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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Founded in 1929, Scuderia Ferrari is the oldest and most successful of all Formula 1 teams. Founded by Enzo Ferrari, a race driver himself, the original avatar of Scuderia Ferrari was to be a sponsor for amateur drivers for various races. But as time went on, Ferrari became a full-fledged team. In the initial days, Ferrari would race mostly for Alfa Romeo but eventually, he moved on to set up his own establishment.

Ferrari had been in readiness to enter Formula 1 racing on their own, but World War II put a hold on these plans. Eventually, in 1948, they debuted as a racing team at the Italian GP and their first win came with Giuseppe Farina. Though they participated in Formula 1's first season in 1950; they were not as good as the Alfa Romeo cars and had to wait until 1952 for their first taste of success. Changes in regulations helped them and they won the Drivers' championship that year. Repeating their success three more times in the decade (1953, 56 and 58) and establishing themselves as a top notch team.

More success in the 1960s and 1970s including five Drivers' titles and six Constructors' titles kept them at the helm of the sport. But after early success in the 1980s (two Driver's titles in 1982 and 1983), they faded away. In the early part of the 1990s, Ferrari enjoyed minor successes with Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger, but these were short-lived. After a change of affairs at the helm forced by the signing of Michael Schumacher in 1996, the team saw a brief period of rise that included many wins and a realistic challenge for the title in 1997, but they could not complete the job.

The new millennium brought about a huge change in fortunes as Michael Schumacher won the title in 2000, Ferrari's first since 1979 and started an era of domination that would end with a fifth successive title for the driver in 2004. During this period, Ferrari would be virtually unbeatable as a constructor too winning the title on all five occasions. The team of Schumacher and Barrichello has been one of the most dominant in motorsport for a long time. There was some criticism levelled at them, though, for insisting that Schumacher be the winning driver while Barrichello was always the bridesmaid!

Over the last two years, Ferrari's results have not been as good and Schumacher announced his retirement after his second unsuccessful year in 2006. The 2007 season holds much hope for Ferrari and the F2007 car has been impressive in testing. In Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen, the scarlet team does have an experienced set of drivers, and all the signs point to a return to the top for the Scuderia.

Team Boss: Jean Todt

Races: 751

Race Wins: 197

Constructor's Championships: 14

Engine: Ferrari V8 056

Chassis: F2007 - Ferrari

Suspension: Sachs

Brakes: Brembo Carbon

Tyres: Bridgestone

Transmission: Semi-auto 7 speeds

Engine power: Over 18,500 rpm
GearBox: 7-speed unit + reverse
Weight: 605 kgs (including driver, camera and ballast)
Dimensions: 4545 mm x 1796 mm x 959 mm
Valves: 4 valves per cylinder; pneumatic valve system
Total displacement: 2.4 litres

Team Personnel:
Team manager: Jean Todt
Designer: Aldo Costa
Chief engineer: Gilles Simon
Drivers: Kimi Raikkönen (Finland), Felipe Massa (Brazil)
Test driver: Luca Badoer, Marc Gene


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