (a name very closely associated with Ferrari, now you know why!) to see a race in Bologna, and Enzo was immediately hooked.
After World War One finished, Enzo decided he wanted to drive. Coming from such a wealthy family (you still needed money back then to race – just as you do today, it’s just that back then talent counted for much less!) he could have probably obtained finance from his family for his racing career, however he did not do this.
Ferrari tried to get a job with FIAT, (ironically, the company would go on to absorb the Ferrari company into it’s empire some years later) he failed, but managed to make friends within the FIAT company in Turin, and found a job as a handyman, servicing old army vehicles, doing them up and selling them on.
Eventually, through a friend from Turin named Ugo Sivocco, he managed to find a job with the CMN car company, and this allowed him to compete in his first motor race at one of the company’s cars in 1919, a hill climb in Parma. His performance was good enough to warrant an entry in the Targa Florio – one of the classic Italian Road Races.
He then spent some time driving a Isotta-Fraschini, before acquiring a very expensive new Alfa Romeo sports car, and maybe this was the deciding factor in allowing him to talk his way into a works drive with the Alfa Romeo team for the 1920 Targa Florio, as a partner to Giuseppe Campari.
A few months after this, he convinced Sivocco to join the team from FIAT.
Ferrari continued to race on and off for a while, but increased his influence within Alfa by persuading others to join the team, most notably Luigi Bazzi, a well respected engineer.
The Prancing Horse, or “Cavallino Rampante” is one of the most well known symbols in Global Motorsport.
However, Brock Yates, who wrote a scathing biography of the Commendatore, says the emblem wasn’t Baracca’s but belonged to his squadron and was still being used by its post-World War 2 jet squadron successor. Not only that, but Yates quotes a report that Baracca took the emblem from a German Albatross he shot down, but it was from the coat of arms of the pilot’s home city of Stuttgart. So who knows?
Alfa then built its first Grand Prix car – christened the P1. It was a disaster. Sivocco crashed it at Monza and was killed. Alfa considered turning it’s back on Grand Prix Racing.
It didn’t though. Bazzi persuaded Alfa Romeo to hire another engineer, named Vittorio Jano, and they worked together to produce the P2 in 1924. This car was an immediate success, however Alfa withdrew in 1925, when at the wheel of a P2, its lead drive Antonia Ascari was killed at the wheel of a P2.
Alfa decided they had seen enough, and locked away the P2’s, never intending to run them again.
In 1929 Alfredo Caniato and Mario Tadini and others agreed to fund the establishment of a racing team, which Ferrari would run for them, preparing Alfa Romeo cars. With the money they supplied he was able to hire Campari and the team began to grow. When Alfa Romeo decided that it wanted Campari back, Ferrari did a deal to get his hands on one of Jano’s P2s and hired a young Tazio Nuvolari to drive it.
Success led to expansion and the team took on rising stars Baconin Borzacchini and Luigi Arcangeli and as the 1930 season progressed Scuderia Ferrari increasingly became seen as the Alfa Romeo factory team. At the end of 1932, as Jano was preparing a new P3 racer, Alfa Romeo decided to withdraw from racing again. Ferrari tried to get his hands on the P3s but was refused. As rivals Maserati and Bugatti had better machinery Ferrari lost all his top drivers as the team struggled on with old Alfas. Eventually Alfa Romeo management relented and the P3s were delivered to Modena. Bazzi and Alfa test driver Attilio Marinoni left Alfa Romeo to join the Scuderia and Ferrari hired Luigi Fagioli and the veteran Campari to be his drivers. The team was immediately successful but at Monza in September Campari was killed in one of the cars. The same accident claimed the life of former Ferrari driver Borzacchini.
