Scuderia Ferrari are the only team to have competed in every season of the Formula One World Championship since its inception in 1950. However, during the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix, the 1000th F1 race, a TV graphic appeared indicating that Ferrari had only taken part in around 970-something. I was surprised to learn that they'd missed that many.

As of the 2019 Mexican GP (the 1015th F1 race), Wikipedia records the Scuderia as having entered 990 races, and started 987. That leaves 25 races that they didn't enter, and another three that they entered but never started.

What were these 28 races, and why did Scuderia Ferrari not compete in them?

1 Answer 1


After having this question in my head for months, I decided to consult Wikipedia's comprehensive table of Ferrari's results.

The 25 races in which Ferrari did not compete at all were:

  • Ten of the 11 Indy 500 races that counted towards the F1 championship between 1950-1960. It was common for European F1 teams not to enter the Indy 500 during its time on the F1 calendar, due to the significant distance involved. Ferrari did enter Alberto Ascari in 1952, but he span off after 40 laps.
  • The 1950 British GP, the first-ever F1 championship race. Ferrari initially planned to take part, but according to Sky F1's David Croft at the 70th Anniversary GP, there was "an argument over money" and they ultimately did not attend.
  • The 1959 British GP: a strike in Italy prevented Ferrari from attending.
  • The 1960 and 1961 US GPs. In both years, this was the final race of the season. The team did not enter in 1960 as they could not win the title, and Enzo Ferrari wanted more time to prepare for 1961, when the engine formula would change to 1.5 litres. They did not enter in 1961 as they had already won both titles at the previous race in Monza, but that race had also seen the horrific death of Ferrari driver Wolfgang von Trips along with 15 spectators.
  • The 1962 French GP: a metalworkers' strike in Italy prevented Ferrari from attending.
  • The 1962 US and South African GPs. Ferrari had a poor season in 1962, finishing just 6th in the championship (out of 8) with no race wins, despite having dominated the previous season. They decided not to bother showing up for the final two races.
  • The 1966 British GP: another metalworkers' strike in Italy prevented Ferrari from attending.
  • The 1966 Mexican GP. This was the final race of the season, and both championships had already been won by Jack Brabham and his eponymous team. With Ferrari having also lost to Ford at Le Mans that year, they decided to upgrade their Maranello base to give them a better shot at both competitions in '67. The ongoing upgrades gave Ferrari a good reason to skip the last race, as they had in '60 and '62.
  • The 1967 South African GP. This race took place at the unusually early date of January 2nd, just two months after the previous season's end and four months before the next race at Monaco. Ferrari were still busy with the Maranello upgrades and were forced to sit the race out.
  • The 1968 Monaco GP. When the '67 Monaco GP eventually did arrive (see above), Ferrari driver Lorenzo Bandini was killed in a fiery crash. Safety improvements were made to the track for '68, but Ferrari felt they were inadequate and refused to attend.
  • The 1969 German GP: Ferrari had intended to enter, but withdrew at the last minute for unknown reasons. It's worth noting that Enzo had scaled back the team's operations that year in order to focus on rebuilding and restructuring, making 1969 a bit of a write-off for the team in general.
  • The 1973 Dutch and German GPs: Ferrari were using the ageing 312B that season, which was slow and unreliable; there were multiple other races that year in which they only entered one car. Several other teams withdrew from the German GP after the horrific death of Roger Williamson at the preceding Dutch GP.
  • The 1976 Austrian GP. The FIA had initially disqualified James Hunt's McLaren from that year's Spanish GP, but later overturned the decision and allowed Hunt to keep his race win. Hunt's title rival that year was Ferrari's Niki Lauda, who had just suffered his infamous fiery crash at the preceding German GP. Ferrari thus refused to enter the Austrian GP - Lauda's home race - to protest Hunt's reinstatement.

The three races that they entered, but did not start, were:

  • The 1950 French GP: Ferrari withdrew their two drivers prior to qualifying, for reasons unknown. (Peter Whitehead, a privateer, competed and finished third in a Ferrari 125, but this does not count as a Scuderia Ferrari entry.)
  • The 1982 Belgian GP: Ferrari driver Gilles Villeneuve was killed during qualifying, and Ferrari immediately withdrew from the race.
  • The 1982 Swiss GP: With Villeneuve's teammate, Didier Pironi, having suffered a career-ending accident two races earlier, Ferrari were down to one driver - Patrick Tambay, who'd replaced Villeneuve - and he was unable to start after suffering a pinched nerve in his back.

Honourable mentions:

  • The 1957 Pescara GP: Enzo Ferrari believed that the 25.7 km street circuit was too dangerous, especially after 13 people had been killed at that year's Mille Miglia, and refused to enter. Driver Luigi Musso insisted on taking part, and Enzo eventually allowed him to, but refused to count it as an official Scuderia Ferrari race entry. Most modern sources do count it, but I figured it was worth noting.
  • The 1980 Spanish GP and 1981 South African GP: Ferrari boycotted these races as part of an ongoing dispute between governing body FISA, which Ferrari and the other manufacturer teams were aligned with, and FOCA, a union of privateer teams. The former was post-facto declared a non-championship event, while the latter was run to Formula Libre regulations.
  • 2
    Good research. Indy500 (in the years when it counted as part of F1) was my initial instinct, but I'm surprised to see that it's less than half of their no-shows.
    – AndyT
    Oct 31, 2019 at 15:15

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