F1 » Scuderia Ferrari


Team History

The first cars run by Ferrari were Alfa Romeos, fielded by team patron Enzo Ferrari in the pre-championship years. From 1950 on, however, there have generally been true Ferraris on the grid - making it the oldest and best known of all grand prix teams.

Deprived of a title in the first two years of the world championship, ironically by Alfa Romeo, Ferrari bounced back to take the Drivers' title with Alberto Ascari in both 1952 and 1953. Another barren few years followed, but Ferrari took over the moderately successful Lancia entries and returned to the winner's circle in 1956, this time with Juan Manuel Fangio.

Further success came two years later, when Mike Hawthorn was crowned as Britain's first world champion. Driving the Tipo 146 - named Dino after Ferrari's son - Hawthorn pipped Stirling Moss to the title, despite having won fewer races than his compatriot and rival.

Again, however, innovation overtook Ferrari and, having seen the rear-engined Coopers win titles in 1959 and 1960, the Italian team was forced to follow suit. The first car - the Tipo 156 - was both beautiful and fast. The German Wolfgang von Trips was poised to win the championship title, only to be killed in an accident before the end of the season. His team-mate Phil Hill took up the challenge and eventually triumphed in his team-mate's memory.

Just one title came in the next 15 years, with former motorcycle champ John Surtees becoming the first man to win world championships on two and four wheels, by triumphing in 1964. Despite running an impressive list of drivers, it took the arrival of the young Austrian Niki Lauda to revive Ferrari's flagging fortunes.

Although he missed out in his first season, Lauda took the 1975 title, beating reigning champion Emerson Fittipaldi by almost 20 points. A second crown would have followed in 1976, but Lauda suffered an appalling accident at the Nurburgring in Germany. Despite receiving severe burns - and having been given the Last Rites - Lauda returned to racing just a few races later. He eventually lost the title to James Hunt by a single point, but returned to claim it back in 1977.

Jody Scheckter took the world drivers' championships in 1979 for Ferrari, following a hard fought season with his team-mate Gilles Villeneuve. The team then had to wait 21 years before they took the drivers crown again. This wasn't due to a lack of good drivers though - and despite losing great hopes Villeneuve and Didier Pironi to accidents - signings such as Alain Prost, Jean Alesi and Nigel Mansell all failed to bring the drivers crown back to Italy.

In 1988 team founder Enzo Ferrari died, and the team suffered several years in the wilderness before former team manager Luca di Montezemolo was appointed to turn things around. Di Montezemolo and manager Jean Todt then went on to form a promising team, with Michael Schumacher being backed up by former Benetton design duo Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne.

Schumacher almost took the title in 1997, but a controversial collision with Jacques Villeneuve's Williams in the last round at Jerez put the Ferrari out of the race and the title chase.

The 1998 campaign was supposed to be the one where Ferrari returned to the top, but was hijacked by the resurgent McLaren team. Schumacher continued to be the greatest threat to the Woking team, matching eventual champion Mika Hakkinen blow-for-blow in the second half of the season, but the world title was made to wait.

The team decided that continuity was its best policy going into 1999, retaining Schumacher and Eddie Irvine for a fourth consecutive season. The new F399 chassis was an evolution of the '98-vintage F300 - despite the confusing numbering - and the engine further developed to make it among the most powerful in the field. For once, however, no-one at Maranello predicted that "this was the year" which, in hindsight proved to be a good idea. Schumacher looked set to take the battle to Hakkinen and McLaren, but broke his leg at Silverstone, leaving Irvine to continue the job. The Irishman came close, but failed to prevent the Finn from taking back-to-back titles.

Irvine, frustrated at not being able to compete with the returning Schumacher despite helping Ferrari to the constructors' title, departed for Jaguar over the winter, to be replaced by Rubens Barrichello.

The 2000 season was when everything finally fell back into place for 'The Prancing Horse' and, after a 21-year wait, Michael Schumacher finally won the drivers' title again for Ferrari in a year that yielded nine victories and twelve podium finishes in total. Barrichello provided more than able back-up and took an emotional first GP victory with a superb dry/wet drive in Germany at Hockenheim.

The car built to defend the title - the F2001 - came complete with a lowered nose and improved aerodynamics and, despite Badoer's massive testing crash in Barcelona, quickly obliterated the existing Mugello lap record.

The Scuderia entered the year as favourites to retain both the drivers' and constructors' championships, and duly did so as Schumacher took full advantage of a lacklustre year for expected rivals McLaren.

