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Ferrari in need of history lesson

2013-08-19 08:11


REAPEATING THE PAST: Ferrari hopes to return to its race-winning form as F1 prepares for the upcoming 2013 Belgium GP on August 25. Image: AFP

LONDON, England - The 25th anniversary of Enzo Ferrari's death passed with no great fanfare in August 2013 during the middle of F1's summer break. It did however stir memories of one of the greatest figures in the sport's history.

The creator of the most famous F1 marque died at his home in Modena, Italy, on August 14 1988. He was 90 years old. Italy wept, motorsport bowed respectfully and, at the Italian GP on September 11, F1 delivered a  fairy-tale result to mark the occasion.

In an era dominated by Honda power and the brilliance of the embattled McLaren pairing of Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna, the scarlet scuderia delivered a stunning one-two triumph on home soil.


Gerhard Berger won the race ahead of team mate Michele Alboreto after a bizarre incident. Jean-Louis Schlesser, standing in for chicken-pox victim Briton Nigel Mansell, collided with race-leading Brazilian Senna at the first chicane with only two laps remaining.

Senna was beached, stranded and retired and as that realisation spread around the old Monza park, the tifosi broke into rapturous celebration. The two Ferraris streaked past and sped to a glorious triumph. It was the only race of 1988 won by anybody other than a McLaren-Honda driver.

Berger dedicated his win to the team founder and, in scenes of wild pandemonium, Ferrari's legend was secured and a legacy recently referred to again as the team rides a storm of disappointment in a season of under-achievement.

Current Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, hired by Ferrari as team manager in 1973, believes the "Old Man's" credo that "the team comes before all else and that it is the performance of the cars that matters most" remains intact.


Montezemolo said: "The example set by Enzo Ferrari is always kept in mind. He realised his dream of building extraordinary cars thanks to his determination and passion, characteristics that are part of the DNA of all the men and women who work for the company that bears his name.

"Twenty-five years on, he would be happy to see what Ferrari has become today, a unique industrial and racing institution which represents Italian excellence and continues to enchant the millions and millions of fans of the marque all over the world."

At the time of his death, 25 years ago, Ferrari had established itself as the most successful F1 team in history: nine Drivers' titles, eight Constructors' crowns and 93 wins.

That dominance may not prevail today; Fernando Alonso and partner Felipe Massa are struggling to keep pace with Red Bull and Mercedes but the team's image and spirit live on unchanged.

Ferrari, as the only team to have raced in every season of the championship since 1950, has now won 16 Constructors' and 15 Drivers' titles, 221 of 862 races and will travel to Spa-Francorchamps for the 2013 Belgian GP (Aug 25) hoping for an resurgence of form and more results as memorable as that at Monza in 1988.

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 Belgian F1 GP weekend.
Read more on:    ferrari  |  fernando alonso  |  f1  |  motorsport

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