At the end of the year Alfa Romeo handed over the entire racing department to Ferrari. He hired Achille Varzi, Louis Chiron and Carlo Trossi (a partner in the team) with Algerians Guy Moll and Marcel Lehoux as second-string drivers. The rise of the German manufacturers would make it increasingly difficult for Ferrari to compete at Grand Prix level. Moll won at Monaco that year but was killed a few months later at Pescara. At the end of the year Varzi left to join Auto Union. Ferrari managed to convince Nuvolari to return and hired Rene Dreyfus to be his partner alongside Chiron. That year Nuvolari scored a famous and outstanding victory against the Germans at the Nurburgring in the old Alfa Romeo P3.
It was clear, however, that the Italians could not compete with the Germans and in 1936 Chiron moved to Mercedes-Benz and Dreyfus to Talbot. Nuvolari remained and was joined by a new rising star called Nino Farina. The modified Alfas were still not competitive and that year the company appointed Wifredo Ricart to see what could be done to improve the performance of the cars. Ricart and Ferrari went to war against one another and this resulted in the spring of 1937 in Alfa Romeo buying 70% of Scuderia Ferrari. The battle for power continued with Ferrari and Alfa working on parallel designs. Ferrari’s crew produced a car, which would later become known as the Alfa Romeo 158 (known as the Alfetta. The Alfa Romeo factory developed their own ideas and Nuvolari was so disappointed that he decided to join Auto Union. Alfa Romeo fired Jano and the company announced that the racing department was being relocated in Turin.
The little team continued work on developing Alfetta’s. All activities were soon rendered irrelevant however by the outbreak of World War Two.
Ferrari was officially fired by Alfa in 1939, but he used some of the money he had saved up to acquire land at Maranello (which is, to this day, still the headquarters of Ferrari) just outside Modena, and started a company building aircraft engines.
The advantage of being in Maranello was that it was well away from bombing raids… the same could not be said of the Alfa Romeo factory, which was reduced to a pile of rubble during the war, leaving the company in no fit state to go racing.
With the war over and Alfa Romeo’s factories in ruins, Ferrari decided that he would go it alone and build his own racing cars. Bazzi and Giaochino Colombo joined him. Colombo designed a new V12 engine and a car called the Ferrari 125. Soon afterwards Colombo was ordered back to Alfa Romeo.
But development of the engine continued and finally the new Ferrari 125s were ready to compete and veteran Franco Cortese raced the first Ferrari at an event in Piacenza in May 1947. The car was leading when it broke down. Two weeks later Cortese raced the car at Caracalla in Rome and won. The opposition was weak. The engine was reworked and stretched to 1.9-liters and the cars were redesignated 159s but they were still difficult to handle and Bazzi himself crashed one and broke his leg. One was entered for a race in Turin and Raymond Sommer gave Ferrari an important victory, although the opposition was still only mediocre. The result was that Ferrari was able to rehire both Colombo and a youngster called Aurelio Lampredi who had previously left Ferrari to join Isotta-Fraschini. The success also attracted a number of wealthy potential customers for Ferrari racing machinery.
Colombo worked to improve the 125 while Lampredi designed the 166, which was to be made available for customers. Luigi Chinetti established a Ferrari showroom in New York and the company went into business. The company’s first major victory came on the Mille Miglia in 1948 with Clemente Biondetti.
Alfa Romeo was reviving quickly and when Ferrari and Alfa went head to head for the first time in the autumn of 1948 in Turin it was Jean-Pierre Wimille’s Alfa Romeo, which won.
But at the start of 1949 Alfa Romeo decided not to take part in Grand Prix races.
Maserati too dropped out and so Ferrari was able to hire Alberto Ascari and Gigi Villoresi, the best drivers of the day. Ferraris became regular winners while in sportscar racing Chinetti and Lord Selsdon combined to win the Le Mans 24 Hours for Ferrari (Chinetti doing 22 hours of driving).
In 1950, a new World Championship for Grand Prix cars and drivers was announced. Alfa found this idea very interesting, and had yet another change of company policy, deciding to build a car and enter the championship.
