Passion

F1 champions and personalities past and present gather in Maranello as the historic restaurant reopens under new management

Grand Opening of the legendary Cavallino

F1 champions and personalities past and present gather in Maranello as the historic restaurant reopens under new management
Ferrari’s past, present and future gathered in Maranello on Tuesday, July 13th for the grand reopening of the legendary Ristorante Cavallino. Chairman John Elkann and Vice Chairman Piero Ferrari invited as many of the leading players in Ferrari’s unique history as possible to Maranello for the occasion.

During the event, 1970s and 80s drivers Jody Scheckter, Jacky Ickx, Arturo Merzario, René Arnoux and Gerhard Berger rubbed shoulders in the restaurant’s garden with current Scuderia incumbents Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, as well as one of the talented youngsters who may just be part of its future, Russian Robert Shwartzman from the Ferrari Driver Academy.
The old guard remembers exactly what the Cavallino was and meant, and didn’t hold back with the anecdotes about the restaurant: “The manager in my time was called Atos,” René Arnoux reminisced. “Gilles Villeneuve was one of my best friends and he would invite me to Maranello whenever I was in Italy. We’d go to the Cavallino and halfway through dinner, we invade the kitchen, maybe to get ourselves another dish of tortellini. Gilles would grab a saucepan and start banging it with a ladle. Myself and Didier would start calling Atos and telling him we weren’t happy with the food, but it was just an excuse to fill up again….”
Jacky Ickx associates the Cavallino with Enzo Ferrari and Enzo Ferrari alone: “This place was a bit like his refuge. Sometimes he’d called you in and meet you in the restaurant. When that happened, you knew it was serious: it would always be to talk about a new car, a driver that might be joining us or what could be done to deal with a performance problem,” said the Belgian driver.

“This restaurant was so much part of his soul that even after he passed away, Enzo’s chair was left empty in the private dining room, which is still there today and is now named after him. I remember meeting Jean Todt in the Cavallino in 1994 and the chair was there and no one sat in it”.
"The new restaurant is marvellous. It’s undergone an incredible evolution that has retained its sense of tradition. The only difference is that back then it was a simple osteria and now it’s a high class trattoria - everything is meticulous down to the last detail and elegance comes first."

Charles and Carlos were fascinated by their predecessors’ anecdotes, smiling and exchanging glances every now and then. They were by turns amused and astonished by those tales of a Formula 1 that no longer exists but it was wonderful to remember between the walls of a restaurant that under the management of multi-Michelin Star holder Massimo Bottura, still retains the same homey atmosphere as when the drivers used it as their hangout during their adventure-filled time as Maranello drivers.