Not that the German had it all his own way, for David Coulthard, Mika Hakkinen and the Williams pair of Juan Montoya and brother Ralf all took turns at winning races. But it was Schumacher's solid start to the year - and nine race wins - that finally secured back-to-back crowns.

Success in Australia and Malaysia set the standard, while second spot in Brazil kept the scoreboard ticking over and, when Coulthard's challenge in particular was thwarted by unusual McLaren problems, Schumi was there to pick up the pieces. Only twice did he have to retire, and his nine wins were complemented by five-second places. It was no surprise, therefore, when the German finally toppled Alain Prost's marks for wins and career points.

Team-mate Barrichello briefly threatened Coulthard for second overall, but endured poor luck in the final few races to negate the effects of ten podium finishes in the year.

2002 was all about Ferrari domination, despite the fact the Prancing horse started the year with the F2001. The new car - the F2002 - finally made it's debut in Brazil, and what a debut! - Schumacher qualified on the front row and then went onto take victory, his second in the first three races.

All in all Schumacher would win on eleven occasions - a new record for the most in any one season - and he would also take his fifth drivers crown (Ferraris' twelfth) and thus equal the record set by Fangio in the 1950's. The German's worst finish all year was a third place in Malaysia and he wrapped up the title in record-breaking time, at the French GP on July 21st.

Team-mate Barrichello didn't have it quite so good, retiring on five occasions however, he still scored 77 points and finished runner-up in the drivers' championship. Rubens also tasted the victory champagne again, taking Ferraris' combined total in 2002 to 15 wins, 27 podiums and 221 points.

It wasn't all highs though the 'Austria-gate' affair was a big blemish on the team's year. The decision by Ferrari to order Barrichello to give Michael the win went down like a lead balloon. The crowd reacted angrily and booed the German on the podium. The media also went mad and this was without a doubt the worst moment of the year for the Scuderia.

Indeed it went down so badly that the FIA later introduced a rule banning team orders. Whether this will ever stop them is highly unlikely, but it will stop such blatant use, such as that seen at the A1-Ring. Something the fans didn't like one little bit.

2003 saw a 'four-peat' for Ferrari and Michael Schumacher, but unlike in the previous season, both were made to work for it, and didn't tie up their respective crowns until the final race of the year in Japan.

The new points structure - whereby the top eight scored points, and the gap between finishing first and second, was reduced from a four point advantage to two, didn't help, but the biggest problem for the Scuderia was the strength of their rivals [although granted all the new rules and regulations did in many ways throw a 'joker' into the pack].

Both Williams and McLaren pushed them all the way, and Renault too, were on occasions a thorn in their side. One of the biggest problems though, was the fact these three teams used Michelin tyres, while Ferrari had Bridgestone's. More often than not Michelin seemed to have the edge, and it was perhaps only a 're-interpretation' of the tyre regulations prior to the Italian GP - something instigated by the Maranello team and highly controversial - that helped them, by forcing their rivals to take appropriate actions to ensure their legality.

All in all, Ferrari scored 158 points - 14 more than nearest rivals, Williams, while Schumi took his title [a record sixth, Ferrari's 13th] by just two points, 93 to Kimi Raikkonen's 91. Barrichello meanwhile finished fourth in the drivers' table on 65 - the Brazilian and his German team-mate combining to add eight more wins to the Scuderia's total - six courtesy of Michael, while Rubens made-do with two.

The next year was virtually a repeat of 2002, with Ferrari dominating the field with the evolutionary F2004.

Schumacher started the season with five wins in succession, and although he failed to finish at Monaco, following that he took another seven consecutive wins, before finishing second in Belgium to sow up the drivers' championship - his 7th and Ferrari's 14th. Although Schumacher was less than convincing in China, he won in Japan, before coming home seventh in Brazil, the final race of the season, to end the year with 17 finishes out of 18 races, 16 of which were all in the points.

Barrichello also went well in the sister F2004 and, although he was never as good as Schumacher, 14 podiums during the season - including two races wins - said everything about Ferrari's dominance, and the Brazilian not only helped Ferrari to the constructors' title, but also finished second in the drivers' table, giving Ferrari a near perfect year.

In total, the Scuderia scored 262 points, more than double that of BAR, which finished second in the constructors' standings, while winning 15 of the 18 races.

Although Ferrari entered 2005 as the team to beat, history will relate that the Italian giant struggled to make a mark in a year that was dominated by Michelin-shod rivals Renault and McLaren.

Changes to the tyre rules - prohibiting mid-race changes - caught both Ferrari and Bridgestone on the hop, with the result that the Scuderia managed just one win all year - and that a controversial success as Schumacher and Barrichello headed a six-car procession at the Michelin-boycotted USGP at Indianapolis.

