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Why Ferrari is red?

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Why Ferrari is red?

Postby kappa11 on Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:26 pm

Hi,

I was wondering if anybody here knows the real history of the colour red as national identity of Italy in the Motorsport especially in F1.
Please link me anything that isn't wikipedia or write me simply an answer here, if you got a strong opinion or knowledge about it.
I need it for expand my dissertation topic.
Thanks in advance,

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Re: Why Ferrari is red?

Postby f1datavis on Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:05 am

There isn't much mystique to this - Red was the national colour assigned to Italy in very early pre-war racing, just as white was for the Germans, blue for the French and later green for the British.

Alfa Romeos were the first Italian national team and Ferrari has its roots in the company (old Enzo being an Alfa guy in his early days).

The really interesting story I guess is why the colour has stuck through 100 years of racing.

Ferrari eschewed sponsorship colouring of his cars until as late as possible, doing it somewhat halfheartedly until really 1997 onwards with the inclusion of Marlboro in a big way (having ended their major sponsorship of McLaren) with at least some concern with red being the company's primary colour. This theme has stuck since the change from Marlboro through to Santander (also primarily red!), also long running partner Shell (also red). Luck? No....

Interestingly, and something I've never noticed before, the development of major strategic sponsors at Ferrari only really happened with the placement of Stefano Domencali in the marketing department of the team (now, of course, team principal) in 1996, and certainly after the passing of Enzo back in 1988. I suspect Enzo saw sponsorship as somehow not sporting, or at least marred the lines of his undoubtedly beautiful machines - but that is just speculation.

However, note that Ferrari are by no means unique in this harking back to the original national colours. McLarens (post Marlboro sponsorship) are primarily silver due to their association with Mercedes (Auto Union/Audi and Mercedes dropped the white quite early at Le Mans for silver), and the works Mercedes F1 team... well they really only had one colour scheme to go with, didn't they?

Ligier raced in traditional French blue, as did Renault (kind of) until the Lotus re-brand this year.

Jaguar (forerunner to today's Red Bull) used British Racing Green for its entire run in F1.

BMW raced in white as late as 2010 when they were still associated with Sauber.

In short, the red Ferrari is traditional, probably nothing more to it than that. Likely driven (no pun intended) in the early days by Enzo wishes. They are not alone in seeking traditional colours in which to livery their racing cars. At this point, Ferrari changing their colour is unthinkable. Their following (the tifosi) need do nothing more than turn up dressed in red to be spotted in their thousands at EVERY grand prix track. Ferrari sells more aftershave, jackets, hats and keyrings than they do automobiles and therefore their trade dress and brand is unbelievably valuable.

Ferrari is probably one of the most well known brands in the world after Coca-Cola. Why is Ferrari red? Don't fix it if it ain't broke....
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Re: Why Ferrari is red?

Postby Lawrence on Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:48 pm

Yes, but the next question is why was Italy assigned red, why was Germany assigned white, French Blue and England Green. What was the basis for those colors for those nationalities. White and Blue I get (for the U.S.). They are on our flag, but why not red, white and blue? But what does Green have to do with England other than their continued attempts to occupy Ireland? Who decided the national colors and why?

By the way, the Ferrari red is a different red than used by Alfa Romeo.
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Re: Why Ferrari is red?

Postby f1datavis on Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:22 pm

I don't think this is known for sure - it did happen over 100 years ago. I suspect it was somewhat arbitrary and based on who had taken which colour.

France was one of the first entrants to the Gordon Bennet cup in which international motor racing colours were assigned, and took blue off of their flag. Italy came later to the process, and has traditionally used blue in its sporting associations (e.g. the Azzurri); but as it was taken presumably selected red from the Italian flag - the colour being available because the Americans didn't compete that year.

Britain got green because again they came later, and red white and blue were already gone.

Not really very interesting to be honest, and like I say, somewhat arbitrary. Traditions come from unsure beginnings....
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Re: Why Ferrari is red?

Postby Paul on Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:42 pm

Many years ago I heard that the British claimed RED, and the Italians bitched so we ended up with GREEN 8)
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Re: Why Ferrari is red?

Postby f1datavis on Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:30 pm

Sounds about right. Anyhow, the origins seem pretty facile and not really worthy of major academic effort.
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Re: Why Ferrari is red?

Postby Paul on Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:26 am

:hihi: yeah Academic effort is not my forte anymore ( or ever) ;)
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Re: Why Ferrari is red?

Postby Mafia on Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:25 am

Yeqahh, :paul: Paul seems to know the exact fact, since he was there ever since the .. errrr first wheel was invented :reallyevil: , he is not telling us the truth about racing colors so that we can not guess his age.... :hit:
Tough Luck!
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Re: Why Ferrari is red?

Postby Ciro Pabón on Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:55 pm

Well, allow me to step in. Academics are my forte.

Dear Kappa:

It is a well known fact that red cars are faster. I quote Professor Strauss at Carnegie Mellon University:

"A Bright Rally Red 2002 Z-28 Camaro Coupe with the 5.7 liter engine has been clocked at 120 MPH while standing still, and has been declared the new True Red Speed Standard".


Thus, FIA, in search of compensating the fact that Italian drivers are slower, gave them red colour as an equalizer.

Here is the science:

"Red increases the speed and strength of human reactions"

QED.
Ciro

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Re: Why Ferrari is red?

Postby Lawrence on Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:46 pm

Ciro Pabón wrote:Thus, FIA, in search of compensating the fact that Italian drivers are slower, gave them red colour as an equalizer.


The power of logic.
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Re: Why Ferrari is red?

Postby Don Capps on Fri May 17, 2013 5:11 pm

f1datavis wrote: Alfa Romeos were the first Italian national team and Ferrari has its roots in the company (old Enzo being an Alfa guy in his early days).


You might want to check your notes since you seem to be overlooking the existence of FIAT and Lancia, fo instance, on the racing scene before Alfa Romeo. ALFA Romeo did not come into being until 1910, so it was scarcely the first Italian national team.

f1datavis wrote: Anyhow, the origins seem pretty facile and not really worthy of major academic effort.


While I am not sure how you might define what a "major academic effort" is, at least in this case, shrugging it off as being facile is an interesting concept.

A "minor academic effort" might lead you to the Coupe Internationale (AKA the "Gordon Bennett Cup"), the Automobile Club de France, and eventually to the Association Internationale des Automobile Clubs Reconnus (A.I.A.C.R.) regarding the origins and then the subsequent formalization of "national racing colors."

As mentioned, the assignment of "national" racing colors was somewhat arbitrary in the early years of automobile racing, becoming a bit more of a consideration as the years passed, more so in Europe, of course, than in the United States. Once again, as mentioned, the color red was initially that of the United States, being re-assigned by the ACF to Italy after the USA (actually the Automobile Club of America) did not send entries for the Gordon Bennett.
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Re: Why Ferrari is red?

Postby Mafia on Sat May 18, 2013 6:48 pm

Don Capps wrote:You might want to check your notes since you seem to be overlooking the existence of FIAT and Lancia, fo instance, on the racing scene before Alfa Romeo. ALFA Romeo did not come into being until 1910, so it was scarcely the first Italian national team.


I honestly didnt know that. thanks Don for sharing :thumbs:
Tough Luck!
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