The Ferrari team is celebrating its 800th Grand Prix at this weekend’s Turkish race, and marked the occasion with special logos adorning the F10’s engine cover and team buildings in the paddock.
"Each of you has written a chapter in this fantastic story and, on behalf of Ferrari and its supporters, I would like to thank you," he wrote. "I am very proud to be at the head of a company like Ferrari and I would like to share with all of you our joy in reaching this extraordinary achievement.
"It is incredible looking back at what we have accomplished together, knowing that we are part of an unrivalled history which is still being written."
The team will host a special celebration party in Istanbul on Saturday night.
Of the 799 previous Grands Prix, the team has achieved 211 race victories, 203 pole positions, 220 fastest race laps, 632 podium finishes, 80 1-2 race finishes, and led 13,097 race laps. In addition to this, the team has won the Constructors’ Championship on 16 occasions, and clinched the Drivers’ Championship 15 times.
The team’s most successful driver, Michael Schumacher – who achieved 5 titles and 72 victories in his 180-race, 11-season stint with the team – spoke of the team’s achievements in one of the most eloquent speeches I’ve ever read from him:
"When you are part of a community for fourteen years it inevitably has an effect on you.
"I will always have a part of Ferrari inside me; a part of my heart will always be red. The Scuderia has a really special way of going about its business and it is quite right to speak of itself as a family – a family that I have long felt part of.
"The time I spent with Ferrari was wonderful, I made friends and had experiences that I would not want to be without.
"Concepts that I had never contemplated before my time at Ferrari came to life for me there: legend, culture and history. All of that meant nothing to me before I joined the team; I had never concerned myself with it or even known about it.
"Once I experienced at first hand the significance that Ferrari has for Italy and the tifosi, only then did I grasp that these concepts were well justified. That they originate in a passion for engines and cars, both among those who build them, as well as among those who admire them.
"I am certainly not a man prone to lyrical expressions, but I now fully understand this passion – my greatest passion is racing, and in that we, myself and Ferrari, are very much the same."
Well, I’d beg to differ on your own self-assessment there, Michael!
One ironic point of the team’s history is that – while it has contested every championship season in the modern era – it did not participate in the very first Championship event (the 1950 British Grand Prix) because it felt the appearance money was too low. How some things never change!
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