Alfa dominated that year, and won all 11 of the races that were ran that season. They then, probably thinking how easy it was, and feeling very happy with themselves, withdrew from racing yet again!
This left the World Championship in a state of total disarray, and it was decided that Formula 2 regulations would be adopted. This was good news for Ferrari who had competitive cars for the new formula. Lampredi reworked the cars and produced the Ferrari 500.
Farina and Piero Taruffi joined Ascari and the team won every Grand Prix of the year with Ascari collecting six consecutive victories. The following year Ascari and Farina was joined by Villoresi (who was out of action for much of 1952) and by British rising star Mike Hawthorn. Ascari won five races and a second World title. Hawthorn and Farina won one race apiece. It was not until the end of the year that Juan-Manuel Fangio in a Maserati was finally able to beat Ferrari.
The new 2.5-liter formula was introduced in 1954 and Ferrari stretched the 2-liter engine and designated the new car the 625. The car was not competitive against the new Maserati 250F. Gonzalez won the British GP and Hawthorn in Spain but otherwise Fangio dominated. The following year the Argentine driver switched to the new Mercedes-Benz team and Ferrari won only one event with driver Maurice Trintignant.
In the course of 1955 Lancia ran Jano-designed D50 chassis. But the team ran out of money and Ferrari offered to buy the cars and Jano. Fangio was hired to drive in 1956 alongside rising British star Peter Collins and Eugenio Castelotti. The team returned to its winning ways with Fangio winning three times and Collins twice, the Englishman eventually handing his car over to Fangio in the final race. Away from the racetracks, it was a sad year as Ferrari’s son Dino died.
Fangio moved on to Maserati at the end of the year leaving Collins to partner Mike Hawthorn and Luigi Musso. The Lancias were getting old and the British teams were becoming stronger and Ferrari failed to win a race in 1957. It was a bad year for the team as Castelotti was killed while testing and the Marquis de Portago crashed a Ferrari into the crowd on the Mille Miglia. Twelve people, including several children, were killed. Enzo Ferrari was charged with manslaughter.
The man on the ascendancy within Ferrari was now Carlo Chiti and he designed a completely new car for the 1958 season, the 246 Dino. Collins, Hawthorn and Musso were retained as drivers. It was not a successful year as Vanwall became the leading contender in F1 and at the French GP Musso was killed. A few months later Collins died at the Nurburgring. Hawthorn scrambled to the World Championship but then announced that he was retiring from the sport. A few months later he too was dead after a road accident in England.
For the 1959 season Ferrari hired Tony Brooks and Jean Behra and Americans Phil Hill and Dan Gurney. Cliff Allison was also hired for occasional outings. The team was not a happy one. Behra was fired after punching team manager Romolo Tavoni. Brooks kept himself in with a chance of the championship until the end of the year but after a brush with young team mate Wolfgang Von Trips at Sebring he pitted for checks and lost the world title to Jack Brabham. He left at the end of the year.
Ferrari retained Hill and Van Trips for the 1960 season. The team debuted the first rear-engined 246 at Monaco in the hands of American Ritchie Ginther, while regular driver Allison suffered serious arm injuries in a practice crash. The rest of the year was not a success. The 246 was too old to compete. Chiti designed a new rear-engined 156 for the new 1.5-liter formula in 1961 and Hill, Von Trips and Ginther were retained as drivers with Giancarlo Baghetti joining the team in midseason.
The shark-nosed 156 proved to be an unbeatable car and while Hill and Von Trips fought for the World Championship, Baghetti made history at the French GP by becoming the first man in the history of the World Championship to win on his debut. The World title was settled in tragic fashion at Monza where Von Trips crashed into the crowd, killing himself and 14 spectators. Hill was World Champion.
