Snapshot, 1961: What do you reckon, Enzo – will we win?

It’s April 1961, and Ferrari’s top brass has turned out at the Aerautodromo di Modena to see Richie Ginther test the exciting new shark-nosed 156 Formula 1 car for the very first time…

The pressure is on for the young American, as Il Commendatore is also present, overseeing proceedings alongside Phil Hill, one of the strong team of factory drivers recruited for 1961. While none of them could have anticipated the immense success the car would go on to achieve in its first season (five wins out of seven is a stunning record), celebrations would be marred by the tragic loss of Wolfgang von Trips and 11 spectators during the season finale at Monza. The preceding, season-long duel between teammates Hill and Von Trips is commonly considered to be one of the most electrifying in Grand Prix history. Following an internal dispute at the end of 1961, which resulted in all senior staff – many of which can be seen in this photo, most notably Technical Director, Carlo Chiti  being dismissed, a paranoid Enzo Ferrari employed Mauro Forghieri to spearhead the Scuderia’s racing efforts. 

Photo: The Klemantaski Collection