Think Michael Schumacher and Formula One and you have got to think Ferrari. Founded in 1929 by Enzo Ferrari, primarily to build racing cars and promote racing drivers, Scuderia Ferrari also moved into production of road cars in 1947. Fiat bought a major stake in Ferrari in 1969 and is now the main controller of Ferrari.
An intrinsic component of the Ferrari story remains its logo. It has a black prancing stallion set against a yellow background with three stripes of green, white and red (the Italian national colours) at the top and usually with the initials ‘S F’ for Scuderia Ferrari or just Ferrari written on it. The yellow was added in honour of the city of Modena- Enzo’s birthplace- as yellow is the city’s historic colour. The most popular source for the image of the horse is the Italian flying ace, Francesco Baracca, who had a red horse painted on a white cloud on his airplanes.
The name Ferrari is synonymous with Formula One racing. In fact, Ferrari is the only racing team to have participated in all Formula One championships with José Froilán González winning the first F1 race for Ferrari at the 1951 British Grand Prix. Ferrari has also participated in sports racing with the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1949 being its first win. Since 1950, Ferrari has won 16 World Championships in F1 and the combined efforts of Michael Schumacher and Ferrari have resulted in five consecutive Drivers’ Championships and six consecutive Constructors’ Championships wins between 1999 and 2004. One of the most remarkable wins for Ferrari is the 1967 ‘24 Hours of Daytona’ where Ferrari cars finished in all the top three positions.
Enzo Ferrari’s main interest was to sponsor amateur drivers and he continued to race them in Alfa Romeo cars. In 1938, he became a part of the Alfa Romeo team as head of the motor racing department. When Alfa Romeo was confiscated by the new Fascist government, Enzo started Auto Avio Costruzioni. The AAC Tipo 815, which debuted at Mille Miglia of 1940, is the first Ferrari race car that Enzo built but due to contracts with Alfa Romeo, he couldn’t use the Ferrari name on it. In 1947, Ferrari built its first ever road car, the 125 S.
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