The constant factor in Formula 1
With 16 Constructors' and 15 Drivers' titles, Ferrari are the most successful team in Formula 1. Ferrari are the only team to have competed every time since 1950. Big names such as Lotus, Jaguar and many others fell or quit, while the team from Maranello kept going. Good results or not, the Italians kept appearing at the starting line.
Drivers such as Niki Lauda, Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio won many titles with Ferrari and contributed to the record collection of championships won in Formula 1. And although other teams have sometimes unexpectedly pushed Ferrari back down the rankings, the Italians have so far always managed to come out on top.
The Golden Years
The 1980s and 1990s were clearly not Ferrari's best period. McLaren and Williams alternated winning titles and in 1995 it was Schumacher who took the title with Benetton. This success led the Italian team to pay a mega sum to acquire the German (and with him a large part of Benetton) for 1996. It turned out to be a golden move, but one with a rough start.
Changes to regulations meant that the Italians, even with Schumacher at the wheel, had to settle for second place. One year later the drama was even worse, when Jacques Villeneuve took the title and Schumacher was disqualified. The German had a run-in with the FIA and saw his results go down the drain. Not that it mattered much to Schumacher: the title was lost anyway.
It wasn't until 2000 that the tide turned for Schumacher and Ferrari when he formed a driving duo with Rubens Barrichello. For five years in a row, Schumacher was champion and Ferrari took the constructors' title five times. After five years of dominance, Ferrari fell further back on the grid and Schumacher also called it quits. In 2006, the German drove his last season at Ferrari and went to work as a consultant.
Kimi Raikkonen won the last championship for Ferrari. Schumacher’s replacement at the team won a world title in his first year in red and that is to this day the last one for the Tifosi. After that, things quickly deteriorated at Ferrari. After a season without wins in 2014, Maurizio Arrivabene came in as team boss to bring Ferrari back to the top.
This was only partially successful, as with Vettel as the new driver, Ferrari came close in 2017 and 2018. In 2019, they had the biggest opportunity to end Mercedes' dominance, but then the Italians were not fast enough. With Leclerc and Vettel, it might have had the fastest line-up of the top teams, but it failed to win the title. Instead, tensions arose within the team, including a crash in Brazil between the two drivers.
The year 2020 was a season to forget for Ferrari. Leclerc may have scored a podium in Austria, but the Italians clearly lacked speed. The Ferrari driver got a podium at Silverstone and Vettel did the same in Turkey. A sixth place in the Constructors' Championship was the worst result since 1980.
In 2021 Sainz provided a breath of fresh air within the factory. Although he had a difficult start at Ferrari, he developed into a reliable driver in the second half of the season.
Ferrari in 2023
2022 did not go at all as the Italian racing team had expected. After finishing third in 2021, Ferrari started the 2022 F1 season with rock solid foundations. Stronger even than Red Bull Racing, who were plagued by technical problems in the first races of the season. Everything pointed to Ferrari becoming a top favourite for the title.
Red Bull recovered, however, and that recovery went hand in hand with the decline that became apparent at Ferrari. The Italians often went wrong strategically, but also suffered reliability problems. Mattia Binotto stuck to his noble goal of not pointing fingers, but perhaps should have drawn a line somewhere.
Binotto himself did get blamed and it became clear that he would not be able to continue with the team. After the end of the season, he announced his departure after 26 years at the Scuderia, where he will be succeeded by former Alfa Romeo team boss Frederic Vasseur in the coming year.
Who will drive for Ferrari in Formula 1?
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will also be back in the Ferrari cars in 2023. Both drivers have contracts until the end of 2024 and will compete for the Italian racing team for the next two years. They will be hoping for rehabilitation, after the team often missed the mark in 2022, squandering opportunities (and points).
Leclerc has been among Formula 1's great talents for years. He emerged as Max Verstappen's main challenger in 2022, but the season unfolded in Red Bull Racing's favour. Sainz struggled more to get going in the new F1-75, but developed throughout the season.
Which engine do Ferrari use?
Like Mercedes, Ferrari are an engine manufacturer in Formula 1. In 2019 the engine was Ferrari's strongest point, but in 2020 all that speed was gone. Last year, Ferrari improved significantly, allowing the team to compete with the better teams again. Haas and Alfa Romeo Racing also drive with the Italian's engine.