Sunday 18 April the Frecce Tricolori flew over the starting grid of the Enzo and Dino Ferrari International Circuit in Imola on the occasion of the Formula 1 Pirelli Grand Prix of Made in Italy and Emilia-Romagna 2021, the first European stage of the Formula 1 world championship. The MB339PAN aircraft of the National Acrobatic Patrol they spread the green, white and red of the Italian flag on the Emilia-Romagna car circuit.
"Spreading the Tricolor on the Made in Italy Grand Prix is a source of great pride for us" commented the ten.col. Gaetano Farina, commander of the Frecce Tricolori. "For sixty years we have been proud to be a symbol of the whole of Italy, representing the capabilities, technology and values of the Air Force and of the entire country system."
Le Frecce Tricolori return after more than 40 years in the skies of Imola: it was September 14, 1980 when the G91 aircraft of the National Acrobatic Patrol they performed their acrobatic program above the Imola circuit on the occasion of the first and only Italian GP valid for the world championship not to be held in Monza.
Aeronautica Militare and Formula 1 stables, two realities that have technology as their common denominator: development of high-performance engines, aerodynamics, electronics and innovation always projected towards the future and looking for new solutions to optimize performance and be increasingly competitive in the own sector. All united by speed and adrenaline, sensations that single-seater pilots and military pilots feel at the controls of their vehicles, and by a very strong team spirit where professionalism and excellence work together with the sole purpose of achieving their goals.
At the end of the 20s at the Campoformido airport (UD), located a few kilometers east of the Rivolto base, the first pioneers of aerobatic flight demonstrated how aerial acrobatics constituted the very essence of military fighter capable of improving performance in air combat. From there a tradition of collective aerial acrobatics came to life which culminated with the collective acrobatic formations of the 50s identified on an annual shifts in the operational departments of the Air Force: Black Lancers, Red devils, White Tigers, Thundering jets e prancing Horse.
Precisely from the latter, reserve patrol in 1960 and subsequent owner in 1961, the nucleus of pilots was identified who went to form a group that permanently dealt with collective aerial acrobatics and that represented in all events, at home and at the abroad, the Air Force and all of Italy.
On 1 March 1961 they arrived in Rivolto, coming from the 4th air brigade of Grosseto (today 4th wing, base of the Air Defense national on aircraft Euro Fighter) the first 6 F-86E "Saber" aircraft with the livery of the "Prancing Horse" patrol that bore the emblem of the Asso Francesco Baracca, a symbol sold by Countess Paolina, Baracca's mother, directly to Enzo Ferrari for the car manufacturer of Maranello.
In memory and in honor of that "Prancing Horse" the Frecce Tricolori acquired the name of Pony as a radio call. Each pilot of the Frecce Tricolori corresponds to a Pony. From Pony 0 who is the commander passing by Pony 1 who is the training leader coming up to Pony 10 who is the soloist.