Enzo Ferrari, a former racing driver and team manager, founded his car company, Ferrari, in 1947 with the goal of building race cars that could compete at the highest levels of motorsport. The company quickly established a reputation for excellence following the debut of the first Ferrari 125 Sport (125 S) on this day in 1947 at the Piacenza racing circuit. In the following decades Ferrari became one of the most iconic and revered brands in the automotive world. From its early days of racing to the modern era of Formula One dominance, Ferrari has consistently pushed the boundaries of what is possible in motorsports and road going cars.
Ferrari 125 Sport specs
The Ferrari 125S was the first car to bear the Ferrari name and built under the direction of Enzo Ferrari himself. The car featured a 1.5-liter V12 engine that produced 118 horsepower, giving it a top speed of around 112 miles per hour. The 125S was also the first Ferrari to feature a tubular steel chassis, a design that would become a hallmark of Ferrari’s racing cars for many years. The car made its racing debut at the Piacenza Circuit on May 11, 1947, driven by Enrico Biagini, and while it did not win its debut race, it showed promise for the fledgling Ferrari team.
Ferrari racing history & timeline
- May 11, 1947: Ferrari unveils its first car, the Ferrari 125 Sport, at the Piacenza racing circuit in Italy.
- 1948: Ferrari wins its first major race, the 1948 24 Hours of Rome, with a Ferrari 166 Spyder Corsa.
- 1951: Ferrari wins its first Formula One World Championship with driver Juan Manuel Fangio.
- 1961: Phil Hill becomes the first American to win the Formula One World Championship, driving for Ferrari.
- 1964: Ferrari introduces the 275 GTB, which becomes one of the most iconic Ferrari road cars of all time.
- 1967: Ferrari wins its first 24 Hours of Daytona endurance race with drivers Lorenzo Bandini and Chris Amon.
- 1968: Ferrari wins the Formula One World Championship with driver Jackie Stewart.
- 1975: Niki Lauda wins his first Formula One World Championship with Ferrari.
- 1978: Ferrari wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time in over a decade with drivers Didier Pironi and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud.
- 2000: Ferrari wins its first Formula One Constructors’ Championship since 1983.
- 2002: Ferrari wins its fifth consecutive Formula One Constructors’ Championship, a record that still stands today.
- 2004: Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher wins his seventh Formula One World Championship, breaking the previous record of six championships held by Juan Manuel Fangio.
- 2017: Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel wins the Monaco Grand Prix, giving Ferrari its first victory at the historic race since 2001.
- 2019: Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc wins his first Formula One race at the Belgian Grand Prix.
- 2020: Ferrari has a disappointing season, finishing sixth in the Constructors’ Championship, its worst result since 1980.
Past, present and future
Ferrari’s racing history is a story of triumph, innovation, and passion. From its first victory in 1948 to its latest achievements on the Formula One circuit, Ferrari has cemented its place as one of the most successful and iconic names in motorsport. While the company has faced its share of challenges over the years, Ferrari’s commitment to excellence and its dedication to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in racing continue to inspire and captivate fans around the world.