E nzo Ferrari would be proud of his heirs. When the company founder died in August 1988, the last world championship title was nine years ago and no one suspected that it would be twelve years before Michael Schumacher would redeem the Maranello racing team from this evil curse. Then there was enough of world titles. No team has more trophies in their closet than Ferrari.
To list all the successes would go beyond the scope. So we're just picking out the milestones. For example, Formula 1 was born on May 13, 1950 in Silverstone, in which Ferrari did not take part. The entry fee offered by the English Automobile Club was too low for Enzo Ferrari. He did not have his cars compete until the second Grand Prix, eight days later in Monaco. It was a great success. Although the Ferrari 125 were hopelessly underpowered against the Alfa Romeo, Alberto Ascari crossed the finish line in second and Raymond Sommer in fourth.
Ferrari celebrated its first victory in 1951 at Silverstone. The plump Argentinian Froilan Gonzalez set the first milestone. A year later, Ferrari was world champion for the first time. After Alberto Ascari narrowly missed the title in the 1951 final against Juan-Manuel Fangio due to the wrong tire choice, the Italian treated himself to two titles in a row with the name of a hero tenor. Ferrari was unrivaled with the Tipo 500 in 1952 and 1953.
The awarding of the title in 1956 was curious. With Juan-Manuel Fangio and Peter Collins, two Ferrari drivers were able to become world champions. When Fangio's car failed, Collins had it in his hands to become world champion himself. But the Englishman gave his car to Fangio, which was still possible at the time. Collins justified the noble gesture with the fact that he was younger than the Argentine and still had plenty of time to catch up. A cruel mistake. Two years later, Collins died at the German GP on the Nürburgring. For Ferrari it was a season of triumph and tears. Mike Hawthorn brought the title to Maranello, but with Peter Collins, Luigi Musso and Eugenio Castellotti three Ferrari drivers were killed on the racetrack.
Triumphs and tears at Ferrari
The tragic end also the world championship duel between Ferrari drivers Wolfgang Graf Berghe von Trips and Phil Hill. Trips fell to his death in the decisive race. The Californian Hill became the first American to become world champion. Enzo Ferrari gave himself the last run in Watkins-Glen for cost reasons. One of his drivers had already taken the crown. In theIn the 1960s, Ferrari was absent from some Grand Prix. Metal workers' strikes in Italy were mostly the reason.
In the 1964 World Cup finals in Mexico, the Ferraris competed in the NART team colors. Enzo Ferrari gave up his application license at short notice, annoyed that the Italian federation had refused him homologation for the 250LM. The operation was carried out by the American Ferrari branch. John Surtees won the world championship in a white and blue Ferrari 158 with a scandal. His team-mate Lorenzo Bandini pushed Graham Hill off the track, who like Surtees still had a chance at the world championship.
Then Ferrari fell into a deep hole. That culminated in the 1973 season when the red cars stayed away from the German GP. Enzo Ferrari did not want to embarrass himself. The 312B3 built by Englishman John Thompson was a flop. The previously demoted chief engineer Mauro Forghieri was brought out of exile, and with him the picture slowly turned. Clay Regazzoni narrowly missed the title in 1974.
A year later, Niki Lauda dominated almost at will. The 312T model was still a winning car in 1976. Without his fire accident at the Nürburgring, Lauda would have defended his title. So it came first in Monza to one of the biggest comebacks in sporting history and then in the last race in Fuji to a decision without a fight. Lauda got out after three laps, his opponent James Hunt became world champion.
No title for Ferrari for 21 years
One year later, the Austrian took back the world championship crown. His resignation left bad blood. Enzo Ferrari scolded Lauda as a traitor. Usually he made the decision about the fate of his drivers. The designated Lauda substitute Carlos Reutemann fell out of favor just one season later. Now Jody Scheckter and Gilles Villeneuve should fix it. Scheckter secured the title with constancy in 1979. Villeneuve won hearts with his wild driving style.
Ferrari's longest ordeal began with Scheckter's world title. It would take 21 years before Maranello was able to celebrate again. In 1982 the world championship was within reach. Two serious accidents ended the dream. Villeneuve died in Zolder. Didier Pironi's career ended with a crash at Hockenheim. The design engineer titles 1982, 1983 and 1999 were little consolation.
But defeats weld together. The Ferrari myth is also based on the fact that Ferrari never gave up. The Tifosi proved to be capable of suffering, the management in Maranello less so. After Enzo Ferrari's death, the race directors and shirts were changed.
