Back in love with Ferrari


Dear Nigel,

We all know that you are anti-Ferrari/Italian, but my question is why? Is it solely because you are British?

Marco Cimmarusti


Dear Marco,

Forgive me, but I’m astounded that you should think me anti-Ferrari or, for that matter, anti-Italy. I’ve often said, half-jokingly, that if you didn’t need a passport to go to Italy, France or the USA, I’d be quite happy to do without one. I adore Italy, and always have.

For that matter, in my childhood, when all my friends were Lotus or BRM fans, I was always obsessively pro-Ferrari, and those who drove for the team. The romance and the magic of the name captivated me – nothing ever looked or sounded like a Ferrari.

All that said, I will admit that my feelings were diluted somewhat through the era just past, when Ferrari lost much of the ‘Italian’ ingredient that had always made it so appealing. Much as I have always admired Michael Schumacher the driver – how could anyone not? – I was never a fan, because I still happen to believe that ethics are important in sport, and I thought many of Schumacher’s actions contemptible.

So, yes, I’ll admit that I didn’t greatly enjoy that period when Michael and Ferrari were winning everything – apart from anything else, it got pretty boring to go off to the airport every couple of weeks, knowing before you left what you were going to see at Monaco, Spa, Monza or wherever.

More than anything, though, I disliked the fact that, on far too many occasions, Ferrari was singled out for ‘special treatment’. Time after time I listened to other team principals and drivers complain about there being ‘one law for Ferrari, and one for the rest of us’. You could hardly blame them, either – indeed, not long before he left office as FIA president, Max Mosley blithely admitted that Ferrari had been effectively granted the right of veto over technical regulations in F1. How could that ever be right?

These days, however, with Stefano Domenicali at the helm, Ferrari is much more like Ferrari again, and I’m delighted to see it. And a final thought, Marco: I’ve always said that if I were able to go to only one race a year, it would be Monza…

I am afraid we’ve had to cancel our podcast that was scheduled for June 11th. However, you’ll be pleased to know that it is for a very good reason: we have a guest coming in to talk to us in a couple of weeks. We won’t say who he is just yet, but rest assured that there will be plenty of questions you’ll want to ask him.

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