08 September 2005
Ferrari is an Italian manufacturer of racing cars and high-performance sports cars formed by Enzo Ferrari in 1929. At first, Scuderia Ferrari sponsored drivers and manufactured racecars; the company went into independent car production in 1946, eventually became Ferrari S.p.A., and is now controlled by the Fiat group. The company is based in Maranello, near Modena, Italy.
Enzo Ferrari's true passion, despite his extensive road car business, was always auto racing. His Scuderia started as an independent sponsor for drivers in various cars, but soon became the Alfa Romeo in-house racing team. After Ferrari's departure from Alfa, he began to design and produce cars of his own; the Ferrari team first appeared on the European grand prix scene after the end of World War II.
The Scuderia joined the Formula One World Championship in the first year of its existence, 1950. Jose-Froilan Gonzalez gave the team its first victory at the 1951 British Grand Prix. Alberto Ascari gave Ferrari its first World Championship a year later. Ferrari is the oldest team left in the championship, not to mention the most successful: the team holds nearly every Formula One record. As of 2004, the team's records include fourteen World Drivers Championship titles (1952, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1964, 1975, 1977, 1979, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004), fourteen World Constructors Championship titles (1961, 1964, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004), 179 grand prix victories, 3445 and a half points, 544 podium finishes, 174 pole positions, 11,182 laps led, and 180 fastest laps in 1622 grands prix contested.
Famous drivers include Tazio Nuvolari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Alberto Ascari, Phil Hill, Mike Hawthorn, John Surtees, Niki Lauda, Jody Scheckter, Gilles Villeneuve, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost and Michael Schumacher.