2019 is a special year for Scuderia Ferrari, as it was 90 years ago, in 1929, that the company was established by Enzo Ferrari and his associates. The name of this year’s car, the SF90, is already a celebration of this anniversary and, on top of that, the Maranello marque has decided to honour this achievement in an even more evident manner in Melbourne. Over the Australian Grand Prix weekend, the SF90 livery, the drivers’ race suits and some of the team’s track equipment will bear the logo celebrating 90 years of the Scuderia.
In fact, the race in Melbourne represents the start of celebrations for this special anniversary, which will run throughout the Formula 1 season and also feature in the Prancing Horse company’s other racing activities. In May, the Ferrari Museum in Maranello will launch a special show dedicated to the anniversary, which will take visitors on a journey through the history of one of the most amazing institutions in the world of sport.
A bit of history. Scuderia Ferrari came into being on 16th November 1929 in the offices of the notary, Della Fontana of Modena, the company established as the Società Anonima Scuderia Ferrari, with its headquarters in via Trento and Trieste. It was approved by the courts on 29th November and from that moment on the company was effectively operational. The directors of the company were Alfredo and Augusto Caniato, Enzo Ferrari and Ferruccio Testi. Alfa Romeo and Pirelli were also involved.
The team made its debut in the 1930 Mille Miglia and its first win came in the Trieste-Opicina on 15th June that same year, courtesy of the great Tazio Nuvolari. Motorcycles also featured in the Scuderia’s history, from 1932 to 1934 and 1932 marked the first appearance of the Prancing Horse as part of the livery of the Alfa Romeos entered by Ferrari. The symbol came from the family of war hero Francesco Baracca, the horse set on a shield with a yellow background, representing the colour of the city of Modena. Its first win came in the Spa 24 Hours thanks to Antonio Brivio and Eugenio Siena.
Starting off racing Alfa Romeo cars and then, from 1947, with cars built in-house, Scuderia Ferrari became the most successful race team of all time, taking thousands of wins in some of the most important races in the world. In Formula 1 alone, it has taken 16 Constructors’ titles and 15 Drivers’. In the world of endurance racing, Ferrari has nine victories to its name in the Le Mans 24 Hours, two at Daytona and five FIA WEC titles and has even been successful in rallying.
Australian GP Preview
he 70th Formula 1 World Championship season is about to get underway at Australia’s Albert Park circuit, which has already hosted the first race of the year 21 times. The race on Sunday 17 March will be the 35th Australian Grand Prix, the 24th held in Melbourne, which became the venue after Adelaide had been the host city from 1985 to 1995.
Nine wins. Scuderia Ferrari has nine Australian wins to its name, the first courtesy of Gerhard Berger in Adelaide, in 1987 and the most recent, last year with Sebastian Vettel. In addition, Ferrari drivers have stood on the podium a further 16 times, with eight second places and the same number of thirds. Also on the results sheet, six pole positions and nine fastest race laps.
Three DRS zones. The track is 5.303 kilometres long with 16 corners and is tackled 58 times on Sunday. Because it is a street circuit, the track surface evolves considerably as the cars put down more rubber on the tarmac. There are three DRS zones.
Sebastian Vettel. “I feel Melbourne is the perfect place to start the championship. There’s an enjoyable atmosphere and the people are nice and welcoming. However, the circuit itself is very unusual and you have to get attuned to the track: you have to remember the lines precisely and it’s not always easy to spot the breaking point and, on top of that, the track surface is usually bumpy. But we drivers like it and if we were asked if we wanted it resurfaced, we would probably say no, because that’s what makes it unique. I’ve got great memories of this track. Of course, the best are those from the past two seasons, as we won both times, but I also have fond memories of my first podium with Ferrari in 2015 here, on my debut with the Scuderia.”
Charles Leclerc. “Obviously this will be a very special race for me, being my debut with Ferrari and that will make this Australian GP unique. I’ve already got good memories of Melbourne, because Albert Park was where I made my Formula 1 debut last year. I am pleased with the way testing went and I can’t wait to get out on track, as it’s on the race weekend that we have to reap the rewards for all the winter work, by getting a good result. The track is unusual, because it’s a street circuit, but with the characteristics of a permanent track, with wide run-off areas and reasonably high speeds. It’s nice coming to Melbourne, as the city and the people are special. You can feel Australia has a different culture and the atmosphere is very enjoyable.”
Mattia Binotto. “The race that marks the start of the season is always significant, and this year even more so because Scuderia Ferrari is celebrating its 90th birthday in 2019. We are very happy to have a couple of extraordinary drivers like Sebastian and Charles. After the winter tests, the whole team wants to get out on track to compete with opponents who we know are very, very strong. We are heading into the first of a long series of stages, and our task is to try to cause problems to rivals who proved stronger last year. It will be a demanding season. It is important to start well, aware that we have 21 rounds of equal importance ahead of us. The championship ends in December so every point can be valuable”.