Soon afterwards there was a major upheaval in the racing department when Chiti, Tavoni and several other key staff departed to set up their own ATS racing team. Ferrari promoted 26-year-old engineer Mauro Forghieri to head the racing division. Eugenio Dragoni was hired as team manager. Hill and Baghetti were retained and were joined by a young Mexican driver called Ricardo Rodriguez and a rising Italian star called Lorenzo Bandini. Forghieri realized that he needed a completely new car but the team had to race with the old machinery in 1962. At the end of the year Hill and Baghetti both departed to join ATS. The old cars continued to be used in 1963 although Forghieri prepared a new generation F1 car to integrate some of the innovations which had been made in England in previous years.
John Surtees was hired to drive for the team alongside Willy Mairesse, while a new young Italian Lodovico Scarfiotti was tried. At the German GP Mairesse crashed heavily and broke his arm badly, ending his F1 career.
For the 1964 season the team had a brand new V8 engine designed by Angelo Bellei. The company was increasingly involved in sportscar racing and the production car business was being eyed by the Ford Motor Company but F1 remained the focus and Surtees was able to win several races with the powerful new V8. Jim Clark’s Lotus was a faster car but it was fragile and in Mexico Surtees was able to use his reliability to win the World Championship. The final year of the 1.5-liter formula meant that there was little point in building a new engine for 1965. In sportscar racing Ford and Porsche were pushing Ferrari hard That year Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt stumble to victory at Le Mans in a NART Ferrari but it was to be the last major victory for the company in sportscar racing. Surtees did what he could in F1 but Clark’s Lotus was dominant.
For 1966 Forghieri took the Ferrari 3.3-liter V12 used in sportscar racing (which had links back to Colombo’s V12) and put it in the back of an F1 chassis. The result was a disaster and during testing Surtees found that a 2.5-liter Tasman car was much quicker. Surtees was given the job of developing the V12 engine, while Bandini drove the 2.5-liter V6 car. The team was divided by political battles and although Surtees won at Spa he left the team at mid-season after a dispute with Dragoni. Ferrari engineer Mike Parkes was drafted in to replace him but the only other win came from Scarfiotti at Monza.
The new Cosworth DFV, however, set a new standard for F1 engines. Ferrari realized that things had to change and Dragoni was fired to be replaced by journalist Franco Lini.
Lini knew that the team needed a top-level driver alongside Bandini and decided that 23-year-old New Zealander Chris Amon was the best available choice. The cars were still large and heavy but were an improvement on the previous year but almost immediately disaster struck when Bandini crashed at Monaco and was trapped in his burning car. He survived only a few days. Parkes returned but a few weeks later he crashed heavily at Spa and suffered leg injuries, which ended his F1 career.
Jacky Ickx was hired for the 1968 season but the cars were not very competitive again and at the end of the year Lini quit. That summer Ferrari agreed terms to sell the production car business to FIAT for $11m. Ferrari kept control of the racing team. With plenty of money to play with Ferrari decided it was time to revive the team. Little could be done in the short term and so the 1969 season was wasted with Amon struggling with an unreliable car and Pedro Rodriguez replacing Ickx.
At the end of the year Amon departed but Ferrari coaxed Ickx back and hired a wild young Swiss driver called Clay Regazzoni and an Italian called Ignazio Giunti. The flat 12 engine was developed and by the end of the 1970 season the Ferrari was the fastest car. Ickx finished second in the World Championship. That winter Giunti was killed in an unfortunate sportscar accident in Buenos Aires but Ickx and Regazzoni were again competitive at the start of the 1971 season but the updated versions of the 312 were not a success and won only occasional races in 1971 and 1972. Forghieri was transferred to other work and Ferrari handed over development to a young Innocenti engineer called Sandro Colombo. Ickx and Arturo Merzario (Regazzoni had moved to BRM) struggled with the latest version of the car and the team ended the year in total disarray and failed to attend several events.
