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Lame horse?

10 months ago

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Edd Straw | Motorsport journalist


26 April 2023

A change of leadership, high hopes dashed early in the season by competitive reality, question marks over the long-term future of a star driver, a grande casino in the Italian media – it’s business as usual for Ferrari in 2023. That’s because, for all its success, the story of Ferrari in Formula 1 is largely one of underachievement.

Ferrari is a contradiction, simultaneously Grand Prix racing’s most successful marque and its great disappointment. The Prancing Horse has won a combined total of 31 drivers’ and constructors’ titles and a record 242 World Championship races. Impressive? Not really. That’s a strike rate of just over one in five for both titles and wins which, within the context of an organisation that has generally had cash and facilities most teams would envy, isn’t so spectacular. Its current struggles are par for the course.

While Ferrari has changed dramatically over the years and today is a far cry from the days when Il Commendatore Enzo Ferrari led from afar, perceiving things through the prism provided by his men on the ground, some things never change. Niki Lauda’s famous quote – ‘when you see all the facilities at the team’s disposal it’s a little difficult, at first glance, to understand why they don’t win every race without any difficulty’ – still resonates. And while Ferrari is resource-wise the equal of Mercedes and Red Bull, that it hasn’t won a title since the constructors’ in 2008 is shocking. If, or perhaps that should be when, it fails to correct that this year, Ferrari will match its record drought of 15 seasons set between its constructors’ crowns in 1983 and 1999.

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