Although seven-time champion Schumacher turned in the odd inspired drive - notably at Imola, where he pushed Fernando Alonso to the line - podiums were few and far between, with just Canada, Hungary (both seconds) and France (third) producing silverware.

The red cars invariably qualified well down the field as Bridgestone attempted to find a compound that would last the race distance, leaving Schumacher and Barrichello, who finished third and eighth in the title race, with too much to do on Sunday.

A return to more familiar rules for 2006 improved morale, but Barrichello finally departed, tired of playing second fiddle to undoubted team leader Schumacher, who continued to defy retirement rumours.

The German was joined by former Sauber racer and Maranello tester Felipe Massa, while the first Aldo Costa-designed V8-powered Ferrari of the modern era reverted to the team's tried and trusted identification system, racing as the 248 F1 - reflecting its 2.4-litre, eight cylinder engine configuration.

After its drubbing at the hands of Renault and McLaren in 2005, the Scuderia was determined to redress the balance, but things did not appear to be going its way in the early rounds as Renault and Fernando Alonso romped to a healthy advantage in the standings.

A return to tyre changes during races, and the typically innovative thinking of the team's technical department, saw definite progress being made, however, although Ferrari's rivals successfully protested what they saw as an overly flexible rear wing and a trick front wing, which required modification between the San Marino and European GPs.

The changes did not appear to peg Ferrari back too much, however, as Schumacher won at both events. Although he then had to wait another four rounds before reaching the top step again - at the USGP in July - the German was the man to beat in the second half of the year, reeling off another four wins in the final seven races to push himself into contention for an eighth title.

While controversy continued to dog Schumacher - he was banished to the back of the grid for 'parking' his car in the final moments of Monaco GP qualifying - and Ferrari - which was allowed to run with wheel covers while Renault's mass damper system was banned - improvements from both the Scuderia and Bridgestone posed a real threat to Renault and Alonso. Ironically, however, the luck and reliability that Schumacher had enjoyed for most of his career came to an end at a crucial moment, sidelining him from the lead in Japan and effectively handing the crown to Alonso.

By that time, the German had announced that he was to retire at the end of the season, with Ferrari promptly confirming Kimi Raikkonen as his replacement for 2007, and Schumacher went out on a high by storming through the field at Interlagos to take a farewell fourth.

The Brazilian race was won, for the first time since 1993, by a Brazilian driver, with Massa confirming his burgeoning reputation. The Paulista had already broken his duck with a sterling performance in Turkey, and eventually claimed third in the title race, albeit 41 points behind Schumacher's 121-point tally.

Winning half of the year's races wasn't quite enough to give Ferrari the constructors' crown, which Renault won by five points, but the end-of-season performance, allied to subsequent testing pace, marked the Scuderia out as an early favourite for honours the following year.

2007 was always going to be a challenge for Ferrari, following the loss of Schumacher and Ross Brawn's decision to take a sabbatical. It was off track though that the team had one of its biggest tests and the spy row cast a cloud over the whole year - not just for the Scuderia and McLaren, who it principally involved, but the sport itself.

McLaren's subsequent disqualification from the constructors' in the September - for illegally having access to secret Ferrari data - handed the Prancing Horse that title on a plate, but the F2007 was still an excellent car.

Indeed Raikkonen, who was brought in to replace Schumacher, managed to win six races with it and take the drivers' title at the season ending Brazilian GP, albeit by just one point, while Massa took three victories and finished fourth in the drivers' championship. In total the team scored 204 points - 110 courtesy of Kimi and 94 thanks to Massa.

There was never much to choose between the F2007 and the McLaren MP4-22, but Ferrari probably had the edge in terms of speed. Reliability however let the team down somewhat and that will be the main focus for its successor, to iron out such gremlins.

The driver line-up remained unchanged for 2008 and, with both titles bagged in '07, much was expected of the Raikkonen-Massa tandem. Kimi duly delivered in Malaysia and Spain – and was unlucky to miss out in France - to suggest that he would put up a stern defence of his crown, but tailed off dramatically in the second half as he struggled with the F2008’s handling traits. His run of results led to suggestions that his motivation was shot and may even lead to him calling it a day, even if a season’s best ten fastest laps said otherwise.

Massa, meanwhile, started badly, with no points from the first two rounds, but came on strong with first half wins in Bahrain, Turkey and France to mark himself out as Lewis Hamilton’s main title rival. A further three victories – on the new street circuit in Valencia as well as the classic venues of Spa and Interlagos – kept the Brazilian in the mix right to his home race and, for a matter of half a minute, he could have been world champion. Indeed, his half of the Ferrari pit believed as much before it became apparent that Hamilton had passed Timo Glock for the fifth place he needed at the final corner of the campaign.

