Ferrari: Top 5 Seasons in Formula 1

As the oldest Formula 1 team, Ferrari has had its fair share of ups and downs, let’s look at Ferrari’s most dominant Formula 1 seasons

The Italian motor racing team, Ferrari, is the oldest active team in Formula 1, racing in F1 since the very first Formula 1 Grand Prix in 1950. The Scuderia is also the most successful. Above all Ferrari still holds the most records. As part of its iconic history, Ferrari has 242 race wins, 801 podiums, 15 Drivers’ Championships, and 16 Constructors’ Championships.

Not everything has always been in its favor. Through the years, Ferrari has demonstrated time and time again a resilience that not every team has had. Some of the best World Champions drove for Ferrari and have contributed to creating a legacy that is still going strong. Here are Ferrari’s 5 best seasons in Formula 1.

5. – 1952 – The first Ferrari Formula 1 World Champion

Many people forget to mention Alberto Ascari when talking about the best race car drivers of all time. He was the first Ferrari Formula 1 World Champion. But before winning the title he was racing against some of the best drivers of his time. Fangio, Farina, Hawthorn, Taruffi, all of these great drivers were against Ascari in the 1952 season, but he was the one to win in the end.

In the 1952 season Ascari beats his teammate and World Champion Nino Farina in qualifying in the same Ferrari in three races during the season and won the first three races of the season by two minutes. Six wins, six pole positions and six hat tricks in six fair starts. This is the definition of dominance. Winning those races, especially being in the same car as championship-level drivers and competing with legends.

In this exact period, Ascari also won nine races in a row. Even more impressive, if he didn’t crash with Farina in the last corner of the 1953 Italian Grand Prix and had his wheel not come off while leading by 40 seconds in the 1953 German Grand Prix, he could have very easily won 14 out of 14 races between 1952 and 1953.

13 victories, 14 pole positions, and 17 podiums in just 33 Grands Prix contested in Formula 1. Amazing numbers are those of Ascari, who won two World Championship titles with Ferrari. Ferrari’s first two World Championships.

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4. 1975 – First time for Lauda

One of the most respected drivers in Formula 1 history and Ferrari World Champion. Niki Lauda in one way or the other really did make history. After signing with Ferrari in 1974 alongside Clay Regazzoni, Niki Lauda started to help Ferrari with its development.

After conquering 3 victories in 1974, two from Lauda and one from Regazzoni, Enzo Ferrari was confident that the 1975 season would hold some surprises for the team. The new 312 T was not ready at the beginning of the season. In addition, the other teams closed the gap, so Lauda and Regazzoni had to settle for podium finishes, with two fourth places for Regazzoni and a fifth and sixth for Lauda. However, everything changed after the Monaco Grand Prix. Thanks to the speed and the competitiveness of the new car Lauda started to open the gap between him and his rivals.

It started with a fantastic streak of victories that takes him to the top of the rankings. Lauda won three races in a row in Monaco, Belgium, and Sweden then takes second place in Holland and again a first place in France. Regazzoni instead, was first in Monza and took two podiums in Germany and France. He finished the season in fifth place which helped to win the Formula 1 Constructor’s Championship.

A good line-up and of the best cars that the Prancing Horse ever created helped Ferrari win the Championship. Eleven years had passed since the double victory in the Drivers and Constructors’ Championships with John Surtees in 1964. 1975 opened a new era that foreshadowed many highlights for the Prancing Horse.

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Ferrari in 1975: Driver vs. Driver

  • Championship Points: 89,5 Lauda (74,5), Regazzoni (25)
  • Race wins: 6 — Lauda (5), Regazzoni (1)
  • Podium finishes: 11 — Lauda (8), Regazzoni (3)
  • Pole positions: 9 — Lauda (9), Regazzoni (0)
  • Fastest laps: 6 — Lauda (2), Regazzoni (4)

3. 2012 – Magic Alonso fights until the end

Five world champions competing for the title, a season-long emotional rollercoaster, action-packed races, and unexpected victories. For many people, this is considered one of the best seasons of all time. It wasn’t perfect, from a Ferrari standpoint, but it certainly was interesting. The beginning of the season in February was marked by the less-than-comforting performances shown by F2012 at Jerez de la Frontera and confirmed by the words of engineer Pat Fry and Fernando Alonso himself.

The Spaniard finished fifth in the first round of the Championship in Australia after starting 12th. He redeemed himself at the next round in Malaysia with a fantastic win after facing difficult weather conditions and the aggressiveness of Sergio Perez’s Sauber. At the end of the race he even received the compliments from an emotional Andrea Stella, his race engineer at the time, who called this “his most beautiful victory”.