It was only with Jean Todt that constancy came back into the game. The Frenchman hired on July 4, 1993 as the new capo. He brought Michael Schumacher, the engineers Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne and engine designer Gilles Simon on board, introduced Prussian discipline, stopped the political intrigues andstood on October 8, 2000 at the goal of his wishes. Michael Schumacher released Ferrari from an evil curse. 'If we hadn't made it that year, the team would have broken up,' Todt admits today.
The knot at Ferrari bursts with Michael Schumacher
A long dry spell hit them most successful phase of the racing team in its Formula 1 history. Schumacher won the title five times in a row. A Ferrari at the top was a familiar sight. One began to wonder who would ever stop this machine of victory. Those involved gave the answer themselves. The dream team fell apart. First Michael Schumacher and Ross Brawn disembarked. Then Rory Byrne and engine manager Paolo Martinelli said goodbye. In 2008, Jean Todt handed over the baton to his long-time team manager Stefano Domenicali. He had previously won a world title with Kimi Raikkonen. The last one so far.
Then Fernando Alonso should fix it. The Spaniard has been the new Messiah since 2010. Many in the team see Alonso as the reincarnation of Michael Schumacher. In the first year, the Spaniard was very close to the title. In the dramatic final in Abu Dhabi, the two-time champion was thwarted by Sebastian Vettel.
2011 was followed by another step backwards. The car is too conservative, the competition from McLaren and Red Bull too strong. Again only third place in the constructors' cup. The drivers' title was further away than ever. Against Vettel there was no herb again. But Ferrari history teaches: There is no giving up in Maranello.
That was also evident in 2012. The now more radically designed car only drove behind at the start of the season. But the engineers brought the red goddess back into shape within a few months. Fernando Alonso did his part with a flawless season, so that Ferrari was allowed to have a say in the awarding of the title. After the race in Monza, the Spaniard led the World Cup by 37 points and already looked like the sure world champion. But in an exciting final sprint, Sebastian Vettel caught his opponent again.
After the narrow defeat in 2012, it became a clear matter again in 2013. At the beginning of the year it became clear that the Italians couldn't keep up with the competition in terms of speed. It was only thanks to the careful handling of the sensitive Pirelli tires that there were at least two race wins in China and Spain. The pole positions are shared by Red Bull and Mercedes, who also took the first two places in the team classification. Thanks to his individual class and consistency, Alonso was runner-up for the third time in 4 years.
Ferrari upheaval with Vettel commitment
The long time without a title left the pressure at Scuderia keep increasing. As a first consequence, engineer James Allison was hired by Lotus. The driver's staff was also replaced. For Felipe Massa came for that2014 season again Kimi Raikkonen on board. But the measures did not lead to quick success. After a weak start to the season, team boss Stefano Domenicali was replaced by Marco Mattiacci. Since the former Ferrari USA manager couldn't change the course either, after the season there was Maurizio Arrivabene, the third team boss in 8 months.
Company president Luca di Montezemolo also had to resign in 2014. After the season, which the team finished in 4th place in the constructors' cup, many senior engineers were also replaced, including Chief Technology Officer Pat Fry and Chief Engineer Luca Marmorini. Star pilot Fernando Alonso was also split up. Sebastian Vettel was hired for this.
The German four-time world champion wants to lead Scuderia back to the top like Michael Schumacher in the 90s from the crisis. In the 2015 season, the German helped at least that a clear change was recognizable. In his second race in red in Malaysia, Vettel drove to victory. In Hungary and Singapore there were two more successes. That was more than one could have expected.
In the other 16 races, however, Ferrari mostly had no chance against Mercedes. In the World Cup ranking, Scuderia had to be satisfied with second place. After a disappointing 2016 without a single win, Ferrari fans regained hope in 2017. After a promising start, Vettel ran out of breath in the final sprint against Hamilton. In the end, the runner-up was just 46 points short of Hamilton. It was going in the right direction.
2018 seemed even closer, but after the summer break it came back to the bankruptcy series. Errors by the pilots and a stagnating technical development meant that in the end Hamilton was comfortably world champion again. The season was sadly remembered by Ferrari fans, also with the death of group leader Sergio Merchionne. During the winter break, Maranello dared a fresh start. Team boss Maurizio Arrivabene has been replaced by Mattia Binotto. Instead of Kimi Raikkonen, Charles Leclerc occupied the second cockpit next to Vettel.