This weekend Ferrari celebrated their 1000th race in the race held in their own circuit, in Mugello. Unfortunately they didn’t have too much to celebrate on Sunday as the team is struggling more than ever this season. But to remember the more glorious times, we made a list of the greatest Ferrari drivers in history.
Despite the anniversary, this season is a disaster for the Ferrari team, with both drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc suffering as well. With no real chance of winning, Ferrari fans are hoping for a miracle and a huge improvement in the next season. Where the new pair of drivers, Leclerc and Carlos Sainz can bring victories for the team. Like it happened in the past, where former Ferrari drivers won 15 individual and 16 constructors world championship titles along with 238 race victories. In the following list we mention the most talented and successful Ferrari pilots who are still remembered by the Scuderia family.
Greatest Ferrari drivers in history
7. Gilles Villeneuve
Though the father of later Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve, Gilles Villeneuve hasn’t won any world championship title for Ferrari. He was still an important driver for the team between 1977 and 1982. The Canadian joined Formula 1 in the Mclaren team, but was soon taken over by Ferrari. He was one of the fastest drivers, getting the best out of any car. Villleneuve won six races in his career and finished second in the 1979 world championship behind his teammate, Jody Scheckter. Speed caused his death as well in a tragic crash during the qualifying of the Belgian Grand Prix in 1982.
6. Fernando Alonso
The Spanish world champion joined Ferrari after winning 2 world titles with Renault earlier. So no wonder Italian fans were expecting the same from Fernando Alonso. He came close to winning again, especially in 2010 and 2012. Then he finished as a runner-up with only 3 and 4 points behind. But the Spanish failed to defeat Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull in all his seasons, which was a big shame and eclipsed a bit his previous achievements. It will be interesting to see how Alonso will perform next season after his return to Formula 1 and his old team, Renault following his participation in other motorsports, like IndyCar and Dakar.
5. Juan Manuel Fangio
The former record holder with his five world titles, Juan Manuel Fangio drove for several teams. He won his fourth world title with Ferrari in 1956, in a season full of technical issues. Fangio had to use his teammate’s car on several occasions, and share the points after the race. He still managed to finish on top, but couldn’t be too pleased about the team and left Ferrari in the next season.
4. John Surtees
John Surtees is a very special driver as he is still the only person to win world championships in both motor and car racing. He won four world titles in 500cc before arriving in Formula 1 in 1960. After adapting to four wheels, and already impressing everyone on his debut season, Surtees joined Ferrari in 1963. The British driver won the championship in the next year and drove for the team two more seasons. He quit Ferrari after a row about the 24hour Le Mans race. Online sportsbooks in Italy are predicting another world title for today’s great British driver, Lewis Hamilton for this season.
3. Alberto Ascari
Going back even more in time we can find an Italian, Alberto Ascari in the greatest Ferrari drivers in history. Ascari also rode motorcycles first before switching to cars thanks to his father’s friend, Enzo Ferrari. The founder of Scuderia supplied Ascari with a car in a prestigious open car race, the Mille Miglia race in 1940. Alberto took part in the first Formula 1 world championship in 1950 and raced against Alfa Romeo in the first two seasons. Then in 1952 he got the first F1 title for Ferrari after winning 6 races in the season. Ascari won another title in the following season before joining the team of Lancia after payment issues with Ferrari.
2. Niki Lauda
One of the best drivers of all time, Niki Lauda had a great impact on Ferrari in the 1970s as well, winning two world championships for the team and himself. The first came in 1975, only Lauda’s second season at Ferrari. In that year the Austrian won 5 races and finished on the podium 8 times. But what came in the next season was even more spectacular. He finished only a single point behind James Hunt in the world championship. Even though he suffered serious injuries in a crash in the middle of the season including severe burns. But Lauda’s relation with his team went sour in 1977 in spite winning his second world title in the team.
1. Michael Schumacher
I believe most fans and experts would agree that Michael Schumacher was the greatest Ferrari driver in history so far. He won five world titles representing the team and became a real icon for Ferrari. Strangely his start didn’t predict such a glorious future as Schumi hasn’t won anything in his first four years in the team. But in 2000 everything changed, Ross Brown joined Ferrari, Schumacher and the team became unbeatable. The German held several records until Lewis Hamilton started to break most of them. Online gambling sites in Italy favor the Mercedes driver to win the next race in Sochi, and equal Schumacher’s record of 91 Grand Prix wins. Still Schumacher remains the best Ferrari driver and the legend of the sport.