Then the day came that changed the world. All because of an invisible guest that would go onto have a massive impact on the way we interact with each other, our way of life and the economy.
Since Covid-19 first made its name and its tragic consequences known, the world has scrambling adapt as quickly as possible to this new challenge, to new restrictions and new contexts. Against this ever-changing backdrop, the very essence of the Ferrari brand proved enormously resilient, further strengthening the already strong bond between the Prancing Horse its staff and the area where it built its legend. It did so on a very concrete level. Ferrari did its bit through projects designed to help people at the frontline of tackling the virus – hospitals, schools, employee and their families, even the local shopkeepers in Maranello. A combination of human generosity, dedication and the admirable marriage of inventiveness and technology in the Gestione Sportiva saw Ferrari make highly efficient, low-cost respirators that helped improved the lives of people in the most disadvantage countries hit by the virus.
Solidarity was the mainstay of such initiatives. The drive launched by the international clients who took part in the Ferrari Cavalcade in recent years, for instance, raised over a million euro for the healthcare service. The huge challenge faced by humanity also provided confirmation that times of great struggle are often also times of great opportunity. In a first in Ferrari history, we unveiled three new cars, the Ferrari Portofino M, the SF90 Spider and the 488 GT Modificata, during dedicated online events. The Ferrari Portofino M is the evolution of the Ferrari Portofino – the M in its name stands for Modificata, in fact. This Prancing Horse 2+ spider brims with new technologies and design features, most notably its eight-speed dual clutch transmission and five-position Manettino, both being used for the very first time on a Maranello GT convertible. The SF90 Spider, for its part, is the first genuine Ferrari hybrid with a retractable hardtop. The result? A completely unprecedented sensory driving experience. The 488 GT Modificata, on the other hand, is the perfect melding of the 488 GTE and the GT3 Evo 2020, without the regulatory constraints imposed on the latter hugely successful competition cars.
The virtual world was revolutionised and energised too by the huge boom in the popularity of Esports. The Ferrari Driver Academy put the Prancing Horse marque back in the headlines, delivering a string of successes with Davide Tonizza, for example, crowned virtual Formula 1 World Champion. Projects like this also helped us return, albeit very gradually, to normality. The real Formula 1 cars returned to the track and on September 13th, Ferrari celebrated the unique milestone of its 1,000th F1 grand prix at Mugello. For that race, our cars lined out in the same livery as sported by the 125 S and 125 F1 in our F1 debut at Monaco in 1950. A great way to celebrate an extraordinary sporting record that has inspired, and will continue to inspire, generations of our fans. The tifosi are an essential part of Ferrari’s unique story. However, because of Covid-19, they couldn’t be at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 2021, the highest number of Ferraris – 16 – competed in the LMGTE category. The Prancing Horse drivers pulled out all the stops on the 13-kilometre-plus stretch of asphalt at La Sarthe, coming tantalisingly close to victory with Pier Guidi-Calado-Serra taking second place. But there was one very positive note in a year that will definitely go down in history: the very first woman driver joined the Ferrari Driver Academy programme. Spanish-born Maya Weug emerged victorious from the Girls on Track, Rising Stars selection process we launched with FIA to promote women in motorsport and support talented girls aged 12 to 16.