Ferrari's Mission: WIN NOW!!!
Ferrari, a model of consistency, has won a race in 80% of F1 seasons it has entered.
As we get ready for the upcoming start (because of you-know-what) to the 2020 Formula One Season, it must be noted that one team has been their for each of F1's 70 seasons: Scuderia Ferrari.
“Ferrari SF1000 Launch.” Photo c/o ferrari.com.
Of the 70 seasons, they have won a race in 56. Of the remaining 14, they have only failed to finish on the podium in two.
With four-time Champion Sebastian Vettel and rising star Charles LeClerc returning to fight for both Drivers' and Constructors' titles, surely Ferrari will score at least one win (but, more than likely, several.)
“Ferrari SF1000 Launch.” Photo c/o ferrari.com. Vettel (third from right.) LeClerc (second from right.)
If they don't, it will mark only the 15th time Ferrari went an entire season without a win. Here, then, are the other times the Scuderia enjoyed less than successful seasons.
“1951 Ferrari 375 F1” by Pedro Ribeiro Simões is licensed under CC BY 2.0 - Flickr
In the first year of the Formula One World Championship, Alfa Romeo dominated winning every race (excluding the Indy 500 which, technically a round of the series, was not attended by many F1 teams.) Giuseppe Farina beat Juan Manuel Fangio to the title by three points.
Ferrari's best results of the season were a couple of second-place finishes by Alberto Ascari, first in a 125 at Silverstone and then a 375 at Monza. Ascari would win Ferrari's first two Drivers' titles in 1952 and 1953 (there was not a Constructors' title at the time.)
Here's a Ferrari 375 being driven by Fernando Alonso at Silverstone during the 2011 British GP weekend:
“1953 Lancia D50” by David Merrett is licensed under CC BY 2.0 - Flickr. Ferrari raced a similar D50 during the 1957 season.
Becoming the Lancia-Ferrari team in 1956, Juan Manuel Fangio joined the team and won that year's World Championship. Fangio left the team to drive for Maserati in 1957 and it was Mike Hawthorn who teamed up with Peter Collins, as well as other drivers, to drive for the reigning champions. The team's best finishes were a trio of second places (two by Luigi Musso at Rouen and Aintree and one from Mike Hawthorn at the Nurburgring.)
It was at the Nurburgring that the Ferrari's came closest to a race win. If not for a storming drive from Fangio in the Maserati, it might have been a podium sweep for Hawthorn, Collins and Musso and Ferrari. After a 300-plus mile Grand Prix, Fangio only beat Hawthorn to the line by about three seconds.
“Ferrari 156 Sharknose” by Neil is licensed under CC BY 2.0 - Flickr.
In 1961, American Phil Hill won the Drivers' title for Ferrari and the team itself won their first Constructors' title. Both would be achieved under sad circumstances as Hill's teammate Wolfgang von Trips died at that year's Italian GP. Ferrari struggled for success in 1962; the team's best finish would be a second place at Monaco from Phil Hill. Hill finished just two seconds behind eventual winner: Bruce McLaren in a Cooper-Climax.
Here is some other race footage from that weekend I just had to include (no sound):
After winning both the Drivers' title and Constructors' title for Ferrari in 1964, John Surtees returned in 1965 with the Ferrari 158:
“Ferrari 158” by Neil is licensed under CC BY 2.0 - Flickr.
The season bore little success as the best results the team could achieve were a couple of second places (Lorenzo Bandini in Monaco and John Surtees in South Africa.) Surtees was challenging Graham Hill for the Monaco win in 1965 but ran out of fuel with one lap to go. He pushed his Ferrari over the line to finish fourth.
With Surtees leaving for Honda after the 1966 season, Lorenzo Bandini was teamed with Chris Amon at Ferrari. Amon scored several third place finishes but had to take over as team leader when Bandini died in a massive crash during that year's Monaco Grand Prix.
“Chris Amon's Ferrari 312” by Pat Guiney is licensed under CC BY 2.0 - Flickr.
