In the last 70 years, one team has clinched more FIA Formula 1 World Championships than any other in the sport. Since they were founded by the legendary Enzo Ferrari in 1947, Ferrari have become one of the most recognisable brands in the world. Their iconic scarlet red livery and storied history have made the ‘Scuderia’ arguably the most popular team in Formula 1.
When Saudi Arabia hosts its first-ever Grand Prix in December, many of the fans in the grandstands will be supporting the Italian marque and waving flags in support of their current drivers: Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. These passionate spectators are known around the world as ‘tifosi’ – the Italian word for ‘fan’ – and they have had a lot to celebrate through the decades.
In total Ferrari have won 16 Constructors’ and 15 Drivers’ titles and are the only team to have contested every year of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship, which began in 1950. At their home race in Tuscany last year, they started their 1,000th Grand Prix and held a celebration in tribute to the great drivers and beautiful machines that have competed in F1 since 1950.
For a Grand Prix driver, it is an honour to race for the Prancing Horse (the name taken from their famous yellow badge) and those who have won championships are hailed as legends by the tifosi. While drivers such as Juan Manuel Fangio and John Surtees clinched titles in the 1950s and ’60s, it was Niki Lauda who inspired a generation.
When the Austrian crashed heavily at the 1976 German Grand Prix, it looked as though the ensuing fire would cost Lauda his life. Yet remarkably, he was back in the cockpit just six weeks later. Lauda was hailed for his bravery and the following year recovered to take his second of two world titles for Ferrari.
The red cars from Maranello entered a lean period during the 1980s, except for one momentous day at the 1988 Italian Grand Prix. It was their first home race since the death of their founder Enzo Ferrari. Their rivals McLaren were dominating the season and had won every race that year. But a rare mistake by Ayrton Senna gifted the lead to Ferrari’s Gerhard Berger and he led his team-mate home to a remarkable 1-2 finish. It was the perfect tribute to the death of their founder.
After another decade without major success, the team were transformed with the arrival of the great Michael Schumacher in 1996. Under the leadership of Jean Todt and Ross Brawn, Ferrari started to dominate the sport of Formula 1. The Scuderia won five back-to-back championships between 2000-04 and Schumacher statistically became the greatest driver in the history of the sport.
Ferrari took another title with Kimi Raikkonen in 2007, but since then, despite the best efforts from all at Maranello, they haven’t won a championship since…