Shell’s Innovation Partnership with Scuderia Ferrari
Revisit one of the longest running partnerships in motorsport and learn about the remarkable moments and celebrated victories that have made this association so successful.
Where it all began - A personal relationship
Shell’s technical partnership with Scuderia Ferrari dates back to the time when Enzo Ferrari started racing for Alfa Romeo.
Within five years of being made an official Alfa Romeo driver in 1924, Enzo went on to found the Scuderia Ferrari on Viale Trento Trieste in Modena, which assisted mostly gentlemen drivers in racing their cars. In 1938, Enzo Ferrari was appointed head of Alfa Corse but quit the position in 1939 to set up his own company, Auto Avio Costruzioni, which operated out of the old Scuderia buildings.
Ferrari and the prancing horse
The legendary symbol used by Ferrari has heroic origins. It was first adopted as a personal emblem by a highly decorated Italian World War I pilot, Francesco Baracca, who had it painted on the fuselage of his aircraft.
At the end of the war, Baracca’s parents invited Enzo Ferrari to use the Cavallino Rampante (Prancing Horse) symbol. Enzo adopted it as the logo for his racing Scuderia, placing it on a yellow shield in honour of his hometown Modena and topping it with the Italian tricolour. The classic Ferrari red, however, was simply the colour assigned by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) to Italian Grand Prix cars in the early years of the last century. The Prancing Horse symbol made its debut at the 1932 Spa 24 Hours.
Competition on the world stage
Scuderia Ferrari took part in the inaugural Formula 1® World Championship season with the support of Shell.
The championship consisted of six Grand Prix races, held in Europe and open to Formula 1® cars, plus the Indianapolis 500, which was run to AAA National Championship regulations. Giuseppe Farina of Alfa Romeo won the title. Scuderia Ferrari was just getting started.
Ferrari’s first Formula 1® win
By developing a normally aspirated 4.5 litre engine, the Scuderia Ferrari used significantly less fuel than its super-charged rivals and worked efficiently with fuel specially mixed by Shell.
The result was Scuderia Ferrari’s first ever Formula 1® victory at Silverstone. Driving was José Froilan Gonzalez, the feted hero whose reward for victory was an audience with the Queen. Formula 1®
Alberto Ascari became the first driver to win a World Championship with Scuderia Ferrari in 1952. The first of many.
The 1953 Shell-powered 500 F2 proved itself to be the best car in the field, with Ascari’s five wins bringing the Drivers’ Title home once more, as Scuderia Ferrari completed a winning streak of 14 consecutive victories over two seasons – a record that remains in tact today, excluding two editions of the Indianapolis 500.
Surtees completes the set
Ex motorcycle racer John Surtees wins the Formula 1® World Championship and becomes the first racer to win world titles on two and four wheels.
John Surtees finished second in the Mexico Grand Prix which gave him the Drivers’ Championship by one point from Graham Hill. Scuderia Ferrari also won the Constructors’ title.
Back together again
After the hiatus of the 70s and 80s Shell resumed its technical partnership with Scuderia Ferrari - and the results were better than ever.
The Team made the most of lighter and highly combustible fuels and, with the great Michael Schumacher behind the wheel, success was just around the corner.
Michael Schumacher became Scuderia Ferrari's first World Drivers’ Champion for 21 years having clinched the Drivers' Title at the penultimate race of the season, the Japanese Grand Prix. Scuderia Ferrari successfully defended their Constructors' title. This was a truly defining day in Shell’s history with the team proud to be part of Scuderia Ferrari’s latest triumph.
Records continue to tumble
Not for the first time the Drivers’ Championship was dominated by Michael Schumacher and Scuderia Ferrari. The German driver won the Drivers’ Championship for the fifth consecutive year and the Italian company took the Constructors’ Championship for the sixth straight season.
Kim finishes first
Kimi Räikkönen won The Drivers' Championship by one point at the final race of the season, making him the third Finnish driver to take the title.
Räikkönen entered the final race in third position in the drivers' standings, but emerged as Champion after the chequered flag, a feat first accomplished by Giuseppe Farina in 1950 and later matched by Alain Prost in 1986.
500 not out
Shell’s technical partnership with Scuderia Ferrari reached a new milestone in 2012. At the Singapore Grand Prix the teams celebrated 500 Formula 1® races together – an incredible achievement marked with a specially designed ‘Shell 500 Races’ logo on the rear wing of the F2012.
Now and beyond
Shell fuels and lubricants deliver an unprecedented 25% of total performance gain to the Scuderia Ferrari power unit as the two companies extend their relationship to an Innovation Partnership which will see Shell continue to power Scuderia Ferrari’s teams in Formula 1® and beyond, and Scuderia Ferrari support Shell’s global Eco-marathon programme.
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Shell’s Track Lab team is trackside for every race, sampling and testing the fuels and lubricants as Shell helps power the Ferrari team to success.