That Prancing Horse logo inspires doesn’t it? There is something magical about it that transcends even Ferrari’s incredible 90 year history which this house celebrated last year. You would be right to think so — because it was the rallying emblem that called Savoy soldiers into battle in 1692 and gave flying aces like Francesco Baracca the courage to take to the skies. He sported it on the fuselage of his plane. In 1923, this powerful pulsating symbol was entrusted to Enzo Ferrari, and it has graced every Ferrari vehicle since. What better battle now for the insignia to bear witness to than the fight for victory on the racetracks of Formula 1. The Prancing Horse goes back way before motor vehicles changed the world we live in. But Ferrari itself, in the history of motoring where did it all start?
History of Scuderia Ferrari
Scuderia Ferrari’s history truly begins not long after Enzo Ferrari was born in 1898. Imagine a little ten year old boy attending his first race with his Papa and brother in 1908: it was the Coppa Fiorio, near Bologna and that’s when the eventual Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari’s passion was fired and he starting dreaming of racing himself. His opportunity came after the First World War when he joined a small car factory called CMN in Milan — also with stints as a test driver.
He pursued his dream and entered his first race the Parma-Poggio Berceto in 1919, and four years later he courageously won the Circuito del Savio. This was when war hero Francesco Baracca’s mother entrusted him with the iconic Prancing Horse emblem.
It took Enzo about another decade until 1929 to realize the next part of his dream and have Scuderia Ferrari formally hatch itself. Ferrari having been invited to the celebrations for the world speed record set in Cremona by Baconin Borzacchini, and needing finance and partners took the opportunity to pow wow with Alfredo Caniato and Mario Tadini and laid the firm foundations for the Scuderia.
The next month, with the aid of Modena notary Alberto Della Fontana, and with finance secured principally from Tadini, Scuderia Ferrari was founded essentially first to buy and race Alfa Romeos. The company, under the chairmanship of Mario Tadini, also included Enzo Ferrari, Alfredo and Augusto Caniato and Enzo’s photographer friend Ferruccio Testi as well as Alfa Romeo racing cars, Pirelli tires and fuel from Shell.
It was a visionary and creative move that presaged the age of modern motor-racing sponsorship. Ferrari became a powerful new force, part acting as broker and trusted by the car manufacturers to be a catalyst and outsourcer for them in order to grow the motor-racing business itself — an activity that previously had mostly been undertaken by themselves. Scuderia Ferrari with their expert knowhow and mechanics became a magnet for new drivers and sponsors.
Ferrari Racing Machines
It wasn’t until 1939 that Enzo Ferrari began to build sports cars of his own. From then the Prancing Horse’s stunning racing history speaks for itself. Enzo Ferrari will go down in history for his vision and for not least in having created what has been ranked as the most mighty brand image in the world. He received a lot of international and Italian awards including the Columbus Prize, the Hammarskjöld Prize by the United Nations, the Gold Medal for Culture and Art, the honorary title of Cavaliere di Gran Croce della Repubblica Italiana etc. The University of Modena conferred Enzo Ferrari with an Honorary Degree in Physics. He also was posthumously inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and the Automotive Hall of Fame.
Scuderia Ferrari was a competitor in the first Formula One Championship in 1950 — and it’s the only team to have competed in every season of the Formula One World Championships. It’s without any doubt the most successful F1 team having broken a lot of motorsport records. Two of the many memorable landmark wins: first, the 1981 Monaco Grand Prix where Gilles Villeneuve proved himself, achieving a breathtaking victory and making the cover of Time. And second, the incredible 100th win by Ferrari in 1990 with Alain Prost in the French Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Michael Schumacher and Charles Leclerc
Scuderia Ferrari’s most successful driver has been Michael Schumacher, winning 72 Grand Prix races and 5 drivers’ titles during his time with the team. Currently, the two primary drivers for Scuderia Ferrari are the exciting new Monegasque driving ace Charles Leclerc and veteran winner of four World Championships, Sebastian Vettel.
Call it Destiny — Charles Leclerc will already forever be a part of Ferrari’s history, not solely because of the Monegasque driver’s startling acceleration in 2019 from rookie number 2 driver to competing on equal terms with multiple world champion driving ace Sebastian Vettel.
Divine providence struck during the year of the 90th anniversary celebrations. Charles Leclerc’s victory at Monza, the flagship Italian Grand Prix in 2019 and pride of all Italians was perhaps the greatest emblematic win in the 90th anniversary year of Ferrari. And he did it in the Ferrari SF 90, the racing machine dedicated to Ferrari’s 90th anniversary.
Charles Leclerc’s 90th Birthday Gift to Ferrari
Ferrari had been waiting for a victory on home turf at Monza for as many as nine years! Leclerc pulled off that miracle with Hamilton breathing down his neck and after holding off both the Mercedes’ drivers in one of the great races of 2019.
It even eclipsed Schumacher’s win when he too won at Monza in his first visit with the Ferrari team in 1996. Charles’ wins during the 2019 season make him the 39th driver to have won world championship races for Ferrari, but the word is that a racing driver like him arrives on the scene only once every ten years. We can’t wait to see the future unfold.
We have seen 90 years. One more decade will see 100 years. Monegasque Charles Leсlerc is already forever associated with the 90 year history. There are more records to be broken in advance of Ferrari’s centenary and Charles is in the perfect place to break them. Monaco and the world can’t wait!