Formula 1 2013 team guide: Ferrari

An ever-present in Formula 1 since it began in 1050, the Prancing Horse has been usurped by the Red Bull in recent years despite Fernando Alonso's brilliance. Will the natural order be restored in 2013?

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Founded: 1950

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Based: Maranello

Constructors’ titles: 16

Drivers’ titles: 15

Engine: Ferrari

2012 Championship position: 2nd

Team principal: Stefano Domenicali

Technical director: Pat Fry

Drivers: Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa

You cannot imagine Formula 1 without Ferrari; the Prancing Horse has been a constant presence since the very first Formula 1 championship in 1950. The team have won more drivers’ and constructors’ titles than any other, and drivers like Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher have gone down in racing folklore.

There is arguably no team with the pedigree and passion that can match the racing red of Ferrari, even if they did go more than 20 years without a drivers’ title until the glorious return to racing dominance in 2000. This was confirmed at the beginning of this year when industry experts Brand Finance named Ferrari as the ‘world’s most powerful brand’.

Yet there is a cloud overshadowing the team’s 2013 ambitions: they have not won the drivers’ championship since 2007. Despite having in their ranks the masterful Fernando Alonso, Red Bull has usurped their prime position in recent years.

Fernando Alonso performed a minor miracle coming 2nd in the drivers’ championship in 2012, with a car that was rarely a match for Red Bull or even McLaren. For Ferrari ‘tifosi’ this lack of engineering competitiveness comes as a personal insult.

They will be heartened however by Ferrari’s preseason form, which hints at a car in much healthier shape than its 2012 predecessor. Whether it is a match for the Red Bull will only become apparent following the opening races, but the team’s technical director Pat Fry knows they must shrug off this trend for slow season starts.

Whatever car rolls onto the starting grid, there is no doubt that Fernando Alonso will be a threat to the table leaders. Aerodynamics may remain an issue despite the team scrapping their outdated wind tunnel, but Alonso has proved he has the ability to perform despite engineering limitations. The confident mutterings coming from the team garage suggest however that this year, he might not have to.

Did you know?

The prancing horse logo was originally the symbol of Count Francesco Baracca, an Italian flying ace during World War I.

Testing times

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You’d have thought that for all Ferrari’s early season problems last year, they would want all team members firing together in testing this year, but there was one notable absentee: Fernando Alonso. The team’s number one driver did not turn up to Jerez, claiming he was training hard on his own. Only Fernando could get away with that sick note.