A name as synonymous to Formula One as Formula One is to Ferrari, the Maranello squad founded by namesake Enzo Ferrari has been in the sport from the very beginning. Almost every big name F1 has seen has driven for or been linked to Ferrari over the years – with nine drivers winning 15 Driver’s Championships for the team. Famous names such as Michael Schumacher, Niki Lauda, Kimi Raikkonen, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Gilles Villeneuve have all won races for the team – just to name a few. Ferrari’s first title success came at the hands of Alberto Ascari in 1952, the Italian winning six races in a row to their first championship win. Further success came in 1956 and 58 at the hands of Juan Manuel Fangio and Mike Hawthorn, before American Phil Hill helped deliver Ferrari’s first driver/constructor double in 1961. History was made in 1964 by John Surtees, becoming the first and thus far only man to win a championship driving both two and four wheels. Championship success eluded Ferrari for over a decade before the late, great Niki Lauda won two titles between 1975-77 – only missing out at the final race in 1976, a year in which he survived a horror fiery crash at the Nürburgring. South African Jody Scheckter took the title for Ferrari in 1979 – their last driver’s title for 21 years. Gilles Villeneuve starred for the team in his short stint in F1 prior to his tragic death in 1982, a season both he and teammate Didier Pironi were in a title fight with Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet and Keke Rosberg. Despite the lack of driver’s championships, Ferrari were able to win the Constructor’s in 1983 and had close calls in the 1990s with Alain Prost and Eddie Irvine. The 1996 season saw Ferrari take steps toward total Formula One dominance, employing the “Dream Team” of Ross Brawn, Jean Todt, Rory Byrne and Michael Schumacher. While success eluded them with close calls in 1997-99 – the breakthrough happened in 2000 with Schumacher winning the first of five consecutive driver/constructor’s titles for the team. During the 2000-04 period, winning 57 of a possible 85 races with the pairing of Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello. Ferrari dropped back in 2005 but Schumacher pushed eventual victor Alonso all the way in 2006, in which was his final year with the team. Kimi Raikkonen came on board with 2007 following Schumacher’s first retirement from the sport, winning the title by a single point at his first attempt. To date, this has been Ferrari’s last Driver’s Championship despite many close calls. Felipe Massa was champion for a brief moment crossing the line in 2008, before Lewis Hamilton made a final corner pass to take the title in dramatic fashion. Two-time champion Fernando Alonso joined the team from 2010-14, also narrowly missing two title victories at the final race of the season in both 2010 and 2012. Vettel replaced Alonso from 2015, pushing Hamilton in 2017/18 despite not winning the championship. Raikkonen rejoined the team during this time also, taking a single victory at the 2018 US Grand Prix. Charles Leclerc replaced Raikkonen for 2019, winning two races and has been paired with Carlos Sainz Jr since the 2021 season following Vettel’s departure for Aston Martin. 2022 saw Ferrari become title contenders again, a real threat for the first half of the season before falling away to the dominant Red Bull/Max Verstappen combination. Leclerc and Sainz continue with Ferrari for 2023.
