Of the eight Formula 1 drivers who have won a world championship title since the turn of the millennium, half of them – Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg and Max Verstappen – did not or have not yet raced for Ferrari.
Out of the other four – Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel – only a pair of them managed to win a title with F1’s most famous team: Raikkonen in 2007 and Schumacher five times between 2000 and 2004.
But for Ferrari and its millions of fans, it’s been a painful wait for their next world champion ever since Raikkonen took his only title 16 years ago. For the Tifosi, it’s almost as long a wait as they endured between Jody Scheckter’s title in 1979 and Schumacher’s first triumph in the year 2000.
In that time, Ferrari famously signed three world champions in a bid to try and take motorsport’s biggest prize once again – Alonso in 2010, Raikkonen (a second time) in 2014 and Vettel in 2015. However, despite the many millions of dollars in driver salaries paid out over the 11 seasons in which a world champion raced with Ferrari, not a single one of those campaigns resulted in a world championship title. What went wrong for all three – and what lessons could be learned for when Hamilton joins in 2025?
Fernando Alonso – 2010-2014
GPs: 96 – Wins: 11 – Poles: 4 – Podiums: 44 – Points: 1,190 – Best finish: 2nd (2010, 2012, 2013)
Alonso arrived at Maranello for the start of the 2010 already a firm favourite with the Tifosi. With some major rules changes for that season, including a refuelling ban, and three new teams joining the grid, this felt like a new era for the sport.
His debut in red could not have gone better. Racing around the little-loved endurance layout of the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain, Alonso became the seventh Ferrari driver to win on their grand prix debut for the team, instantly becoming the early favourite to win that year’s title. Through one of the most competitive seasons the sport has seen, Alonso won four more races, all in the second half of the season, to move to the top of the standings heading into the final race at Abu Dhabi.
But what should have been Alonso’s crowning moment as a three-times champion became the most frustrating evening in his Formula 1 career. He led a quartet of championship contenders heading into the finale at Yas Marina, where an opening-lap crash brought out the Safety Car, allowing many in the midfield and further back to…