Scuderia Ferrari are synonymous with Formula 1. They entered their first Formula 1 race in Monaco in 1950 and have been with the sport ever since. They have racked up 16 Constructors titles and 15 Drivers championships during their 972 race entries and are the most recognisable brand in motorsport. However, Ferrari's success has never been a sure thing. They had a massive drought of championships between 1979, when Jody Scheckter led the Scuderia to victory, and 2000 when Michael Schumacher and Ferrari ruled the world.
Their last Constructors title came in 2008 thanks to a McLaren disqualification, and while they were the biggest threats to Red Bull's dominance in 2010-13 and now Mercedes' golden run, it has been a while now since Ferrari were the team to beat. Can you step into the Prancing Horse and return them to the top step of Formula 1?
As you would suspect, expectations are enormous at Ferrari. They want you to compete for the championship, which really means they want you to win it all. This means consistently challenging the Mercedes for race wins and fending off your teammate and the Red Bulls at every turn.
Ferrari's history and pride will accept nothing but the ultimate glory, so you can expect a swift exit if you don't keep up with your contract demands. Even selecting Sebastian Vettel as your teammate and stepping into the #2 seat does not spare you from the lofty expectations. In your first contract you are expected to start on the front row and finish on the podium every race.
Fortunately, you start with a terrific car. Ferrari are basically equal in performance with Mercedes, though they get there in different ways. The Ferrari doesn't have as much raw power as Mercedes but it is arguably a more driveable car, it is certainly more predictable through high speed corners and deals with changes of direction far better. If you are a beginner, then this is the best front-runner to start with, but you will be thrown in the deep end by management despite your rookie status.
Ferrari's starting package is very strong. They rank #1 in the aerodynamics department and #2 in chassis. The weakness is in the powertrain, where they sit behind the three Mercedes-powered teams. You start with a hefty 2,000 resource points with Ferrari, and while it is tempting to put that straight into the powertrain to narrow the gap, your fastest route to a major upgrade lies in the chassis department. Armed with your 2,000 points you can get the first efficiency booster and the quality control modifier as well as the minor upgrade straight away. This opens the path to getting the major weight reduction upgrade before you get back to Europe and test yourself around the streets of Monaco.
You shouldn't ignore the aerodynamics though. While Ferrari start off as the strongest team in that area, the aero department is also your fastest path to an ultimate upgrade. The ultimate drag upgrade will be a dramatic boost to top speed and if you really focus on this department, then you can get it on the car before you head to Monza.
As long as you keep pace with the upgrades the Ferrari is a car you can win the championship with in season 1. If you nail all the practice programs and really invest in upgrades, then you can waltz your way to both the Drivers' and Constructors' championship and dramatically pull away from the rest of the field.
For some this is an argument not to start a career with Ferrari, for others it is a nice entry into career mode and once you get comfortable you can move onto another team. There is also the point that deep down nearly every fan wants a successful Ferrari team, and if given the opportunity every driver on the grid would love to bring a title back to Maranello. Ferrari has a romantic pull on motorsport fans, and despite the lack of challenge, if you set the AI difficulty high enough it can still be a battle to get in front of the Mercedes and keep your nose in front of the Red Bulls.
Ferrari will expect a championship every season, so if you can cope with the pressure they can be a happy, and successful, home for your career.