It is a sunny Spring morning at Maranello as Luca di Montezemolo walks along the production lines, smiling and chatting with the workers, technicians and engineers he meets. Each time the President stops, he has a question or offers words of encouragement. The factory, which is filled with green plants, has a magical atmosphere that only Ferrari could make.
The President walks towards an almost secret space, where red paint covers the walls and floor. As the theme for this issue is “style”, Montezemolo comments on the corridor that connects the old factory with the new. ‘It is beautiful [here] because it lets the imagination run wild. It is an almost metaphysical reality that is part of this magic that is created by us. [After all] the style of Ferrari is a mixture of coherent and, at the same time, contrasting elements.’ Montezemolo pauses for thought before announcing what the style of a Ferrari should be. ‘For me, a Ferrari is like a beautiful woman: as soon as you see her you have to sense her beauty. In our language “beauty” is a mixture of innovation and coherence with the past; a beauty that identifies our cars from their shape, even without trademarks, symbols or names. A Ferrari should be a Ferrari, even if it is innovation that guides any project and its style.’
We climb to the second floor, where the 12-cylinder cars are produced. As soon as each car is complete, the Scagliettis, 599 GTBs and GTOs are protected by covers that are, naturally, red. Montezemolo pauses and looks out of the large windows that overlook Maranello and the hills, the highest of which are still covered in snow. ‘How beautiful it is here, how beautiful these new lines are…’ he exclaims. Just looking at the men at work, you understand how the amazing working conditions are factors in product quality and not just wellbeing. ‘The strongest elements of Ferrari style come from aerodynamics,’ continues Montezemolo. ‘Just look at the great power of the front [of the car] that identifies the engines and the muscles that you can imagine under the wings. This is a beauty that highlights extreme technology, a technology that has a special ability: it is long lasting without denouncing its date of birth.’ This statement is easy to understand. Thumb through any books about Ferrari and the models emerge with a technological and stylistic energy that marks the era – each car forming a part of a living history and never repeating itself.
“Ferrari style astonishes without shocking because it uses the continuous research led by the wind tunnel to bring together elements that form part of our history: the air intakes, the exhaust pipes, the exposed engine, the vents or the shape of the grill. Details that recall a past that remains real,’ says Montezemolo.
On the production line there is a Scaglietti in an unusual colour – part brown and bronze. ‘The colours are a beautiful example,’ says Montezemolo, ‘of knowing how to re-use the colours of the past [and] update them with paints available today. Even the colour red has been worked on. The classic racing red is always what it is, but even Formula One uses a red with a luminescent treatment. [We also find] great inspiration in the way we can use materials. Let us think about the interiors, with the central cockpit and the controls on the steering wheel, as in F1. The leathers, the classic ones but also treated ones, hopefully the more natural ones that preserve their texture, combined with carbon, aluminium and special paints inspired by mechanical parts normally relegated to being under the bonnet...’ While the President speaks, he looks inside each car as it is completed, takes in its details and talks to his people again. He loves Ferrari, as you can see. It is this devotion that gives a special impetus to the entire company and to its people. The Ferrari of today, which has enjoyed great successes recently, is completely his and has his style as a man and as a driver.