Death of Enzo Has Been Anything But the End of Ferrari
Last year marked a quarter of a century since the death of the most famous man in motorsport: Ferrari founder and namesake Enzo Ferrari. Since that time, the iconic Ferrari marque has experienced triumph and adversity, success and failure – and come out of it all at the very peak of their game.
Enzo Ferrari was, inarguably, a true master of motorsport: the Botticelli, Michelangelo and Van Gogh of Formula One’s golden years. It was only after his death, however, that Ferrari would reach the pinnacle of its racing career.
Historic Ferrari F1 Cars at the Nürburgring
At the time of Enzo’s death in 1988, the team had laid claim to an impressive six drivers’ championship titles and eight constructors’ titles; today, these figures stand at 15 and 16 respectively.
It was the genius marriage of Michael Schumacher with Ferrari engineering that would usher in the greatest Grand Prix partnership ever seen. Working with the team, Schumacher won an unparalleled seven drivers’ championships, five of them behind the wheel of a Ferrari.
Schumacher Wins Race With Ferrari
With Schumacher’s consecutive 2000 to 2004 victories, and Kimi Raikonnen’s 2007 win, the new millennium was a time of triumph for the team, whose total drivers’ championship haul increased to 15. Felippe Massa and Fernando Alonso also came close to increasing this figure, although Massa was pipped at the post in a nail-biting final race by Lewis Hamilton in 2008, and Sebastian Vettel triumphed over Alonso in 2010, 2012 and 2013.
In the intervening half a century, the team also managed to double their constructors’ titles, from eight to 16 – meaning that half of their haul since their 1950 entry into Formula One was achieved after Enzo’s death.
Road Car Royalty
It is not only Ferrari’s race track record that has continued to thrive since the death of the team’s founder; its road cars, too, have gone from strength to strength.
In 1988, Ferrari was at the top of its road car game. The jewel in the crown was the fabulous 479bhp twin-turbo F40, considered by many to be Enzo’s final and fitting swansong.
However, the glory of the F40 did not signal the pinnacle of Ferrari excellence. Designs continued to exceed expectation, with technological innovation upon technological innovation. Thanks to the continued commitment to brilliance demonstrated by the Ferrari team over the last quarter of a century, the average power output of a road car has increased from 347bhp in 1988 to a stunning 505bhp today.
If we include the new, already sold-out hybrid LaFerrari, that figure leaps to an absolutely immense 663bhp, a figure unparalleled by the famous marque’s competitors. Consequently, the average 0-62mph sprint speed for a car bearing the Ferrari badge has grown exponentially as well: from 5.7 seconds in 1988 to an eye-watering 3.3 seconds.
A Business Empire
Today, Ferrari’s business is booming. The brand is at the very peak of the road car game, with their models widely acclaimed as the ultimate high-performance exotica on the market. Sales have increased exponentially, from 3,947 in 1987, the last full year of Enzo’s life, to 7,318 in 2012.
In 2009, right in the middle of the global recession, the marque was reporting record profits, and by 2012 their estimated profit stood at £116,000,000 per annum, an increase of 22 per cent despite a 2.8 per cent cut in production.
Ferrari 458 Spider
In 2013, Ferrari announced an intention to cut production in a bid to maintain exclusivity, but despite this business has continued to go from strength to strength, with record sales in the first six months of the year. Across Europe, the average waiting lists for cars such as the California, the F12 and 458 range from 12-18 months.
What would Enzo think of Ferrari’s evolution in the years following his death? In the opinion of Luca di Montezemolo, current Ferrari president: “25 years on, [Enzo] would be happy to see what Ferrari has become today; a unique industrial and racing institution, which represents Italian excellence and continues to enchant the millions and millions of fans of the marque, all over the world.”
Would You Pay £130,000 For Rotten As A Pear Ferrari