In the next few races, Alonso found continuity with his results  in part due to the improvements made to the car. In six consecutive races, Alonso took five podiums. Among them is a 1st place at the European Grand Prix where he crossed the finish line ahead of Kimi Räikkönen’s Lotus and Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes.

Unfortunately, the podium finishes in the last part of the Championship didn’t stop Sebastian Vettel’s comeback. With a Red Bull that had become competitive again, Vettel overtook Alonso in the Championship standings. In the end, the two-time World Champion finished the season in second place with 278 points, 3 points behind Vettel who became Word Champion for the third time.

Despite not winning this is considered Alonso’s best season in Formula 1, having been voted best pilot of 2012 by the team principals of the Circus. Ferrari didn’t win either of the titles this season but put on a fight worth of this list.

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Ferrari in 2012: Driver vs. Driver

  • Championship Points: 400 —  Alonso (278), Massa (122)
  • Race wins:  Alonso (3), Massa (0)
  • Podium finishes: 15 — Alonso (13), Massa (2)
  • Pole positions: 2 — Alonso (2), Massa (0)
  • Fastest laps: /

2. 2007 – The last Ferrari Word Champion

It’s impossible to make this list without mentioning the 2007 season. With a tight fight between Ferrari and McLaren and a thrilling fight for the Championship, the 2007 season takes a comfortable second place in this list. Ferrari confirmed Felipe Massa’s contract for the 2007 season after he replaced Rubens Barricchello the previous year and signed 30-year-old Kimi Räikkönen as a replacement for the retired Michael Schumacher.

It’s a year full of surprises and controversies. From the retirement of Michael Schumacher and the discovery of the future World Champion Lewis Hamilton. Then the intra-team fight between Alonso and Hamilton and the Spygate, which involved McLaren and Ferrari, and so on. The 2007 season was a mess, but it also gave the Tifosi the last, to this day, Ferrari World Champion. And maybe it’s also thanks to McLaren’s mess that made this 2007 season.

Ferrari had quite the competition from McLaren that season. With a four-way battle for the Driver’s title between the Ferrari drivers and the Mclaren duo, the reigning World Champion Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. This makes the achievements of Kimi Räikkönen even more special.

Despite starting the season with a win in Australia and two third places in Malaysia and Bahrain the rest of the season was a bit more troublesome. A DNF in the Spanish Grand Prix and an 8th place in Monaco, everyone was worried that this could have been another lost season for Ferrari. But after that, the Iceman slowly started to return to the podium.

He finished the season with 6 first places, 2 second places, and 4 third places. Just a point ahead of both Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso’s McLaren’s.

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Ferrari in 2007: Driver vs. Driver

  • Championship Points: 204 — Räikkönen (110), Massa (94)
  • Race wins: — Räikkönen (6), Massa (3)
  • Podium finishes: 22 — Räikkönen (12), Massa (10)
  • Pole positions: — Räikkönen (3), Massa (9)
  • Fastest laps: 12 — Räikkönen (6), Massa (6)

1. 2002 – Michael Schumacher Masterclass

When talking about 7-time World Champion and Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher it’s not easy to choose his best moments. However, the 2002 season was one of pure domination. Not only the line-up but also the car has its merits. This was also a year full of power.

At the beginning of the season, Ferrari’s rivals tried to oppose them. And they nearly did it. However, after the Monaco Grand Prix thanks to Barrichello who returned to the podium. Ferrari opened the gap even more and won the season without a lot of trouble. Schumacher was awarded his fifth World Championship, his third in a row with 6(!) races to spare. In fact, Schumi finished on the podium in every race of the 2002 season. Not only that but a 1-2 finish conquered by Schumacher and Barrichello at the Hungaroring permitted Ferrari to win the Constructors’ Championship with four races to spare.

15 Races won out of 17, 27 podiums in total. This line-up and the car were the perfect combo to achieve what can only be called pure dominance that left nothing for Ferrari’s contestants.

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Ferrari in 2002: Driver vs. Driver

  • Championship Points: 221 — Schumacher (144), Barrichello (77)
  • Race wins: 15 Schumacher (11), Barrichello (4)
  • Podium finishes: 27 Schumacher (12), Barrichello (10)
  • Pole positions: 10 — Schumacher (7), Barrichello (3)
  • Fastest laps: 12 Schumacher (7), Barrichello (5)