Home Sports Maserati, history of the Italian manufacturer from F1 to Formula E

Maserati, history of the Italian manufacturer from F1 to Formula E

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Let’s retrace the sporting history of the house of the Trident, which lands in the electric world championship in 2023: from its foundation in 1926 to 9 successes with the Argentine and Moss in Formula 1 in the 1950s, passing through the most recent GT races.

The landing of Maserati in Formula E in 2023 marks a new chapter in the sporting history of the Trident house, a sporting history that is now approaching 100 years. It was in fact in 1926 that Ernesto and Alfieri Maserati founded the team, participating in the Targa Florio with a Tipo 26 and immediately winning the Up to 1.5 liter class. In 1927 he made his debut in the Grand Prix races and in a very short time the first overall victory arrived in Tripoli, then an Italian colony. Ernesto Maserati was the driver of the Trident car. In the following decade the Emilian manufacturer won repeated victories in the Targa Florio and in the great Endurance races, in particular in Buenos Aires and on the “old” Nurburgring. Many were the Maseratis who competed in the Mille Miglia, a race in full expansion at the time. In addition, the Emilian manufacturer created the 8 CTF, a single-seater that with Wilbur Shaw won the last two victories at the Indianapolis 500 before the stop due to the Second World War. However, the car was renamed Boyle Special, both because the American preparers had made profound changes to the vehicle and for “political” reasons.

The epic in F1

After 1945 Maserati resumed sporting activity and concentrated on the top racing series, becoming one of the top teams for almost a decade together with Ferrari and Alfa Romeo. Already in the inaugural edition of the F1 World Championship, in 1950, an Emilian car driven by Birabongse Bhanuban, also known as Prince Bira, obtained the eighth place in the final championship standings. A few years later the Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio became the top driver of the Trident house, winning seven victories and the world title in 1954 and 1957. Stirling Moss achieved two more victories. Among the great drivers to have competed for Maserati we should also mention Harry Schell, Jean Behra, Luigi Musso, Froilan Gonzalez and Onofre Marimon.

The first woman qualified in F1

After the conquest of the second drivers title, Maserati decides to reduce its commitment in F1, closing the factory team and dedicating itself to the supply of engines for private teams. Among the latest Maserati drivers we also have Maria Teresa de Filippis who, at the wheel of a 250F, was the first woman to qualify for a Formula 1 GP. For another three years until 1960, however, several Maserati cars were lined up by “gentleman drivers. “In many GPs. In 1967, the Mexican Pedro Rodriguez wins in the Republic of South Africa with a Cooper powered by Maserati: it is the last success of the Emilian manufacturer in F1. Then almost 30 years of semi-inactivity followed: the only high points were the presence in the World Touring Car Championship in the Eighties with the Quattroporte and, in the Nineties, an ephemeral but highly appreciated single-brand store with the Maserati Ghibli that accompanied the BPR and DTM events on the middle tracks. Europe.

The relaunch of the new Millennium

In the early 2000s, Maserati, under the new ownership of Ferrari, plans the relaunch in the world of Motorsport by betting everything on Gran Turismo races. In 2003, a new single-make brand made its debut, the Trofeo Pirelli Vodafone with Cambiocorsa, a car that will also be developed in the Light version for GT “open” races. Soon the house of the Trident produces one of the most powerful Gran Turismo ever, the MC12. After his debut in 2004 immediately “blessed” by a second and a third place at Imola, already in 2005 the first title in the FIA ​​GT arrives, with Timo Scheider and Michael Bartels. The MC12s rake in five wins and twenty podiums in the FIA ​​GT alone and cleared up the team standings with first and second place. The MC12 is confirmed as the car to beat for the next four years. In 2006 the title did not escape Bartels and Andrea Bertolini (in the photo in the center); in the following season another Italian wins, Thomas Biagi. The overall tally of Maserati in the FIA ​​GT will be 14 titles among Drivers, Constructors and Teams. Three times, the house of the Trident puts its seal on the 24 Hours of Spa, the most important GT race. Militancy in the American ALMS was more difficult, where only seven podiums arrived, also due to fierce competition from Corvettes. In 2008 Maserati made its debut in the Superstars series, managing to win another title with Bertolini in 2011 thanks to the new Quattroporte Evo.

Around 100 years old

Maserati is now relaunching itself in a completely new racing universe. Competition from other manufacturers will be fierce, but the Stellantis leaders are convinced of the goodness of the Gen3 project. After more than 50 years, the house of the Trident returns to racing in an international single-seater series, and for the first time it brings an electric engine to the race. A further sign of Italy’s growing interest in Formula E, a championship that for several years has been making a stop on the streets of Rome EUR. Will Maserati be able to aim for the top positions and return to its former glory?


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