Massa’s title miss could be laid as much at the feet of Ferrari’s insistence on using an automated pit control system as on the engine failure he suffered while cruising to victory in Hungary, but he was dignified in defeat and earned a lot more fans as a result.

Having secured the constructors' championship despite Massa's failure to wrap up the drivers' crown for himself, Ferrari headed into 2009 with an unchanged line-up; Raikkonen having inked a two-year extension to his deal.

Big things were expected with the new F60 but the new season turned out to be one of huge disappointment for the Scuderia as the team was comprehensively outperformed by its rivals.

No points from the first three races made it the worst start to a season in the team's long history, with Raikkonen first to score when he took sixth in Bahrain. The Finn managed to take Ferrari's only victory of the season in Belgium and clinched four other podium finishes but sixth in the standings wasn't what team or driver would have expected and the Finn was released from his contract ahead of schedule as Fernando Alonso was brought in for 2010.

If Raikkonen's campaign was difficult however, Massa's was far worse after the Brazilian was left with life-threatening injuries following an accident in Hungary where he was struck by a spring that had come away from the Brawn of countryman Rubens Barrichello.

Initially, Michael Schumacher was asked to take Massa's place but when the German was unable to take up the drive, test driver Luca Badoer was given the chance to make a surprise return to the grid. After two disastrous races, Badoer in turn was replaced by Giancarlo Fisichella although he too failed to score as Ferrari could only manage fourth in the constructors' championship.

New signing Alonso started the year well with a victory first time out in Bahrain but Ferrari didn't have the pace to match Red Bull and McLaren and the Spaniard slipped behind in the title race. Victory in Germany, albeit in controversial circumstances after the team employed team orders, put him back into contention but despite three further wins he missed out on the title after a strategy error in Abu Dhabi saw him overhauled by Sebastian Vettel.

Massa's return to action saw him start with back-to-back podiums but he was forced to play second fiddle to Alonso - as seen in Germany when he was asked to allow the Spaniard through and missed out on an emotional victory twelve months on from his Hungarian accident. The incident saw Ferrari fined for bringing the sport into disrepute and ignoring the ban on team orders.

Despite Alonso's run of victories and title challenge, Ferrari ended the season third in the constructors' championship and was faced with work to do to try and fight for honours in 2011.

Both Alonso and Massa returned again but the 150º Italia wasn't a championship contender - despite Alonso's best efforts. The Spaniard scored points in all bar one race but was only able to take a single victory - at Silverstone where a brief ban on blown diffusers gave him the chance to beat Red Bull and McLaren. Although he didn't have a car to win, Alonso only lost third in the season finale when Mark Webber took the position with a race win - but that was still much better than Massa managed in the sister car.

The Brazilian struggled all year and failed to make it onto the podium, trailing in a distant sixth in the standings. A series of clashes with Lewis Hamilton didn't help his cause but the Brazilian ended the year with his position in the team being questioned as Ferrari again failed to pick up any silverware.

Despite that, Massa kept his drive for 2012 but was under pressure to perform in order to help Ferrari challenge for the titles.

The new F2012 however was beset with problems when it hit the track in pre-season testing, with Ferrari on the back foot when the teams headed to Australia. Neither driver made it into Q3 although Alonso somehow salvaged fifth before making the most of the conditions to take a surprising win in Malaysia.

At no point in the season was the Ferrari the quickest car, but Alonso made the most of the chances that fell his way to regularly score points and took further wins in Valencia – after an impressive drive from eleventh – and in Germany to build an impressive championship lead.

Despite finishing on the podium in seven of the final nine races however, first lap retirements in Belgium and Japan proved to be his undoing as a brave title challenge ended in defeat in the season finale in Brazil – where Sebastian Vettel beat him to the crown.

Alonso’s cause wasn’t helped by a wretched season for Massa who struggled for pace and consistency for much of the year. It wasn’t until the Japanese Grand Prix that he managed to finish on the podium while a strong showing in Korea a week later was enough to earn him a new one-year deal – but only after months of speculation linking various drivers with his seat.

A further podium followed in Brazil, although Massa’s poor season as a whole was a major factor in Ferrari missing out on the constructors’ championship to Red Bull.

Having struggled to get on top of its car for two successive seasons, a repeat isn’t an option for Ferrari in 2013 when the pressure is firmly on to secure silverware and end Red Bull’s run of success.

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