Maranello, 29 June – An afternoon’s work, then a four-wheeled aperitif for an evening cheering for the “Azzuri,” (the Blues, the Italian national football team) and all of it at the Mugello circuit. Yesterday was a rather different day to usual for Scuderia Ferrari senior management. The bimonthly meeting which usually takes place at the Fiorano Track was moved to the other circuit owned by Ferrari, the one which hosts the Italian MotoGP round on 15th July.
On this occasion, the staff, led by Paolo Poli, organised a special team kart race on Mugellino, the 597 metre long track within the facility, for teams made up of engineers and Maranello management who just this once got the chance to show what they could do with a steering wheel in their hands and a four wheeled vehicle. It probably didn’t help that they were being watched by three real racers in the shape of Felipe Massa, Giancarlo Fisichella and Davide Rigon, who took part in the competition as star guests, taking turns with the thirteen teams entered in the race, which was run over 66 minutes. In the end, victory went to the “Iron Man” team made up of Luca Baldisserri, for whom losing is never on the cards, Renato De Bona, Hirohide Hamashima, Corrado Lanzone, Luca Marmorini and Massimo Rivola. They completed a total of 84 laps.
Next up, 42”759 down were the men of “Pride,” a team made up entirely of engine engineers: Mattia Binotto, Rui De Castro, Marco Inoretti, Rossano Mazzi, Fabio Villa and Arrigo Zaccaria. The third step on the podium went to “Fraternity,” a team from Production and Planning, made up of Marco Gualtieri, Alex Morandi, Aurelio Occhinegro, Daniele Sesti, Marco Sgalaberni and Salvatore Cordova, who came home one lap down.
Then it was time for football, with the classic meeting of Italy and Germany. There was a lot of support for the Azzurri – even the foreigners turned out, possibly to be on the safe side (J) or through conviction, to cheer on Italy before final jubilation for an extraordinary and exciting victory. At the final whistle, memories of six years ago came to mind and the win over the Germans in the World Cup on their home turf and the teasing handed out to Michael Schumacher, but everyone was also thinking of the immediate future and the final against Spain. As people headed home, the SMSs began to fly in the direction of Oviedo… On Sunday night, for a few hours only, Fernando and Ferrari will be sporting rivals!
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