On 8 October 2000, Michael Schumacher regained the Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championship with Ferrari after a 21-year hiatus.
It was Ferrari’s first win since Jody Scheckter’s victory back in 1979. After a fierce battle for pole position between Michael Schumacher and Mika Häkkinen, who changed places in the lap time rankings no fewer than five times throughout the race, the German driver was first past the chequered flag.
Thousands of people from Italy and abroad celebrated in the streets and squares of Maranello after watching the memorable Suzuka Grand Prix on a specially erected large screen: a colourful sea of languages, cultures, races and traditions, a variegated, happy multitude, united by their shared love of Ferrari.
This is the community of Ferrari fans, who never miss a chance to show the warmth of their passion for the myth they support. Even at the most difficult times, such as the last grand prix races of the 1997, 1998 and 1999 F1 championships, when Ferrari just failed to clinch the drivers’ world title. It is at times like these that the passion of the Ferrari faithful is revealed in all its uniqueness: it is a boundless, unconditional love of the team and its drivers, even in defeat, beautifully represented by the huge red heart, measuring 360 m2, made by the fans themselves and taken on parade like a real trophy to symbolise their identity and kinship, or the sound of the bells of the parish church ringing to celebrate the Prancing Horse’s victories.
In Maranello, every grand prix is a collective ritual that brings together people from all over Italy and Europe to watch the screening of Formula 1 races in Ferrari’s home town. This tradition still continues today, on Grand Prix Sundays, with races shown live at the Auditorium Enzo Ferrari, where fans meet to cheer on their team.