Ferrari finally acted. Colombo was dropped and Forghieri put back in charge. Luca di Montezemolo was hired to run the team. Regazzoni was rehired and Niki Lauda was hired. The package worked. In 1974 Forghieri developed the 312B3. Lauda won in Spain and Holland and Regazzoni won in Germany. The team finished runner-up in the Constructors’ title to McLaren. The following year Forghieri designed the 312T (for transverse gearbox). Lauda won five races and the World Championship, while Regazzoni stormed to victory in Monza. Ferrari scored its first World Championship successes for 11 years.
At the end of the year Montezemolo moved on, to be replaced by Daniele Audetto. The 1976 season should have been a repeat performance Lauda won four of the first six races and at half-season had double the number of points of any other driver but the Nurburgring. He crashed heavily and was dragged from the burning wreck on his car by other drivers. The Austrian’s recovery is now part of F1 legend. Six weeks after the crash he was back in action at Monza and in the final World Championship showdown in the rain at Mount Fuji in Japan he withdrew from the race, handing the World Championship to James Hunt. Ferrari took the Constructors’ title. After Lauda’s crash Ferrari had hired Carlos Reutemann as his replacement and when Lauda recovered the team had no choice but to dump Regazzoni.
In 1977 Forghieri’s 312T2 was just as competitive as the previous car. Audetto departed and was replaced by Roberto Nosetto, who did not get on well with Lauda. The Austrian was keen to show that he was still a winner and although Reutemann was the first to win a race, Lauda scored three wins and took the World title again. With the title over and a Brabham contract in his pocket, Lauda and Ferrari fell out and so for the two final races of the year Enzo Ferrari picked up a 25-year-old Canadian rising star called Gilles Villeneuve.
The team had another new sporting director in the form of Marco Piccinini. Villeneuve provided with Ferrari with a new lease of life. He would drive any car as Nuvolari had done in the old days. In the first season he had a lot of accidents and it was left to Reutemann to challenge for the World Championship. He won four times but Team Lotus had developed the ground-effect Lotus 79 and the car beat all records of success in one season. At the end of the year Villeneuve won his first victory in Canada. Reutemann moved to Lotus for the 1979 season and so Ferrari hired Jody Scheckter to replace him. Forghieri’s 312T4 was a more aerodynamically effective car and with the massive horsepower from Forghieri’s flat-12, the pair were soon in a dominant situation in the World Championship. Villeneuve won four races but Scheckter collected more points and Villeneuve was happy to let his team-mate take the title.
The 1980 season was a disaster. Ferrari was left behind by the aerodynamic development of the British teams. The 312 T5 was an ungainly car and failed to win a race. Scheckter retired at the end of the year and Ferrari hired a rising French star called Didier Pironi. The team developed a new 1.5-liter turbocharged engine and the new car was designated the 126C.
Ferrari fallen way behind the British teams in chassis technology but the engine was remarkable and that year Villeneuve scored two memorable victories in Monaco and Spain.
Midway through the year Ferrari hired Harvey Postlethwaite. Forghieri was not happy. Postlethwaite’s 126C2 chassis was highly competitive but the season soon turned into a nightmare. At Imola Pironi nipped ahead of Villeneuve to win the San Marino GP. Villeneuve was furious, saying that the Frenchman had broken team orders. Two weeks later Villeneuve died in a qualifying accident at Zolder. Pironi seemed to be on course for the title and Patrick Tambay was hired to support him.
At Hockenheim, driving in the wet, Pironi ran into the back of another car. The Ferrari somersaulted and the Frenchman suffered terrible leg injuries. He would never race in F1 again. Tambay took up the fight, joined at the end of the year by Mario Andretti. The team won the Constructors’ title but the Drivers’ went to Keke Rosberg.
For the 1983 season Ferrari hired Rene Arnoux to partner Tambay. Arnoux was obviously quicker and won three times. Tambay won once. The team won the Constructors’ title again but the Drivers’ crown again eluded the team. At the end of that year Tambay was dropped and Ferrari hired his first Italian driver for a decade. Michele Alboreto and Arnoux raced Postlethwaite’s 126C4 but the team won only one race in the face of McLaren-TAG domination. The political infighting within the team increased and at the end of the year Forghieri was ousted. Postlethwaite stayed on as chief designer while the engine development was handed over to Ildo Renzetti.
