Ferrari celebrated their 1,000th Formula One world championship race on Sunday with passion, pride and pain – and a Schumacher as Michael’s son Mick drove his father’s 2004 car around the team’s Mugello circuit.
The only team to have competed in every season since the first in 1950 have won more races and championships than any other.
Schumacher senior brought them five titles in a row from 2000-04, with most of his record 91 wins secured in red overalls.
The team that crowned Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Mike Hawthorn, Phil Hill, John Surtees, Niki Lauda and Jody Scheckter over the decades are suffering their worst campaign in 40 years.
Ferrari last won a drivers’ title with Kimi Raikkonen in 2007 are currently sixth overall and in danger of slipping further.
“Ferrari and Formula One are sort of joined at the hip,” chief executive Louis Camilleri told Sky television ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix at the team’s scenic circuit north of Florence.
“It’s hard to imagine Formula One without Ferrari or the other way around. We’ve been there forever. History creates pressure too and we’re looking forward to the next 1,000,” he added.
“We’re in a hole now and we know we’re in a hole. It’s a confluence of factors but anything I say will come across as excuses and we’re not into excuses.
“What matters is to focus on the issues we have and work with determination to get back to what we consider to be our rightful place.”
Mick Schumacher, leading the Formula Two championship and looking increasingly destined for F1 in 2021, could be a part of that future.
“To be able to drive it now as the second generation to drive it is something very special,” he said after his demonstration laps in the F2004, Ferrari’s most successful racing car.
Ferrari had also celebrated their milestone with a socially distanced show in Florence’s Piazza della Signoria on Saturday night attended by drivers and bosses past and present with a display of cars through the eras.
“As we celebrate our first 1,000 races, we are already looking ahead, already thinking about the next 1,000,” said Ferrari president John Elkann.
“I am absolutely certain of one thing, that in the next 1,000 Grands Prix we will win more races than we have to date.”
Charles Leclerc finished eighth for Ferrari in the race, with Sebastian Vettel 10th.
Team boss Mattia Binotto said the drivers had done their best.
“Today we didn’t have the pace to allow our drivers to fight with their nearest rivals,” he said.