Blue

Blue Mist: Just how Azzurro will Ferrari be in Miami?

Blue

So, Scuderia Ferrari HP will race with blue on its cars in Miami next week. Why so? And how blue will the cars really be?

In the wake of the announcement that California-based PC giant HP will take over from where Phillip Morris (aka Mission Winnow and Marlboro) left off, to be the title sponsor of the sport’s most famous team.

Although nitty-gritty details of the deal have not been released, reports suggest Ferrari is set to earn up to $100-million a year with the new branding on the cars of Chaeles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz this season. And Lewis Hamilton when he arrives at Maranello next year.

History shows that Ferraris have often raced in other colours, even in Formula 1. Juan Manuel Fangio raced his government-owned Argentine national white and blue-hued Ferrari 166 in his home Temporada races in 1949. Raymond Sommer’s factory rental Ferrari 125 was blue in F1’s 1950 debut year.

Frenchman Louis Rosier raced a bleu Ferrari in ‘52, and American Phil Hill’s Dino 246 was blue for his home GP in ‘59. Home star, Olivier Gendebien’s 156 was yellow to salute Maranello’s Belgian agent to Ecurie Francorchamps at Spa in ’61. The other three 156s (below) raced in good old red.

Red is of course Italy’s traditional racing colour. Which is odd, considering the rest of its national sports teams, from the soccer Azzurri to the rugby Blu, and its athletes all run in blue. The story of the blue Ferraris however evolved somewhat late in 1964. Legend has it that Il Commendatore Enzo Ferrari stripped the red off his cars to protest the Italian ACI failing to intervene around a spat Drake had with the FIA around the 250 LM sportscar.

Blue

Ferraris have occasionally not raced in red

The story goes that it surrounded an argument Enzo had with the FIA concerning the previous 250 GTO sportscars being moved around Maranello during that car’s 1962 homologation count at the factory. Anyway, we digress… In defiance of his governing body’s ignorance, Enzo refused to race Italy’s beloved rosso corsa again until the ACI did something about the FIA refusing to count the LM, so it could race.

Ferrari handed his competition licence back to the ACI among a furious amount of gesticulation, and not the best of Italian vocabulary. And promised not to ever to race in rosso corsa again. Trouble is, the ‘64 F1 season still had two races run. The following one happened to be the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen.

True to his word, Ferrari stunned the world when his two 158 V8s arrived in America painted Yankee blue and white (below). They were also entered by the North American Racing Team, or NART, and not SEFAC Ferrari! With Ferrari’s US importer Luigi Chinetti, himself a handy racer at the helm, John Surtees and Lorenzo Bandini raced in American national colours at the Glen, rather than Italian red.

Surtees raced home second at the Glen, and with the 250 LM dispute still not yet resolved, the cars once again appeared in NART blue and white for the season finale in Mexico. It proved a stunning success. John Surtees raced home second to clinch the 1964 Formula 1 World Driver’s Championship. Surtees’ success of course uniquely added the F1 Title to his motorcycle World Championships.

FerrariFerrari showed the FIA and ACI a blue middle finger

Disgraced by Italy’s beloved Ferrari winning the Title in American colours, the ACI soon capitulated and went hat in hand to the FIA to beg homologation on the 250 LM. Of course, the Ferraris were red again to start the ’65 season. Enzo certainly had his ways. Intriguingly too, on the two most recent occasions that Ferraris raced in colours other than red, Maranello went on to win the Championship…

Ferrari has confirmed that its cars will feature Azzurro Dino and Azzurro La Plata blue hues in their liveries to celebrate 70 years in the US at next week’s Miami Grand Prix. The team and drivers will also have a degree of blue in their apparel in Miami. Interestingly, the last Ferrari driver not to race in red overalls was F1 World Champion Jody Scheckter in 1979 in his Brooklyn white and blue. The team has also dressed in red since the early ‘90s when it changed from yellow suits when fireproof overalls became pitlane law.

Just how much blue will appear on the Ferraris at Miami will only become apparent when the team unpacks in Florida. Will the Scuderia be brave enough to go all the way? Well Surtees’ F1 Championship winner was painted white and Azzurro Dino, with Azzurro La Plata wheels. Our render up top shows how that could look on the SF-24.

What do you think? Now it’s just a matter of wait and see what rolls out of the box in Miami next week. Bring it on!