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Moving into the red - Part One 15 Feb 2007

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2007. Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, Day Three, Wednesday 14 February 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton Jody Scheckter (left), winner of the race and World Champion, and 2nd placed Gilles Villeneuve, right Italian Grand Prix, Monza, 9 September 1979. World ©  PHIPPS/SUTTON. Carlos Reutemann (ARG) Ferrari 312T2 won his first race with Ferrari and claimed the first victory for tyre manufacturer Michelin. Brazilian Grand Prix, Rd 2, Jacarepagua, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 29 January 1978. World ©  Phipps/Sutton. Rene Arnoux(FRA), Ferrari 126 C4, DNF Brazilian GP, Rio de Janeiro, 25 March 1984. World © Sutton Jody Scheckter (RSA) Ferrari Jody Scheckter (RSA) Ferrari 312T4 finished the race in second position. United States Grand Prix West, Rd 4, Long Beach, California, USA, 8 April 1979. World © Phipps/Sutton

Is history on Raikkonen's side as he swaps silver for scarlet?

After five years without a title at McLaren, Kimi Raikkonen is hoping his switch to Ferrari will finally bring him that elusive drivers’ crown. As the Finn prepares for his first season with the Italian team, we look back on how other well-established drivers have fared upon donning those famous red overalls…

Carlos Reutemann
With five seasons at Brabham under his belt, Reutemann was far from inexperienced when he joined Ferrari in 1977. Nevertheless, many felt that choosing the young Argentinean to partner Niki Lauda was a brave move for the team, who were aiming to win a third consecutive constructors’ championship that year, as well as reclaiming the drivers’ title from McLaren’s James Hunt.

Taking a chance on Reutemann, however, paid off. While Lauda clinched the drivers’ crown, Reutemann played the role of loyal team mate in admirable style. His 42 points not only put him a commendable fourth in the driver standings, they also proved vital in Ferrari securing the constructors’ championship.

Lauda’s surprise move to Brabham in 1978 freed Reutemann to take over the Austrian’s mantle as team leader. Partnering less experienced Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, Reutemann took four wins and seven podiums, but it was only good enough for third in the standings behind the dominant Lotus pairing of Mario Andretti and Ronnie Peterson. Frustrated at his inability to emulate Lauda’s success, Reutemann left Ferrari for Lotus at the end of the season. He would eventually win three more races - with Williams in 1980 and ’81 - but never the title he craved.

Jody Scheckter
Jody Scheckter, a veteran of McLaren and Tyrrell, had been the surprise success of 1977, rivalling Ferrari’s Niki Lauda while driving for Wolf. Although Lauda eventually won that year’s title, the South African underdog had impressed Ferrari enough to secure a seat for himself when his Wolf contract expired at the end of ’78.

After a slow start, Scheckter’s 1979 campaign gathered speed with successive wins in Belgium and Monaco. While his Ferrari was far from being the fastest car on the grid - he qualified on the front row only twice - it did have one advantage over most of its competition - superb reliability. After leapfrogging Ligier’s Jacques Laffite in the standings, Scheckter took a resounding victory at Ferrari’s home Grand Prix in Monza to secure the drivers’ championship.

A second season at Ferrari, however, proved a disaster for driver and team alike. Left behind aerodynamically and struggling to emulate the reliability of its predecessor, Ferrari’s 1980 car, the 312 T5, failed to win a single race. After scoring just two points as reigning champion, Scheckter walked away from Ferrari - and Formula One racing - at the end of the year.

Rene Arnoux
French driver Rene Arnoux was a confirmed Renault man when compatriot Alain Prost arrived to partner him for the 1981 season. Though Arnoux had been with the team for four years, Prost quickly asserted his dominance and Arnoux’s loyalty soon began to waver. He promptly jumped ship to Ferrari in 1983.

Ferrari, who had won the 1982 constructors’ championship, seemed like a good bet for Arnoux. Partnering incumbent driver Patrick Tambay, he quickly became the team’s frontrunner, a position he confirmed with three race victories in Canada, Germany and the Netherlands. Together, Arnoux and Ferrari clinched third place in the drivers’ championship and a second consecutive constructors’ title.

The arrival of Michele Alboreto in 1984, however, spelled disaster for Arnoux. Under pressure from his stronger team mate, Arnoux became increasingly inconsistent, so much so, that after 1985’s first race, he was dropped in favour of relative newcomer Stefan Johansson. Several seasons with Ligier proved equally unsuccessful and in 1989 the much loved (but still title-less) Frenchman retired from the sport.

In Part Two - how Michele Alboreto, Nigel Mansell and Alain Prost fared after making the move to Ferrari.