The closest Amon came to winning a race was at the 1967 British Grand Prix finishing third: 17 seconds behind winner Jim Clark and runner-up Denny Hulme.
“Winner of (the non-championship) Grand Prix 1969, Chris Amon, (New Zealand), held at Pukekohe, Auckland.” by Archives New Zealand is licensed under CC BY 2.0 - Flickr.
Here's an interview Peter Windsor had with Amon in 2016. It talks about his time at Ferrari, his reaction to Bandini's death as well as his take on his Le Mans win with Bruce McLaren in 1966.
*Warning* There is footage of Bandini's car on fire at the 5:20 mark.
Having scored a single win with Jacky Ickx in 1968, 1969 marked an unusual season for Ferrari as they ran a one-car team for many races that year. Amon returned to Ferrari, starting the season poorly with a best finish of third at the Dutch GP.
Amon in the #9 Ferrari:
He was dropped by the team after that year's British GP. Pedro Rodriguez took over, scoring a best finish of fifth at the United States GP at Watkins Glen. In total, the team scored seven points in 1969 and Ickx returned to Ferrari in 1970.
“Ferrari 312/68” by Neil is licensed under CC BY 2.0 - Flickr. Similar to the 312 used by Ferrari in 1969.
After re-joining Ferrari in 1970, Jacky Ickx had won five more races and finished no worse than fourth in each of the following three seasons (finishing second to posthumous champion Jochen Rindt in 1970.)
In 1973, he was teamed with Arturo Merzario, who scored some of the team's best finishes that year - a couple of fourth places. Ickx also secured a fourth place in Argentina, but scored his best finish that year for McLaren finishing third in a one-off drive at the 1973 German GP. Ickx returned to Ferrari for one race, that year's Italian GP, where he finished eighth.
Here's a video of the 312B at Imola as well as that year's 312B3 which never raced in a GP:
Ferrari would bring back former driver Clay Regazzoni as well as an up-and-coming driver from the B.R.M. team: Niki Lauda.
Starting in 1974, the next six seasons would see the glory days return to Maranello. In that time, Ferrari would win three Drivers' titles (1975 & 1977 - Lauda and 1979 - Jody Scheckter) and four Constructors' titles. The period was also known for Lauda's fiery crash at the 1976 German GP. His subsequent recovery and nearly winning the title in the same year is the stuff of motor racing legend.
“ferrari-F1(1)” by Jose Maria Miñarro Vivancos is licensed under CC BY 2.0 - Flickr. 1980's Ferrari 312T5.
Lauda left the team in 1977 having clinched the Drivers' title with two races remaining. Gilles Villeneuve took over the seat and partnered Carlos Reutemann in the team for 1978. Reutemann left for Lotus in 1979. Jody Scheckter joined the team in 1979, winning the Drivers' title with three wins. Villeneuve finished second with three wins as well.
“39 Photo11_10A” by Jonathan McCormack is licensed under CC BY 2.0 - Flickr. 1980's Ferrari 312T5.
Ferrari looked poised for a strong follow-up year but their 312T5 was rarely competitive. The team not only failed to win a race, but failed to reach the podium with their best results being several fifth places. It was at the end of this season, Ferrari announced they would run a turbocharged engine for the first time in their 1981 car.
Still, as proved by Gilles Villeneuve, even when it wasn't of race-winning quality, a Ferrari can always exciting!
Scoring the odd wins through the 1981-1985 seasons, 1986 marked the only year in the first turbo era where Ferrari failed to win a race with a turbo engine.
“Stefan Johansson - Ferrari 156/85 F1 - Brands Hatch - 1985” by PSParrot is licensed under CC BY 2.0 - Flickr. Similar to the Ferrari F186 used by the team in 1986.
Stefan Johansson and teammate Michele Alboreto scored several podium finishes with a best combined result of second (Alboreto) and third (Johansson) at that year's Austrian GP.
Johansson also scored a popular third place at that year's Italian GP.
After coming close to the Drivers' title in 1990, Alain Prost, now teamed with Jean Alesi, struggled with the Ferrari 643 in 1991.
