By Gabe Spadaccini
With the 2017 Formula One racing season underway, the Scuderia Ferrari team based in Maranello, Italy, is prepared for their best season in nearly 10 years in the international motorsport. The team was founded by Enzo Ferrari in 1929 when they began building race cars under the Alfa Romeo brand, but parted from Alfa in 1947 and started putting together their own cars. Seventy years later, they now hold multiple F1 records including 16 Constructor’s Championships (most points by a team), 15 Driver’s Championships (most points by a single driver), most wins with 225, and many more. Though their history is impressive, the last time the red Ferraris won the Constructor’s Championship was in 2008 when Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen and Brazilian driver Filipe Massa piloted the cars. The year before, in 2007, was the last time a Ferrari driver won the Driver’s Championship, which was taken home by Raikkonen.
Formula One racing has a history of speed and chaos dating back to the 1950s. These cars are arguably the most magnificent four-wheeled engineering feats in the world, costing millions of dollars and thousands of hours to construct. The aero-
dynamics of the cars resemble that of military fighter jets, allowing the cars to accelerate to speeds over 200 mph and putting around six g-forces on the drivers. This kind of physical activity and strain on the body requires intense training, a unique skillset and an enormous amount of mental strength to withstand over long periods of time.
Years ago, before the FIA (Federation Internationale de L’automobile) became stricter on safety regulations, cars were exploding and drivers were dying on nearly a monthly basis. Formula One was the fastest sport in the world and also the most dangerous. Those brutal days of F1 are in the rearview mirror and we are left with a new generation of cars and drivers — cars that are getting faster and more technologically advanced, but also safer, and drivers who are getting younger and more determined to prove themselves amongst their legendary predecessors.
Two of those drivers are currently racing for the Scuderia Ferrari team: Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, both of whom have won world championships. Over the past few years the Ferrari team has struggled to keep up with the dominating Mercedes team out of Germany and the UK-based Red Bulls. However, off-season testing, training, innovations and hard work proved useful for the red rockets as Vettel brought the team a first place finish at the first race of the 2017 season, as well as the team’s first win since 2012.
To many fans F1 is more than just watching cars drive around a track. It’s about having pride in your country. It’s about showing support for those who participate in the world’s most dangerous sport for the sake of their national flag. Those who support the Italian Scuderia Ferrari team are arguably the craziest, most dedicated fans in all of sports. The passion runs naturally through their blood with every twist and turn of the cars. I guess you can’t expect anything less from the Italians of Formula One.