The past five seasons have been tough on Ferrari, as no matter how hard they try or how close they come, they still haven’t won either the Driver’s or Constructor’s championships.
It’s strange how easily forgotten it is that neither has a whole host of other teams.
Many fans of the sport would be hard pressed to remember when it was that any team in particular, that is not one they follow, won their last championship, if they were so lucky enough to win one in the first place.
Yet when asked if they know when the Scuderia won their last championship, any Formula 1 fan wouldn’t let a second pass before answering, 2008! It’s also equally possible that any individual who has only even watched a handful of Formula 1 races in their lifetime might know the answer.
Why is this? Because Ferrari is ingrained into the image that is Formula 1.
The Scuderia are quite literally, and always have been, Formula 1′s poster boy.
At any race throughout the year a sea of fans in red will spread itself across every grandstand, whilst flags emblazoned with the iconic prancing horse are flown with pride.
This immense fan base that Ferrari has acquired has come from them being the oldest team, the most successful team, and the most recognized and powerful brand in the world.
They are also the benchmark within Formula 1. No matter how good or bad they are doing, every team is compared to Ferrari.
To suggest that Ferrari and Formula 1 are one in the same would not be an overstatement.
So, does Formula 1 need Ferrari to win?
At a time not so long ago, Formula 1 would have indeed needed Ferrari to win.
Ten to fifteen years ago the fans of Ferrari would have made up a large percentage of all Formula 1 fans and to keep these people happy and more importantly, interested, Formula 1 needed Ferrari winning.
Ferrari were doing just that, dominantly taking every championship with Michael Schumacher at the wheel.
However, Ferrari’s days of dominance have come to an end and any future glory doesn’t seem close by.
Yet despite their lack of success Formula 1 is still prospering and will continue to do so.
This is due to recent marketing successes by the likes of Red Bull, Mercedes and McLaren, which have made Formula 1′s fan base more spread out then it was.
It is becoming custom to see large amounts of silver arrow merchandise and charging bulls, joining the likes of the prancing horse.
Formula 1 fans, new and old, now feel like they have more of an option when it comes to what team they wish to follow as more teams have the capability to let people outside of Formula 1 know of their existence.
For the longest time, this was a privilege held only by Ferrari; any Ferrari auto mobile was essentially a moving billboard for the team, just as Enzo Ferrari himself had intended them to be.
As such, Formula 1 no longer needs a singular poster boy to lead the way.