As a sports journalist, racing driver and then head of a racing team, his winning spirit remained undimmed throughout the years. And as an entrepreneur, he channelled all of his competitive passion into each new car.
That history and excitement was relived today by the Olympic athletes who visited our Ferrari factory. Who knows what Enzo would have said to them? Perhaps he would have sensed straight away that instinct for a challenge, that fine line that separates an athlete from a champion.
Sprinter Filippo Tortu and sailor Ruggero Tita, both gold-medal winners in the Tokyo Olympics, brought some of the magic of their victories to Maranello. Alongside them were a whole host of other Italian sporting talents, including silver and bronze-medal winners: Martina Batini, Lucilla Boari, Abraham Conyedo Ruano, Mauro Nespoli, Antonino Pizzolato and Lorenzo Zazzeri.
Ferrari became their home for the day. Welcomed by Prancing Horse workers, they followed the various stages of production and assembly, visiting the Mechanical Processing, Engine Assembly and Car Assembly divisions. Finally, after a tour of the new Competizioni GT building at Fiorano, they took to the track with Corso Pilota instructors to experience all the adrenalin and excitement of the F8 Tributo and the 812 Superfast.
We spoke to some of the athletes to hear their impressions of the day.
Ruggero Tita: “Driving a Ferrari was a dream come true. As in everything I do, I started off really fast and pushed it as hard as I could before settling into a rhythm. That’s my approach to all sports. It was a spectacular day.”
Antonino Pizzolato: "It was a special feeling, I’ve been passionate about engines since I was a child. After seeing it on TV, actually touching the car and getting in it is a dream come true – I’m so happy.”
Filippo Tortu: “Driving was so fun, when you put your foot on the pedal, you just fly...I’m used to going fast on the track when I run, but being on a circuit in a car is really incredible.”
Lucilla Boari: “I’m a big fan of Ferrari in Formula 1, so today I felt like a kid in a sweetshop, it was such an adrenaline rush...and I felt so proud to be Italian.”
The words of Enzo Ferrari come to mind: “When my cars take the chequered flag, I experience a great swell of pride in being Italian.”
The younger generations are following in the legend’s footsteps.