Damien Smith, Editor
On a recent trip to Maranello, I took a welcome diversion into Modena on the way back to Bologna airport. I’d heard great things about the Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari, which opened just last March. It was all true. Firstly, the building is magnificent. The giant moulded structure in bright Modena yellow blends into the earth, the twin skylight ridges supposedly evoking the bonnet air intakes of a classic sports car. They look more like gills to me, as if the flank of some giant fish buried under the city is poking its way through the ground. Whatever, the contrast to the traditional red-brick building dwarfed beside it is striking. This house and workshop is where Enzo Ferrari was born in 1898 and contains an interactive display of his life, within a modern sculpture. Brooklands this is not.
Inside the giant yellow ‘fish’, cars are displayed like pieces of art in masses of white space. Each is mounted on a plinth, with information printed clearly in both English and Italian. An audio tour guides you past each and around the walls, where a chronological story of Ferrari’s working life includes rare photographs and artefacts.
The cars displayed are on loan from private owners all around the world. Until March 20, the theme is ‘The Great Challenges FerrariMaserati’, celebrating the rivalry between the city’s two great constructors and featuring a jaw-dropping range of 1950s and ’60s sports racers and single-seaters from both.
The museum has no official ties to either Ferrari or Maserati — and is all the better for it. But there are organised tours in which you can take in both this and the official Museo Ferrari in Maranello, as featured in last month’s issue.
To those paying a pilgrimage to Maranello, you should also visit this museum in Modena, about 20 minutes away. It’ll complete your trip. www.museocasaenzoferrari.it
Awards season kicked off in London, Sebastian Vettel was in town to bask in the afterglow of his incredible achievements. And why not? At the age of just 25, he has matched the title achievements of Jack Brabham, Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna. For someone with Vettel’s admirable appreciation of F1 history, this will actually mean something.
On such occasions, it always strikes me just how fresh-faced our new three-time champ really is. Red Bull’s golden boy is an engaging character, too. But the schoolboy charm should never be mistaken for naivety. Cold, hard ambition is the fuel behind Vettel’s huge natural talent. On track, we’d argue he’s not yet quite a match for Fernando Alonso. Off-track, Sebastian’s the most clinical operator out there — witness his close friendship with 82-yearold Bernie Ecclestone. What do they have in common? It’s perhaps the most intriguing relationship in F1 today.
Well this made a change. At one awards dinner, we weren’t just politely applauding others as another trophy was dished out. This one was for one of our own. Yes, we’ve won an award, too. Congratulations to associate editor Ed Foster, who has been honoured by the Guild of Motoring Writers with a ‘new media’ award for our website audio podcasts. Now, as Ed was quick to point out, the podcasts are a big team effort and we were all delighted at the recognition. More guests will join us each month in 2013, but if you haven’t yet listened in, log on to www.motorsportmagazine.com to hear past shows featuring the likes of Christian Homer, Patrick Head, Damon Hill, Derek Bell and many more. They’re fun to record, and they’re pretty good to listen to as well.