DOB: 16th October 1997
Lives in: Monaco
Current team: Scuderia Ferrari
Monaco born Charles Leclerc starred in motorsport from a very early age – winning multiple kart titles before his 12th birthday. At age 17, Leclerc moved into Formula Renault, winning races in his debut season and finishing runner up to fellow F1 driver Nyck de Vries. Single-seater title success came in 2016, Leclerc winning the GP3 Series (now F3) title at his first attempt – beating the likes of F1 talent Alex Albon and de Vries. Graduating to the renamed Formula 2 Championship in 2017, Leclerc dominated his rookie season – winning the title by a whopping 72 points. During the 2016/17 seasons, Leclerc was also apart of the Ferrari Academy, having his first taste of F1 machinery in practice sessions for Haas as well as a mid-season test session with Ferrari itself. Following his back-to-back junior titles, Leclerc moved into F1 for the 2018 season at the Sauber team alongside Marcus Ericsson. In moderately competitive machinery, Leclerc outperformed his more experienced teammate, with highlights being a 6th place at the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix and a trio of 7th place finishes to round out the season. Ending the year on 39 points to his teammates’ 9pts, Leclerc’s instant impact earned an immediate promotion to Ferrari alongside 4-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel for 2019. If Leclerc’s pedigree was already impressive, his reputation increased even further – taking seven pole positions (the most of any driver for the season) and back-to-back victories at Spa and Monza and finishing ahead of Vettel in the standings by 24pts. 2020 saw a drop in performance for the Ferrari team, meaning Leclerc rarely challenged for the top step on the podium – taking just two top-3 finishes for the year. Retained for 2021 alongside Carlos Sainz, Ferrari again struggled to match the front-running teams with just a single 2nd place finish to show for Leclerc. The wholesale regulation changes for the 2022 season saw Ferrari start on the front foot led by Leclerc, winning two of the first three races. A genuine championship contender for the first half of the season, Leclerc would go onto finish 2nd behind Max Verstappen in the 2022 title race, albeit 146pts behind the runaway winner. The Leclerc/Sainz pairing continues at Ferrari for a third season in 2023. Leclerc had a very close friendship with the late Jules Bianchi who raced in Formula One in 2013-14, of whom Leclerc was a godson of. Leclerc’s younger brother Arthur also races in in the Formula 2 Championship.
DOB: 1st September 1994
Lives in: Madrid, Spain
Current team: Scuderia Ferrari
The son of one of the most famous rally drivers in history of the same name, Carlos Sainz Jr has forged a name for himself in motorsport from an early age. After a successful karting stint and under the mentorship of his father, Sainz Jr moved into Formula BMW at age 16 – 2010 also being the year that he was signed up to Red Bull’s Young Driver Academy. Following wins in Formula Renault and British F3, Sainz moved up to the GP3 Series (now F3) and raced alongside the likes of future F1 graduate and fellow Red Bull junior Daniil Kvyat. Sainz managed 10th overall in the GP3 season of 2013 prior to a switch to Formula Renault 3.5 in 2014. Winning the title comfortably meant that Sainz earned his F1 debut with the Toro Rosso alongside the son of another racer in Max Verstappen for the 2015 season. With Verstappen taking the F1 world by storm at such a young age, the older Sainz went about his business quietly and consistently in his rookie season, collecting seven points-scoring finishes – the best performance being a back of the grid rise to 7th at the USA Grand Prix. Retained for the 2016 season at Toro Rosso, Sainz became the de facto team leader following Verstappen’s promotion to Red Bull after Round 4. It was a stronger season for Sainz, recording a string of points, including a pair of 6th places in Brazil and again the USA Grands Prix. Sainz continued for a third season with the Red Bull sister team, however with no immediate prospects of a race drive at Red Bull – Sainz announced midway through the 2017 season that he was moving to Renault, loaned out by Toro Rosso. This move was brought forward with Sainz racing the final four races of 2017 with the Renault team and Sainz still in the Red Bull family. A strong season followed in 2018, Sainz taking a career-best 10th in the Driver’s Championship highlighted by a streak of six races in the points during the year. McLaren came knocking for 2019, meaning Sainz was moving further up the grid, while also severing ties with Red Bull. More consistent performances followed for Sainz as well as a debut podium, finishing 3rd in the incident-filled 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix. Staying with McLaren for 2020, Sainz shone again – only finishing out of the points on three occasions. Sainz came mere seconds from victory in the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, chasing down Pierre Gasly all the way to the chequered flag. Two excellent seasons by Sainz and Sebastian Vettel switching teams meant that a dream drive at the Ferrari team came Sainz’s way for the 2021 season, partnered with the promising Charles Leclerc. While the elusive first win continued to evade Sainz, more podiums followed – four top 3 finishes and a career-high 164.5 points to show for his efforts. The 2022 season started well for Sainz, taking four further podiums in the first seven races before Sainz took his first Formula One victory – dominating the 2022 British Grand Prix weekend. Despite some misfortune, 2022 was Sainz’s strongest season to date and continues into 2023 with Leclerc for a third season at Ferrari.