Scuderia Ferrari SpA
|Based in: Maranello, Italy
Founded: 1946 (active since 1950)
Chairman: Luca Di Montezemolo (until Aug 2014), Sergio Marchionne (since Sep 2014)
Managing director: Jean Todt (1998-2007), Stefano Domenicali (2008-Jun 2014), Marco Mattiacci (Jun 2014-Nov 2014), Maurizio Arrivabene (since Nov 2014)
Technical director: Ross Brawn (1997-2006), Aldo Costa (2008-2011), Pat Fry (2012-Aug 2013), James Allison (Sep 2013-Jul 2016), Mattia Binotto (since Jul 2016)
Director of engineering: Pat Fry (Sep 2013-Dec 2014)
Chief designer: Giancarlo Colombo (1950-1951), Aurelio Lampredi (1952-1956), Vittorio Jano (1952-1959), Carlo Chiti (1960-1964), Mauro Forghieri (1965-1981), Antonio Tomaini (1981), Harvey Postlethwaite (1982-1987), John Barnard (1988-1990, 1993-1996), Steve Nichols (1991-1992), Rory Byrne (1997-2005), Aldo Costa (2005), Nikolas Tombazis (2006-2015), Simone Resta (since 2016)
Team manager: Marco Andrea Zecchi (1989-1992), Stefano Domenicali (1996-2007)
The most evocative name in Grand Prix, and the only team to have contested every year of the championship, always in their traditional red livery.
For several yeas now Ferrari have been losing the race when it comes to keeping apace with the technological advances being made within Formula 1, however with the arrival of Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne and of course Michael Schumacher, the Prancing Horse now seems to have got its act together once more and for the first time in many years the team looks like it could actually live up to its glorious past.
The team was founded by Enzo Ferrari, a former racer and manager of Alfa Romeo's racing team from 1930-37 but a disagreement saw him leave in 1938. Although he built his first car in 1940, this wasn't known as a Ferrari, as Enzo had agreed not to race under his own name for a further five years, so the first true Ferrari didn't appear until 1946. Early models were known by the displacement size of each cylinder and it is fair to say that Ferrari's priority lay with engine first and chassis second.
Over the years a total of eight drivers titles have made their way to Maranello but the last was in 1979. Between then and the arrival of Luca di Montezemolo in 1992 Ferrari were in a real mess. The route from that sorry state to a team that could challenge for the 1997 title has rarely been an easy one, but among the changes that have worked three factors stand out. Firstly the team hired Jean Todt as team manager. Todt was known as 'the man that could' over at Peugeot where he ran their racing team. He joined Ferrari in 1993 bringing with him a formidable reputation for organisational efficiency.
Next the engine department was persuaded to move away from traditional thirsty V12s to the more efficient and lighter V10 engine. The final piece in the puzzle was the hiring, with a reputed fee of $25 million, of twice world champion Michael Schumacher. Schumacher brought more than just driving ability. He joined the team with his own ideas and his own agenda. His aim was to mould the team around him with one aim in mind; to return the Scuderia to the top of the Formula 1 tree. To that end he arranged for Brawn and Byrne to join him from Benetton and these three, guided tactically by Todt, with Montezemolo controlling the strategic flow, lie at the core of a team that can once more reach for the top.
1998 began with Ferrari announcing that this was their year. Schumacher remained with the team with Eddie Irvine as team-mate for the third year running. The all new Ross Brawn designed F300 was great - for a Ferrari - but it wasn't a real match to the McLaren and once more the Prancing Horse was left struggling, although they did get very close. Ferrari's title race was lost early in the season with several retirements and a lack of pace compared to the McLaren. 'Flying finn' Mika Hakkinen won the championship while Ferrari were clearly upping their game. In 1999, the new Byrne-designed Ferrari was a lot better and Schumacher looked set to stroll on to his 3rd world championship until he broke his leg in a Silverstone crash. A Ferrari brake failed because of an engineer's error. Hakkinen won his second championship while Schumacher's teammate Irvine became vice champion.
Having forgotten the problems of 1999, the Ferrari F2000 was a dominant car and started a new F1 era. Michael Schumacher easily won the first of his Ferrari powered World Championships. He and his new team mate Rubens Barrichello won Ferrari the Constructors' title in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. Michael won five consecutive Drivers' titles pulverising most of the F1 records. The dominance and the attitudes it engendered meant that the team's tactics became very unpopular, the first backlash coming in Austria in 2002 when team orders dictated the result. The fans rebelled. By the end of 2004 the team was politically isolated in F1 and in 2005 was unable to compete with Renault and McLaren.
Halfway through the season the developments were halted in order to be back on top in 2006, and although they weren't quite yet at the beginning of the season, Michael Schumacher came close to an 8th world title before retiring from F1 at the end of the season. Felipe Massa proved in the second half of the year that he is an excellent racer and is joined by Kimi Räikkönen for 2007, an extremely promising driver pairing.