At the start of the 1985 season Arnoux was sacked and Ferrari picked up Stefan Johansson as its second driver but the package was not competitive against the McLaren-TAGs and the Williams-Hondas. Alboreto won twice and finished runner-up to Alain Prost in the World Championship. Over the winter Ferrari hired Frenchman Jean-Jacques His to take over engine development while Postlethwaite stayed on to design the new F1/86. The package was not a success and in the mid-season Ferrari hired McLaren designer John Barnard. He refused to leave England but Ferrari agreed to allow him to set up a technical headquarters in Britain. Factional infighting tore the team apart and although there was some optimism at the end of 1987 when new signing Gerhard Berger won the final two races of the year.
But the 1988 season was a disaster. The McLaren-Hondas were totally dominant and in midseason the internal politics at Ferrari finally came to a head. Ferrari supported John Barnard’s desire for the team to switch to V12 engines, while his son Piero Lardi Ferrari, Piccinini and Postlethwaite wanted to continue with turbo engines. Ferrari ousted his own son and gave the management of the racing team to a FIAT man Pier Giorgio Cappelli. Postlethwaite departed to join Tyrrell. Piccinini stayed on to look after political issues but he was no longer running the team.
In August Enzo Ferrari died. A few weeks later at Monza Ayrton Senna’s McLaren stumbled over a backmarker and retired from the race and Berger and Alboreto finished 1-2 for Ferrari. It was the only non-McLaren victory of the year. By then FIAT had taken over the running of the team. Piccinini disappeared. Pierguido Castelli was appointed technical director overseeing Barnard’s activities. There was immediate friction between the British and Italian ends of the operation and Ferrari began to look for someone to replace Barnard. The team also hired Nigel Mansell to replace Alboreto.
In March 1989 Cesare Fiorio, formerly the competitions director of Lancia and Alfa Romeo, replaced Cappelli as head of the racing department. Barnard’s new 641 appeared in Brazil and Mansell wins on the car’s debut. Berger was fortunate to emerge unscathed from a fiery accident at Imola and was not fully competitive until the autumn. In June the team announced that Enrique Scalabroni would take over chassis design from John Barnard for the 1990 car. The team is later bolstered by the arrival of another McLaren engineer Steve Nichols, while Paolo Massai was put in charge of engine development. Castelli remains technical director. At the end of the year Alain Prost is hired to replace Berger.
The 1990 season was not a success. Scalabroni and aerodynamicist Henri Durand were soon dropped and Nichols was put in charge of chassis design. A political battle developed between Fiorio and Prost. The Frenchman won five victories (Mansell won one) but he was beaten to the World title by Senna, who ran him off the road in Suzuka at the end of the year.
Mansell departed at the end of the year and Ferrari hired Jean Alesi to be his replacement. At the start of the 1991 season Senna’s McLaren-Honda was completely dominant and Prost managed to engineer the departure of Fiorio. Fiat appoints a triumvirate to lead the team consisting of Piero Lardi Ferrari, Piccinini and Claudio Lombardi, the latter running the team. Castelli remains as technical director.
In October that year Lombardi fired Prost after the Frenchman made critical remarks about the car.
The lack of success at the team prompted Fiat to put Luca di Montezemolo in charge of the entire Ferrari company. Castelli was transferred to a new job in Fiat. Lombardi becomes technical director with Postlethwaite rehired to head the chassis design department. Nichols leaves to become technical director at Sauber. Italian Ivan Capelli joins Alesi but he failed to impress and was himself replaced at the end of the year by Nicola Larini. In August 1992 after another season without wins Ferrari rehires Barnard and a new British base is established. Postlethwaite is put in charge of the production and the race team while Lombardi is moved to head the engine department.