“Prost” by Stuart Seeger is licensed under CC BY 2.0 - Flickr. Photo taken during the 1991 United State GP Weekend in Phoenix, Arizona.
Prost secured a couple of second place finishes. Alesi, a few third places. Alesi did come close to winning the 1991 Belgian GP but retired with mechanical problems.
“Patrese Chases Alesi” by Stuart Seeger is licensed under CC BY 2.0 - Flickr.
Prost also suffered the humiliation of spinning out during the warm-up lap at San Marino:
Prost was released by Ferrari before the end of the season for criticizing the team:
With Prost leaving, Jean Alesi became defacto team leader. Ivan Capelli and Nicola Larini shared the second car. The F92A and F92T proved less successful than the previous year's 643 as the team's best results were a couple of third places from Jean Alesi.
“Jean Alesi” by Iwao is licensed under CC BY 2.0 - Flickr. Jean Alesi during the 1992 Monaco GP Weekend.
Capelli's best finish was a fifth place at the Brazilian GP. He also had this unfortunate incident at the 1992 Monaco GP.
The team's lack of competitiveness, combined with the dominance of that year's Williams FW14-B (which won 10 of the 16 races that year), meant it was never in the running for a race victory. Only McLaren and Benetton were able to capitalize on any of Williams' mistakes.
1993 marked the third consecutive winless season for Ferrari (the longest winless streak in its history.) The season was again dominated by Williams with McLaren and Benetton being the only other race winners. The F93A was more competitive than the previous year's car with Jean Alesi scoring a team best second place at the Italian GP.
Gerhard Berger returned to the team in 1993, and was able to reach the podium in third place at the Hungarian GP.
Despite failing to win a race, Ferrari scored a major team victory by hiring Jean Todt as their new team principal. He, along with Michael Schumacher, would help turn around Ferrari's fortunes near the end of the 20th Century, leading to a renaissance during the first half of the 2000's.
“gail mrs gray” by schumigirl1956 is licensed under CC BY 2.0 - Flickr. Todt (center) during 2001 Hungarian GP podium celebration.
Following many Drivers' and Constructors' championships in the first decade of the 2000's, success became harder to come by in the following ten years. With the closest to winning the title being Fernando Alonso second place finish in the 2012 Drivers' Championship, 2014 marked the first season of the turbo-hybrid era. Mercedes dominated with Red Bull the only other race-winning constructor.
“F1 - Ferrari - Fernando Alonso” by Jake Archibald is licensed under CC BY 2.0 - Flickr. Fernando Alonso in Ferrari F14T at Silverstone.
Certainly more was expected from a driver lineup featuring two former world champions (Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.) Alonso secured the team's best finish, a second place at Hungary while Raikkonen's best finish was a fourth in Belgium. Alonso would leave the team and return to McLaren for 2015, replaced by Sebastian Vettel.
Ferrari scored three wins in Sebastian Vettel's first year for Ferrari finishing third in the Drivers' Championship and, Ferrari, second in the Constructors'. The team finally seemed to get to grips with the new turbo-hybrid formula and the SF16-H, an evolution of the previous year's SF15-T, seemed destined for a good follow-up season.
“F1 - Ferrari - Kimi Raikkonen” by Jen_ross83 is licensed under CC BY 2.0 - Flickr. Kimi Raikkonen in SF16-H at Silverstone.
Again, as in 2014, Mercedes dominated with Red Bull being the only other team to win a race. Besides failing to win, Ferrari also failed to achieve a pole position. Both Vettel and Raikkonen were able to secure second places, but were unable to reach the top step in 2016.
Ferrari's best chance was probably at that year's Canadian GP:
So, while possible, is still very unlikely Ferrari will go winless in 2020. With two returning race winners from 2019, 2020 looks to be another strong year for the team from Maranello. Can it challenge Mercedes and Red Bull not just for wins, but for championships as well?
Well know as soon as the grid lines up for the season opener: The Austrian GP on the 5th of July at the Red Bull Ring.