The Italian racing red paint and prancing stallion have been the most ubiquitous symbols in motor racing, spanning over six decades. Founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1929 to initially race Alfa Romeos, the Italian eventually branched out and began developing his own racing cars in 1947.
Having competed since 1932, Scuderia Ferrari is not only the oldest surviving motor racing team but they also boast the greatest statistics. With 15 drivers’ championships and 16 constructors’ championships under their belt, Ferrari is also the most prestigious team in the sport. Today, Ferrari holds a significant place in the world of F1, priding themselves on having the most loyal of followers.
Testament to their consistent success through the years, every decade has produced either a world champion or a constructors’ title. In chronological order, we have compiled a list of Ferrari’s champion drivers and their winning cars below.
Alberto Ascari – Tipo 500
In 1952 Scuderia Ferrari produced their first world champion driver in Alberto Ascari. Behind the wheel of the record breaking 4.5-L Ferarri Tipo 500, Ascari went on to add the 1953 championship to his resume too.
Juan Manual Fangio – D50
Considered by many as the greatest driver to ever compete in F1, Juan Manual Fangio won a staggering five championships, one of which was in a Ferrari. In 1956, Ferrari gave the Argentine their 2.5-L V8 Lancia-Ferrari D50 to race, a car that won Fangio his forth drivers’ championship.
Mike Hawthorn – 246 F1
Mike Hawthorn was an exceptional racing driver from England. Five years after his F1 debut, he joined Ferrari in 1957. A year later, he won the drivers’ title in their 246 F1, a naturally aspirated 2.5-L V6.
Philip Hill Jr. – 156 ‘Sharknose’
American Hill began driving for Ferrari fulltime in 1959, making a big impression on the loyal Italian tifosi by winning the Monza Grand Prix in 1960. In 1961, Hill won the drivers’ crown in a Ferrari 156 ‘Sharknose’. Although its 1.5-L V6 only produced 200-bhp, it’s 460-KG weight meant a weight to power ratio of 435-bhp per ton.
John Surtees – 158
Englishman John Surtees was an extraordinary racer, winning both car and motorbike world championships. After winning an impressive seven bike titles in the 350cc and 500cc classes, Surtees began racing cars with a plethora of teams. It was in Ferrari’s 158 that Surtees claimed his only F1 drivers’ title in 1964.
Niki Lauda – 312B3 (4) & 312T
From 1974 to 1977, Ferrari enjoyed a great three-year relationship with Niki Lauda. The Austrian was highly successful with the Scuderia, notching up two driver’s championships in 1975 and 1977. Lauda drove the 312 and the variants that evolved throughout the seasons.
Jody Scheckter – 312T4
Jody Scheckter drove for Ferrari in 1979 alongside Gilles Villeneuve. In the 3.0-L Flat 12 312T4, his consistent high finishes combined with three wins gained him the drivers’ championship. Villeneuve finished the season in second place, just four points down. Ferrari and the 312T4 completely dominated the 1979 season, so much so they took the constructors’ championship too. Ferrari wouldn’t have guessed it at the time but they would have to wait over two decades until one of their drivers would be crowned world champion again.
Michael Schumacher – (1999 – 2006)
With a record breaking seven drivers’ titles, Michael Schumacher is another driver considered one of the greatest of all time. Four of his titles were won at Ferrari in consecutive years – 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004.
Although he was successful in virtually every season with Ferrari, the 2004 season stands out the most, with the German winning the first twelve out of twelve races followed by single win in the latter part of the season.
Schumacher’s first 2000 Ferrari crown came thanks to the 3.0-L naturally aspirated V10 F1-2000.
In 2004, Schumacher won his final Ferrari title driving the F2004, another car with their mid-mounted 3.0-L naturally aspirated V10.
As it stands – and probably will stand for some time – Michael Schumacher is Ferrari’s most successful driver.
Kimi Räikkönen – F2007
Finnish iceman Kimi Räikkönen drove for Ferrari for three years, his debut in 2007 seeing him win the drivers’ title in a dramatic finale to the season.
Behind the wheel of the 2.4-L naturally aspirated V8 F2007, Kimi was third in the driver standings going into the final race. Lewis Hamilton led the championship, but on experiencing technical problems, he dropped out of contention by one place, finishing the race in seventh. Second placed man in the standings, Fernando Alonso finished in third place, eventually tying in second with Hamilton. Kimi won the Brazilian Grand Prix and lifted the drivers’ crown by one point.
It’s also worth mentioning that in the 2008 season Filipe Massa lost the world championship by a single point. Having dominated qualifying and the actual race, Massa did all that was asked of him to beat Lewis Hamilton for the title race. In the closing stages, it began to rain and, whilst Massa managed to win the race, Hamilton slipped out of contention, struggling in the rain. With one corner to go, Hamilton managed to pass the vital sixth placed Timo Glock to win by a single point.
- 1961 – Ferrari 1.5-L V6 178
- 1964 – Ferrari 1.5-L V8 205B
- 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979 – Ferrari 3.0-L Flat 12 (312B, 312T, 312T2, 312T3/4)
- 1982, 1883 – Ferrari 1.5-L V6 126C2 126 C3
- 1999 – Ferrari Tipo V10 F300
- 2000 – Ferrari 3.0-L V10 F2000
- 2001 – Ferrari 3.0-L V10 F2001
- 2002 – Ferrari 3.0-L V10 F2002
- 2003 – Ferrari 3.0-L V10 F2003-GA
- 2004 – Ferrari 3.0-L V10 F2004
- 2007 – Ferrari 2.4-L V8 F2007
- 2008 – Ferrari 2.4-L V8 F2008
Filipe Massa still drives for Ferrari whilst Spaniard Fernando Alonso has replaced Kimi. Whilst the Scuderia haven’t won any drivers’ titles or constructors’ championships in recent years, they have won their fair share of races, with Alonso driving better than ever, looking like a real 2013 championship contender.