For 1993 Ferrari rehired Berger to partner Alesi but the car was still unable to compete with Williams-Renault. In July Montezemolo named Jean Todt as the new sporting director of the team. A few weeks later Postlethwaite left and was replaced by Valerio Bianchi from Magneti-Marelli. There were signs of improvement but the only success came when Berger won a fortunate victory at Hockenheim. At the end of the year there was another technical reshuffle with Lombardi and Bianchi being dropped. Gustav Brunner was named head of the chassis department with Barnard as chief designer. Paolo Martinelli replaced Lombardi as head of the engine department.
The new Barnard-designed Ferrari 412T2 was more competitive but the only success came when Alesi scored a lucky victory in Canada. The gradual improvement meant that Ferrari was able to attract Michael Schumacher for the 1996 season and as Berger refused to stay as his team-mate Ferrari hired Eddie Irvine from Jordan.
The new Ferrari F310 proved to be a disaster with major gearbox trouble at the start of the year but Schumacher kept the team’s hopes alive with virtuoso victories in Spain, Belgium and at Monza. At the end of the year Ross Brawn is appointed technical director, with Barnard as head of design and development and Martinelli remaining in charge of the engine department. Brawn then hired Rory Byrne to be chief designer and Ferrari agreed to sell its British design operation to Barnard. The F310B was reworked by Barnard for the 1997 season and Schumacher was able to win four races and challenge Jacques Villeneuve for the World Championship. The German driver tried to drive Villeneuve off the track at Jerez at the end of the year and as a result was disqualified from the World Championship.
The first Byrne-designed Ferrari arrived in 1998 but by then McLaren-Mercedes had become the dominant force in F1 and while Schumacher won six times, Mika Hakkinen was able to win the World title.Ferrari still retains the following of the most passionate motor racing fans, the Tifosi, and the not inconsiderable financial backing of mother company Fiat.
In 1999 having taken the title to the wire for the third successive season, Ferrari were rewarded with the Constructors’ title. However, when Schumacher crashed out of the British GP (subsequently missing the next six races), it was left to Eddie Irvine to take up the fight. The Ulsterman gave it his best shot, but it was not to be.
For 2000 Rubens Barrichello joined Michael Schumacher as Ferrari tried to end a 21- year drought. Following a tremendous start to the season when the German won three successive GPs, McLaren began to gain the upper hand. However, a string of great performances at the end of the season saw Schumacher claim his third (and Ferrari’s tenth) drivers’ title.
2001 was a triumphant one for Ferrari – a year in which their No 1 driver cemented his claim as an F1 racing great and the Prancing Horse scooped their second consecutive contructor’s title.
2002 was the year which saw Schumacher challenging most of the great records left in F1 including trying to equal Fangios Five Drivers Championships, it proved to be the most dominant season in the history of Ferrari, Schumacher won a total of 11 races whilst teammate Rubens Barrichello won 4 races giving the Scuderia 15 wins out of a possible 17 races, It was a clean sweep, Ferrari won the Constructors title with ease , with Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello finisihing 1-2 in the championship respectively
In 2003 Michael Schumacher broke Juan Manuel Fangio’s long-standing record to claim his 6th World Drivers Championship whilst the Ferrari team claimed their fifth straight Constructors Championship. Although Ferrari did win both titles, 2003 provided many difficulties compared to their dominant 2002 victories. The year started poorly with 3 DNF’s in the first three races, and Schumacher not even setting foot on the podium in that time. McLaren looked set to be the team to dethrone Ferrari. Then, tragedy struck the night before the Imola race when Schumacher’s mother passed unexpectedly. He put on a brave face and raced anyway to claim his first victory of the year. He won three out of the next four races but then entered another slump in the middle of the season when Williams became the team to beat. Victories for Schumacher at Monza and Indianapolis and Barrichello at Suzuka would turn the season around just in the nick of time.
