It’s Christmas time, which means the color red is virtually everywhere you look. People are wearing it, it’s on decorations and it’s the color of the cup holding your Starbucks coffee and the cookie you bought with it, too. You might say it’s ‘Red Season’, but to Ferrari fans, Red Season has already come and gone.
Red Season is what Ferrari refers to as the yearly Formula 1 season, which unfortunately is in break mode right now. As you may have guessed, this is a reference to the Rosso Scuderia shade of red that adorns their cars, uniforms, helmets and virtually everything else in the team’s hauler. However as Petrolicious explains, what we know now as Ferrari red has gone through several changes over the years.
Red has been the national racing color of Italy since the early 1900s, which is what originally prompted Enzo Ferrari to paint his cars in the dark Rosso Corsa shade in the early days of the team. All Ferrari F1 cars were painted Rosso Corsa until 1995, when the team changed their official shade of red to that of their sponsor, Marlboro.
Of course Ferrari’s most loyal fans were none too happy about the decision to change their colors simply for a sponsor, but as they’d soon learn, this wouldn’t be the last time Ferrari changed their team colors. In 2007, Marlboro Red was traded in for the brighter ‘Rosso Scuderia’ red seen on the team’s cars today, which was chosen as the original Rosso Corsa color was seen as too dark, or “muddy.”
A few times in Ferrari’s past they raced with colors other than Rosso Corsa, Marlboro Red or Rosso Scuderia. A pearlescent version of Rosso Scuderia called Nouvo Rosso Scuderia was introduced in 2008, and in 1961 Belgian driver Olivier Gendebien raced a Ferrari F1 car in yellow – the official racing color of Belgium. Most outrageous, though, was when John Surtees won the 1964 World Title in a white and blue Ferrari for the North American Racing Team, or N.A.R.T.