No team has made a mark on a sport as Ferrari have on Formula One. Under Jean Todt, the team moved along at a wonderful pace and never looked back, piling up 6 constructors’ titles in as many years. It all began in 1929 when Enzo Ferrari started his racing team for giants Alfa Romeo. The team began racing Alfa Romeo cars under the Alfa Romeo banner but soon, Enzo began building his own race car. Alfa Romeo withdrew their racing team but Enzo Ferrari convinced them to let him run his own team under their banner.
After the Second World War, Enzo Ferrari decided to enter the racing circuit with his own team and for the first time ever, the world saw the scarlet race-car that would go on to dominate the racing world for years. Since then, Ferrari has always attracted the biggest drivers with the best cars although they did hit a drought of titles in the mid 80s. The drought lasted for more than 20 years and Ferrari decided to pull out the big guns. Two-time world champion Michael Schumacher came into Ferrari at the cost of 30 Million Dollars, an enormous sum even for the late 90s. After an initial year of range finding, Schumacher started picking up the pace. Reliability issues started disappearing and things were getting better for the team and soon, in 1999, Ferrari were back.
By 2000, Ferrari were unstoppable and their period of dominance saw Schumacher win 5 consecutive world championships almost without challenge. Schumacher and Ferrari made everything seem simple and ensured that battles with other manufacturers were mostly short and crisp. Schumacher retired from Formula One in 2006 and people, especially the fans of the Scuderia, felt that it was all over for the Italian automobile giants. But they couldn’t be more wrong. At a time when the entire world was staring at Lewis Hamilton and gasping at Fernando Alonso, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen decided to steal the show and came in almost unheard, and took the drivers’ title on the last day of the season.
Ferrari have been accused, many-a-times, of being quiet influential when it comes to key decisions and rule changes made by the FIA. Steps like the removal of Traction Control Systems has been said to be the work of the lobbying done by the Italians. Despite everything, none may dispute the fact that Ferrari are one of the oldest team in the sport and are also the first team to pick more than 100 points in a single season. The number of Ferrari-haters may not outnumber the Tifosi but no matter what anyone says, every driver fears the sight of scarlet in their side-view mirrors.
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