Räikkönen immediately proved his worth, and with a car that was considerably more reliable than the McLaren he had in the years before, he won the championship in his first season with Ferrari. Overall it was an extremely closely matched season with both McLaren drivers, but their inability to choose a first driver and Hamilton's rookie mistakes benefited Ferrari. The team did secure the constructor's title due to McLaren's disqualification in spy-gate, the spy scandal involving Nigel Stepney and Mike Coughlan.
2008 was bound to become the same story, but this time around Massa proved to be the better driver, but Hamilton secured the world title in the last race, leaving Ferrari with only the constructor's title.
One year later, Ferrari misjudged the massive aerodynamic regulation changes and found themselves playing catch-up for the first half of the season. This improved at Silverstone, but at Hungary 3 races later Massa, the better driver at the time, was out for the remainder of the season. During qualifying, the Brazilian was hit by a flying heave spring that came off of Rubens Barrichello's car.
Only days after the Hungarian GP weekend, Ferrari chairman Luca Di Montezemolo asked Michael Schumacher if he was interested in a comeback. The seven time world champion quickly accepted the challenge but had to cancel weeks later after it was found his neck problems would not allow him to race. Luca Badoer initially took the wheel for the next two races but was last all the way through each weekend and then replaced by Fisichella. The Italian chased his dream and left the improving Force India F1 team but also failed to get to grips with the KERS enabled Ferrari F60.
The team quickly realized that 2009 was not going to be great and halted the development of the F60 after the Silverstone updates. It later also managed to get Fernando Alonso to join the team for 2010, while a contract was only signed for the Spaniard to join 2011. Alonso was however eager to join the Scuderia after Briatore was ousted from Renault in the followings of the race fixing at Singapore 2008.
With an massive lead development time for the 2010 car, Alonso was able to win the first race of 2010, but still only because the Red Bull RB6 of Sebastian Vettel was hampered by reliability. It took the team until Silverstone to really get on top of things. Fernando Alonso fought for the championship until the very last race but just lost it to Sebastian Vettel. Felipe Massa had a dismal 2010 and ended the season 6th.
The problematic strategy call that might have cost Alonso the championship in 2010 eventually cost Chris Dyer his position as head of race engineering. Unfortunately, that didn't solve any problem at Ferrari, as the Ferrari F150 proved too slow in the early races of 2011. After the Spanish GP, where both Ferraris were lapped, technical director Aldo Costa was fired and Ferrari subsequently removed the "technical director" position altogether. Instead, a team of 3 directors was set up, all operating on equal footing and reporting to the team principal. Pat Fry was promoted from Head of Race Track Engineering to Chassis Director, Corrado Lanzone became Production Director and Luca Marmorini Electronics Director.
On the track, Spaniard Alonso managed to win a single race for Ferrari in 2011, prevailing at the British GP held at Silverstone. The team ended the season third in the constructors' championship, a long way behind Red Bull and McLaren. 2012 was somewhat better, but the team struggled with the correlation of its wind tunnel data compared to the real track action. The issues continued to plague the team which eventually led to Ferrari deciding to temporarily use the Toyota wind tunnel at Cologne while doing major work on its own tunnel in Maranello. Even despite the problems, Alonso was in contention for the world championship until the final race.
In 2013 the team started with a very competitive Ferrari F138, scoring 2 wins and 2 further podiums in the first 5 races, despite still being not with the best during qualifying. After the initial parts of the season though, aerodynamic correlation problems returned, even though the team was still using the Toyota tunnel. In an attempt to help resolve the issues, Ferrari hired James Allison, Lotus' former technical director. Fry moved to the position of "Director of Engineering" while Allison became "Chassis technical director", both reporting to team principal Stefano Domenicali.
Early 2014, Stefano Domenicali resigned from his post at Ferrari, triggering Luca Di Montezemolo to find another team principal. He lured Mattiaci into the team, something that would prove to be a misjudgement. The failure for improvements and arguments with Marchionne led to Di Montezemolo's own resignation as chairman, days after the Italian Grand Prix. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne subsequently took over as chairman, with Arrivabene joining as team principal in November 2014. Few months earlier, long time Ferrari employee Luca Marmorini was sent fishing by Mattiaci. Fy and Tombazis were ousted in December by Arrivabene.
Things went quiet for a while, as results improved. Another performance push was made ahead of the 2016 season, but as reliability problems dogged the early part of the campaign, and Red Bull Racing surpassed Ferrari's level of performance, trouble emerged again. As Marchionne started to micro-manage and talk to employees to determine the issues, James Allison left the team midway through 2016, also following the death of his wife. Dirk De Beer, the team's head of aerodynamics and a long-time partner of Allison followed.