60 years ago today… a prancing horse went running

Ferrari is touting its history today, and for good reason.

Sixty years ago the Scuderia made its debut at a little race known as the Monaco Grand Prix.

Here’s Ferrari’s write-up:

Sixty years ago today, 21 May

Maranello, 21 May – This is an important day in the history of Scuderia Ferrari. Sixty years ago in Monte Carlo, the Prancing Horse cars were making their debut in the Formula 1 World Championship in round two, the Monaco Grand Prix.

Four Ferraris were entered: two updated versions of the 125 F1 were entrusted to the Italians, Alberto Ascari and Luigi Villoresi, while two other 125 F1s were in the hands of privateers Raymond Sommer and Peter Whitehead. Only the non-works cars took part in qualifying, with Sommer setting the seventh fastest time and Whitehead the tenth, 6”4 and 15” respectively off Juan Manuel Fangio on pole in the Alfa Romeo. Ascari and Villoresi’s cars arrived late and thus started the race from the third row.

A lightning move from Villoresi saw him move up to second at the start and, at the final corner (Ste. Devote) on the first lap, a collision between Farina and Gonzales caused general mayhem. Fangio managed to thread his way through the cars without losing time, but Villoresi was held up by one of the cars being manhandled out of the way by the marshals and, because his engine cut out, he lost 1”18. The leader was pretty much untouchable for all three hours and eighteen minutes of the race, but behind him, the Ferraris were in the hunt. Last after three laps, Villoresi was fourth on lap 10, third on lap 20 and second on lap 30 behind Ascari. On the next lap, Villoresi got the better of his team-mate. After the run of refuelling stops, Ascari was up to second on lap 60 and two laps later, Villoresi was forced to retire with a broken bearing. The race thus ended in victory for Alfa Romeo but with a Ferrari, that of Ascari, on the podium, while Sommer, running as a semi-official driver came home a great fourth. The internal post race report reveals these brief notes from the Scuderia men, on the performance of our drivers: “Ascari: good. Villoresi: staged a brilliant recovery, making up a good part of the time lost during the enforced stop on lap two.”

Sixty years have elapsed since that day and Scuderia Ferrari is still here, fighting for victory, as the only team that has been present at every round of a championship which represents the highest level of motor sport. To date the team has taken part in 799 Grands Prix, meaning that Istanbul will be the eight hundredth. To date, our race record shows 211 wins, 16 Constructors’ and 15 Drivers’ titles, which makes this team something special and unique in the history of sport on a global scale.

It’s good to see that Formula 1 race reports haven’t changed too much. Always finding the positives.

And if you check that last graph, you might see a pretty solid example of why Ferrari is… Ferrari, love it or hate it. The team has one more than 25% of the races it has entered. Not too shaddy.

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