While the 2021 Formula 1 season gave us Max Verstappen’s “Orange Army” versus Lewis Hamilton’s “Team LH”, everyone can agree that Formula 1 is so much better when Ferrari is at the top.
And as Sebastian Vettel so precisely said, “everybody’s a Ferrari fan”.
Last year gave us two diabolically opposed parties — those that love Verstappen and hate Hamilton or love Hamilton and hate Verstappen.
But there’s one thing it seems everyone agrees on: they love Charles LeClerc.
On Sunday, he showed why.
Not only is he respectful in interviews, fair on track and he’s F-A-S-T. He’s a perfect addition to the Hamilton/Verstappen energy.
Even Ferrari’s other driver, Carlos Sainz, is one of the more likeable drivers on the grid. And he’s got the chops to back that up.
Sainz finished ahead of teammate, LeClerc, and took fifth in the championship after both Red Bull’s and Mercedes.
With likeable and formidable drivers, a very strong car, and the prestige of the Ferrari brand, this could be the year the sport explodes even more than after last season.
Why Ferrari Matters
For one, history.
Scuderia Ferrari is the most successful and oldest currently competing team in Formula One. They are based in Maranello, Italy.
Founded in 1929, the team started making their own cars in 1947 after running Alfa Romeos until then. They were part of the inaugural World Championship in 1950.
Ferrari have won the drivers' title fifteen times, in 1952, 1953, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1964, 1975, 1977, 1979, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2007.
They won the Constructors' Championship (which was formed in 1958) sixteen times, in 1961, 1964, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008.
The drivers that have won the Championship while driving for Ferrari are Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Mike Hawthorn, Phil Hill, John Surtees, Niki Lauda, Jody Scheckter, Michael Schumacher, and Kimi Räikkönen.
Scuderia Ferrari has 239 wins, 782 podiums, 231 poles, 255 fastest laps, and 8,756 points in 1030 starts in Formula 1.
Formula One without Ferrari would be like the NFL without the Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers or Manchester United and Barcelona in soccer. Ferrari is the sport's most prestigious team, having won the most races and championships, by far.
And, without its F1 triumphs, Ferrari would probably not be the most powerful brand in the world, as it was named by Brand Finance multiple times.
However, Ferrari hasn’t won a constructors title since 2008. This 14-year drought is the second-longest in the team’s history behind only the 17-year span from 1983-1999.
Even worse is Ferrari has stopped winning races altogether.
Yes, they’ve won races from 2009-19 with past champions and legends such as Fernando Alonso, Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel. Current lead driver Charles Leclerc also has two wins in the Ferrari red.
But that’s not enough for the team from Maranello.
The Netflix Effect
We’ve talked ad nasuem about the success of Drive to Survive on Netflix, and aside from the digital viewership, the actual physical presence is growing.
Since 1959, six American venues have hosted 42 editions of the U.S. Grand Prix, but for the first time in series history, there will be two American dates on the season schedule. The Circuit of the Americas in Austin is back with a contract that runs through at least 2026 and the Miami Grand Prix debuts May 8 on a brand new course being built at Hard Rock Stadium.
Meanwhile, McLaren is owned by Californian Zak Brown, Haas F1 is still plugging away, Michael Andretti is inquiring about a future in F1 team ownership, and Formula 1 itself is owned by Liberty Media, the Colorado-based group that also owns the Atlanta Braves. Liberty execs have openly talked of adding more U.S.-based events, with their eyes on Las Vegas and New York.
According to Zoomph social media data I’ve been tracking since last season, outside of Italy the majority of social media chatter around Scuderia Ferrari comes from the United States.
The Ferrari Club of America is the biggest Ferrari enthusiast club in the world.
With all these new eyeballs rushing to Formula 1, it’s crucial for the series to have Ferrari at the top.
New fans don’t know of a world that isn’t dominated by Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton.
With a fast car, a steady boss and the perfect teammates, these new fans will get to see why Ferrari and the tifosi are cemented in Formula 1 as the best ever.
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Our latest drop in conjunction with Breaking T, is this “Scuderia is Back” tee with the numbers of both Carlos Sainz and Charles LeClerc on the back.