Sunday, August 5, 2007

History of Ferrari in F1

  • Wins - 198
  • Podium finishes - 601
  • Fastest laps - 202
  • Pole position - 195
  • Front row starts - 376

The prancing horse motif of Ferrari is one of the best known icons in motor sport. Enzo Ferrari took the emblem from the First World War Italian fighter ace Francesco Baracca.

The FIA Formula 1 Championship was launched in 1950 and was initially dominated by Alfa Romeo but in 1951 at the British GP, Ferrari achieved their first win – the first of many Grand Prix victories. The driver was Froilan Gonzalez.

Ferrari took the Drivers World Championship in 1952 and 1953 with Alberto Ascari driving one of the all-time classic single seater racing cars – the Ferrari 500. In two seasons – 1952 and 1953 the Ferrari 500 won every Grand Prix except just one race.

In 1958, Mike Hawthorn driving for Ferrari became the first British World Drivers Champion.

But Grand Prix racing was changing – a new formula with a 1.5 litre normally aspirated engine was introduced and rear engined cars became the ‘standard’. Ferrari produced the famous ‘shark nosed’ GP car and Phil Hill of the United States took the 1961 Drivers World Championship with this car, after his team mate Wolfgang von Trips was killed in racing accident at the Italian Grand Prix.

During the 1960s and 1970s, new teams such as Lotus, Tyrell, and McLaren began to dominate F1 and be the innovating force.

Ferrari now had to wait eleven years for their next Drivers World Champion – Niki Lauda became World Champion in 1975 driving for Ferrari. The following year Lauda had a horrific crash in his Ferrari and suffered major burns, but Lauda recovered from his injuries and in 1977 he took the World Drivers Championship for Ferrari.

Highly professional organised teams such as McLaren and Williams dominated Grand Prix racing in the 1980s and 1990s.

Michael Schumacher – twice World Drivers Champion – moved to Ferrari in 1996 and a new international management team was assembled including Jean Todt and the British master strategist - Ross Brawn (who had worked with Schumacher at Benetton). Schumacher was runner up in the World championship in 1997 and 1998. Schumacher has signed a very lucrative contract to stay at Ferrari and his efforts were rewarded by taking the F1 Drivers Championship in year 2000 (21 years since Jody Schekter took the title for Ferrari). Schumacher has taken the Driver World Championship four more times for Ferrari – including record breaking 6th World Championship in 2003.

The credentials of the Ferrari team are impressive – they are the only F1 team to be continuously active in the current World Championship since its inception over 50 years ago. The team continue to enjoy world wide support and particularly fanatical support in Italy and it has scored the largest number of Grand prix wins of any team, but competition in F1 racing remains fierce.

Drivers who have won the Drivers World Championship for Ferrari

1952 Alberto Ascari (Italy)

1953 Alberto Ascari (Italy)

1956 Juan-Manuel Fangio (Arg)

1958 Mike Hawthorn (GB)

1961 Phil Hill (USA)

1964 John Surtees (GB)

1975 Niki Lauda (Austria)

1977 Niki Lauda (Austria)

1979 Jody Schekter (South Africa)

2000 Michael Schumacher (Germany)

2001 Michael Schumacher (Germany)

2002 Michael Schumacher (Germany)

2003 Michael Schumacher (Germany)


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