2004, possibly the most dominant year for Ferrari or any team ever. After having to fight very hard for the 2003 titles, 2004 was a walk in the park with Michael Schumacher winning the first 5 races of the season in dominant fashion. Michael’s rampage was only brought to an end when he and Juan Pablo Montoya collided in the tunnel during a safety car period at the Monaco GP, which Michael was leading. Michael would rebound winning the next 7 races, using some interesting methods like the four stop strategy. Rubens Barrichello also had a very good season with many podiums producing several 1-2 finishes for Ferrari. Barrichello would steal the show during the next few races of the year, despite Kimi Raikonen and McLaren winning their only Grand Prix of the year in Belgium, with Michael and Rubens coming second and third. Rubens would take consecutive victories at Monza and Shanghai with two stellar drives. Michael struggled during these races, after spinning on lap one in Italy he recovered to finish in a very strong second place. China was much harder for Michael though, he had to start from pit lane after a spin in qualifying he then worked his way up to tenth only to spin and suffer a tyre puncture eventually finishing 12th. Michael commented on the Chinese race saying, “This was a slightly more interesting race than I would have wanted.” Fortunately Michael rebounded taking the pole and the victory in Japan, showing that he just had a bad day in China, the victory was his 83rd. Michael would once again flounder in Brazil, crashing heavily in practice and being forced to start near the back, he would recover and finish 7th. Rubens had the best opportunity to win or at least finish his home race after taking the Saturday’s pole. Rubens would once again be denied victory at home loosing out to Williams and Juan Pablo Montoya, but at least he finished the race, something he had done only once before. None of this mattered really as Michael and Ferrari had locked up both Championships many races ago. Michael dominated the 2004 season winning 13 of the 18 races and Rubens once again put in a strong performance, ensuring that only three victories went to other teams. Ferrari would finish the season with over twice as many points as their nearest rival and season’s surprise BAR with their driver Jenson Button emerging as a top driver. Ferrari picked up many records along the way to winning the championship and it seems that they will continue to topple their own records as there is no letting up in their dominance.
Enzo Ferrari was born on February 18, 1898 near Modena, Italy. When he was 10 his father took him to an automobile race in Bologna. After attending a number of other races, he decided he wanted to become a racing car driver.
While working at a small carmaker involved with converting war surplus, Ferrari took up racing. In 1919 he finished ninth at the Targa Florio. He ended up landing a job with Alfa Romeo and drove a modified production car in the 1920 Targa Florio. Ferrario managed to finish second.
In 1923 while racing at the Circuit of Sivocci at Ravenna he was approached by Count Enrico and Countess Paolina Baracca, the parents of the heroic Italian pilot Francesco Baracca. Francesco was known as the Italian ace of aces. He died on Mount Montello during the war. His parents gave Ferrari their son’s squadron badge, which was the famous prancing horse on a yellow shield.
Enzo Ferrari was connected with Alfa Romeo for many years, however, he built only a few sports cars bearing his name and his famous prancing horse badge. In 1929 Enzo formed the Scuderia Ferrari with the aim of organizing racing for members. The Scuderia Ferrari team competed in 22 events and scored 8 victories and several good placings.
In 1940 Enzo Ferrari left Alfa Romeo and started a new company Auto-Avio Costruzioni Ferrari. During World War II the Ferrari workshop moved from Modena to Maranello. The workshop became a victim of the war in 1944 – it was leveled by bombs. A year after the war in 1946 the shop was rebuilt and work began on the first ever Ferrari motorcar, the 125 Sport. This car started a grand tradition of winning for Ferrari. Since it’s first race in 1947, Ferrari’s have had over 5,000 successes on race tracks around the globe.
In 1969 Enzo Ferrari sold 50% of Ferrari’s share capital to the Fiat group. That figure grew to 90% in 1988. Enzo Ferrari died at the age of 90 in Modena on August 14, 1988.
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