After 30 years Formula One is back at Fuji. On a race track, which is totally different from the one where Niki Lauda, after his terrible accident at the Nürburgring, let slip the opportunity to gain the title in the drivers´ championship. The new track at Fuji is an incredible modern circuit, with avantgarde structures, whereby the architects had learned from the race tracks, which have been built recently outside Europe. Obviously we´ll miss Suzuka a bit, as there are numerous memories connected to this track around the funfair. How can one forget the epic duels between Senna and Prost in the late 80s and early 90s, or the race by Michael Schumacher in the year 2000, which brought him the title. It has to be said that Fuji also has its place in the history of Formula One, although maybe the younger tifosi might not remember. Apart from the episode with Niki Lauda, you can´t forget Hunt´s gesture or Villenueve´s terrible accident, in which two spectators died, to name just a few of the most significant events at the foot of Mount Fuji. When you hear about the simulators with processors elaborating billions of bits of information every second, CAD and virtual reproductions of all kind, which are used to find the setup and the strategy, it makes you smile. Especially when you think about Lauda´s withdrawal for example, when he came back into the pit lane, which looked more like a pit lane for karts than for Formula One cars. It´s difficult to tell how things will go over the upcoming weekend, as it is a completely new track for all the teams. In the end reality is always different from what you get from simulators. I hope that our beloved red ones will manage the race just like the guys from Borgo Panigale did last weekend in an extraordinary race in the land of the rising sun, although our competitors won´t have almond eyes.
The first thing I want to do today is expressing my satisfaction about what I think is the most wonderful site I have seen since I’ve been working at Ferrari: I’m talking about the official website of the new 430 Scuderia. In fact this is a project, we all here in the news room dedicated a whole lot of energy and I hope that you will show the right amount of appreciation, which would show us, that our new approach is the right one. Obviously I leave it to you to judge the site, and – just like every proper journalist – I bow to your judgement. Having said that, I want to go back to the things that happened at the last weekend in Monza and in particular I want to talk about the spectators’ behaviour. I think that the spectators, although obviously displeased - just like all of us – by the outcome of the race for the Scuderia, did not show enough sportsmanship. One thing is shouting for a team - and I think we all can share this view more or less - in the different events we feel passionate for. However another thing is rudeness. Just as I didn’t like the whistles and boos for our competitors on Saturday evening, at the football game Italy-France, I didn’t like a certain behaviour of the spectators at Monza, while they had it in for our competitors a bit too much, although, aside from the things going on outside of the race tracks, they showed that they do merit lots of respect as a competitor of the highest rank. What I want to say is that over the last years I could witness a progressive and also coarse mutation of the spectators, who come to circuits just like hooligans come to football stadiums. Motorsport in general, on two and on four wheels – and this is meant for all of those, who forgot – is not football (and the one, writing these lines is a huge football fan). Its logic is different; fair play has always to be an integral part of it, just like the admiration for men, who risk their life at 300 km/h! As far as the races on four wheels are concerned, Good Lord, things are even worse. At the last MotoGP race at Misano – and this is just an example – I didn’t see one Ducati fan cheering because Valentino Rossi had to retire, although it practically meant, that now the driver for the brand from Borgo Panigale has no chance anymore to win the title. Maybe it’s just an impression, but I don’t like it like that; so what are your views?
The heyday of the season, especially for our Italian fans, is almost there and I would say that, in this case, it is also a decisive day of this season as far as our beloved red cars are concerned. Apropos red, another red one, which, as you know, also lies at my heart, has been flying high. Obviously I am talking about the red one from Borgo Panigale, who became a very sure bet for the title in the Moto GP in Misano last weekend. But let us talk about that soon in detail. Now we have to concentrate on our boys, who have an ascending, but still completely open final right ahead. I noticed that many amongst you replied to my last blog, where I was talking about limits for the regulations, to reintroduce more suspense into Formula One (in one of the upcoming blogs I’ll also tell you what a friend of mine, an engineer, thinks about this issue). So I hope that at least at Monza the outcome of the qualifying will not determine in a drastic way also the outcome of the race, although I have to say I don’t believe it.
Having said that, obviously I await you numerously at the Autodromo Nazionale to shout for Ferrari, and with a forecast, that in this case is not related to the outcome of the race but to the by now famous quarrels during these final stages of the season, which, in one way or the other, are destined to affect the progress of this championship. With the new fact the FIA has now in her possession, what do you think will be the outcome in terms of a sentence? Nothing, a tiny penalty (such as leaving the 15 points to McLaren-Mercedes, they had to let go at the race in Budapest, caused by the penalty imposed by the Federation), or maybe a penalty much more severe, in proportion to the damage caused to Ferrari, because it’s certain, that there has been damage…?