The legend goes on

01.09.2017
Ferrari is a kind of phenomenon... Racing team, established in the mid-twentieth century, became not only an integral part of the Formula 1, but also one of the most successful automotive brands in the world. Let’s see how they managed to achieve such a success.

Author: Vladimir Dmitriev


Any legend has a founder, in our case, it is Enzo Ferrari, born in 1898 in the Italian city Modena. Passionate about cars from a young age, he personally participated in races, till in 1932 his son Dino came into the world. As it turned out, it was the command bridge where Enzo managed to achieve the greatest efficiency. Scuderia Ferrari, created in 1929, the original objective of which was to support private pilots, turned into Alfa Romeo factory team over time. It joined up to 50 racing drivers at the same time and raced in different classes.

In 1933, “Alfa”, experiencing financial difficulties, stops funding for the project. The stables continued to exist only thanks to Pirelli, and at the helm stands up «il Commendatore” himself. The main competitors at the time were representatives of Germany - Auto Union and Mercedes. In 1939 the collaboration with Alfa Romeo which renewed two years earlier terminated due to an internal conflict. One of the separation conditions was a noncompete commitment, according to which the founder of the legend could not produce cars and participate in races for four years. The headquarters changed also. During the Second World War the decision was made to move to the quiet Maranello town because of the air strikes. However, it was not enough: in 1944 during another bombing, the factory was destroyed. But in 1946 preparing began to return to motorsport.

The queen of motor racing was then at the stage of technical regulations approval. The key agreed constraints became motors parameters - half a liter for turbocharged units and four and a half for naturally aspirated ones. An engineer Gioacchino Colombo, who collaborated with Alfa, was involved in the development of the “heart”. Enzo wanted to opt for a larger volume and V12 and Colombo advocated the concept with a charger. No one made concessions, and as a compromise a unique a-liter half twelve-cylinder turbo motor appeared. Its modification
was installed in 1950 in the opening race of the Grand Prix Formula 1 track of Monaco.

The first title was won in 1952, Alberto Ascari won six qualification runs. Next year the red team became champion also and that year brought Alberto five wins. This was the first example of an abrupt leadership change and further dominance of one team under technical regulations changes.

“Scuderia” dominance ended in 1954. The current champion left the team, however, “Lancia” in which he moved, was not able to prepare a fast car. Life of the Italian legend ended in 1955 on the track in Monza. In preparing Ferrari for the Supercortemaggiore race the pilot lost control and flew off the track. His death was instantaneous. One of the turns on Autudromo Nazionale Monza is named after him.

The third cup in the individual competition and the first in the framework of the usual to us “World Constructors’ Championship” was conquered in 1956 by the great Fangio, this title was the fourth one for him. This became possible after the departure of Mercedes and Lancia. Interesting also is the fact that due to considerable efforts of FIAT Enzo and his brainchild could get the Italian team as a whole.

They don’t call world cup a circus for nothing, fans know that in addition to fighting on the track there are also several more storylines in the season. The team from Maranello is always striving to be the center of attention. In 1961 the title was won by Phil Hill, who became the first American champion. Opponents lost their mathematical chances to fight him again as early as in the penultimate Grand Prix in Monza, marred by the death of the partner Berghe von Tips. At the entrance to the Parabolica he collided with Jim Clark. In the end, team did not go to the last stage in the US and that marked the beginning of internal team conflict followed a year later by a huge scandal with the departure of leading engineers.

Theres was also a conflict with Ford: Enzo wanted to sell the company to Americans, but under strange circumstances he terminated the agreement at the last moment, having quarrel with the delegation.

Sometimes Ferrari resembled a boiling cauldron, and the intrigues that had been prepared and carried out there, were beyond understanding of fans. During the races of John Surtees, who won title for the team in 1964, there were serious machinations against the champion. One of the managers named Dragoni evenomed life as much as he could. It came even to the extreme of meanness, up Commendatore received an incorrect and sometimes false information. In the end John left the team in the middle of a race weekend where he got pole, when Dragoni told him that they had a more right candidate for the race. As John later admitted his leave was worth the title.

Since campaign1968, the team began to focus more on aerodynamics and began to apply a rear spoiler. “Scuderia” from Maranello introduced a hydraulic drive into the spoiler, and the racer could change the angle of attack on the track. A similar system is used in modern F1 and is called DRS (Drag Reduction System).


Many believe that the team was back to its former greatness and success only with the arrival of Schumacher in 1996, but this is not entirely correct. Experiencing financial difficulties since the early 60’s the company almost recovered by 1973. FIAT bought 90% of shares and sent a young and very promising manager Luca Di Montezemolo in the aid of Enzo. A contract with the racer Nicki Lauda and reorganization of engineering staff bore fruit, and in 1975, Nicki took the title. It turned out, it was his thoroughness and consistency the team lacked. By personal example, he proved that nothing is impossible. Even a terrible accident that occurred in 1976 on the track at Nürburgring didn’t stop Nicki. He was burning alive, but still arrived at the start at Monza literally in a month and a half. After finishing the bandages on his arms and head were soaked with blood. Lauda left the team without waiting for the end of the 1977 season, securing himself the title.

The fans had to wait for the following championship victory for more than two decades. Only with Michael’s arrival Ferrari gradually began to enter into its most productive era. Schumacher with his phenomenal thirst for victory and working capability has brought a great tactics Ross Brawn. The first of five consecutive cups was won in 2000, but only Fernando Alonso managede to stop “the Red Baron” in 2006. When Schumi left, Ross followed him.

Kimi Räikkönen continued Ferrari’s triumphant series and in 2007 he was able to snatch the title in the last turn from the beginner of great prizes and two-time Spanish champion Lewis Hamilton. There was another “World Constructors’ Championship” in 2008, but at the moment the team with the prancing horse on a shield can not achieve victory for ten years.

Management and fans of the team placed great hopes on Fernando Alonso. However, failures pursuing the pilot forced the owners to terminate a contract with him prematurely. Alonso, in turn, took an impulsive decision and moved to McLaren Honda.

The current season started for the team extremely well, and Sebastian Vettel, one of the two four-time champions in history, according to experts, has fully adapted and introduced a systematic approach and perseverance to the team. His pair is Kimi Räikkönen, and many experts call the duo racing for Ferrari one of the most harmonious as in the modern peloton, as in the history of the championship.