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Building the future

Tradition and innovation have to progress at the same pace. At Ferrari’s beating heart in Maranello, we learn how Ferrari Chief Executive Officer Benedetto Vigna is driving the brand into the future
Words: Daniele Bresciani/Photographs: Federico Ciamei

When you visit a wonderful stately home in whichever part of the world, the first thing you do is turn your face upward to admire the ceilings, the tapestries on the walls, and the decorative glass. Then they tell you the history of that magnificent building and you discover that, going right back in time, its foundations were laid where an important house had once stood. 

New foundations are born out of the old. And that’s how it is at Ferrari since its birth in 1947, when Enzo Ferrari created a 12-cylinder racer. At Maranello, innovation is the child of tradition and that which today is an innovation tomorrow will itself be considered a tradition. That’s in part why the images you see in these pages depict people who have worked here for over thirty years – many of whom doing so in the days of the founder himself – alongside those who have joined us recently.

From left to right: Fabio Borghi, Teresa Alfano, Massimo Secchi, Andreas Dino Fisher, Anna Cerino

For that same reason, the photos have been taken both in the original areas of the factory as well as in the new offices, including those where the first electric Ferrari will be born in 2025. “In the luxury sector”, says Ferrari Chief Executive Officer Benedetto Vigna, “tradition and innovation have to progress at the same pace. But today it is more than ever necessary to maintain an equilibrium between these two key elements: if you live with your thoughts too fixed on the past you risk being fearful and arrogant. The fear of change and the arrogance of someone who, strengthened by their own experience, is convinced that they already know everything and so don’t seek new challenges. If, on the contrary, you are oriented only toward the future you lose sight of your history, which, in a marque like Ferrari, is a value that is absolutely non-negotiable.”

What do you mean by ‘innovation’?

“Too often you can convince yourself that innovation is only about technology or software. That’s not so. There are also innovations in materials, in cost-efficiency, and obviously in new design, those things that more than anything else touch upon the emotions. And one of the strong points of Ferrari is its ability to provoke emotions. Because that’s what our clients ask for more than anything else.”

Image one: Lorenzo Drei, Carlo Gazzotti, Emanuele Barbera, Federica Schiapparelli, Claudio Bertanti, Ilaria Isidori. Image two: Carlo Garuti, Maria Staffiere, Clemente Guazzo. Image three: Gian Luca Venturelli, Paolo Damiani, Stefano Vandelli, Flavia Bruni, Luca Gironi, Vittorio Argentino. Image four: Marcello Baldelli, Anas Gamraoui, Alessandro Marchetti, Caterina Sodi, Fabrizio Quattrini, Patrizia Leonesi

And how are you able to succeed in this aim?

“First of all by never ceasing to study. There’s a famous saying - ‘there’s nothing new under the sun.’ It means that the solutions to the problems of today are often to be found in the past. Because, basically, human needs have been the same for centuries and it’s up to us to satisfy them by applying the knowledge of today. Or by amplifying our knowhow.”


“One stereotype to destroy is the one about the genius who works all by himself and who in the middle of the night wakes up with the solution to the problem. I am convinced that what counts much more is team-work and continuous sharing. It’s by speaking to each other and listening to one another that we’re able to activate new processes and find a solution or at least an improvement. Put very simply, you don’t wake up in the morning with the objective of having a successful new idea: it arrives when it arrives.”

From left to right: Alberto Uguzzoni, Francesca Zerbini, Camilla Salvatore, Francesco Baschieri, Fabrizio Ciocci

What always needs to be kept in mind in this quest?

“Mankind. And its desire and capacity to feel emotion. With the eyes, with the ears, with the whole body. Once this objective is clear, we have to think of how to reach it. First of all, by working together, talking to each other and confronting one another. With one eye we have to look toward the past and with the other to the future, maintaining an equilibrium between the awareness of knowledge and the fear of the new. And at this point it’s the brain – if we allow it the time to think – that has to synthesise what we see on one side and what we want on the other. That which is new has its roots in history. It’s the humanism of technology.”

Cover image, taken on the construction site of the new Commercial & Marketing offices. From left to right: Alessandro Tedeschini, Antonella Leoni, Matteo Allegri, Federica Garghetti

16 gennaio, 2024