As usual, the President of the Ferrari Maserati Group, Luca di Montezemolo, was last to take to the stage at today's ceremony to present the new single-seater. Before his main speech, he read a telegram from the FIAT president, Umberto Agnelli,...
As usual, the President of the Ferrari Maserati Group, Luca di Montezemolo, was last to take to the stage at today's ceremony to present the new single-seater.
Before his main speech, he read a telegram from the FIAT president, Umberto Agnelli, who could not make it to Maranello: "I am sorry that I cannot be there with you in person, but I am there in spirit - like every single Italian who is expecting the cars and the drivers to have another positive year. A hug to the whole team, Umberto Agnelli."
"Most importantly, I would like to thank our technological partners who provide a crucial input to our work. What we have achieved over these years would have been impossible without their support. Then we have the world that is our region, with President Vasco Errani, and that of the province, with President Pattuzzi, and all the other local authorities," underlined Montezemolo.
"We have very close ties to you and that which represents, especially in this fundamental and difficult moment to gain the trust of our country. For this reason we will try to concentrate very hard on the core value for each entrepreneur: our staff; the stability of the whole; a strong, tight team that allows young talent to blossom and budding technicians to come through; and the car, our product."
"It is all based on capable people, hours and hours of work, continuous improvement, advanced research and technological risks. Even if this is an important evolution, it is one, logically, of a winning car."
"The fundamental parts of our world are our clients, and our fans from all over the world," enthused Montezemolo. "They go to the circuits with their flags and display their affection and they stick by us even in trying times."
President Montezemolo then confirmed what Jean Todt had already touched on: "This morning we found ourselves with the drivers and Jean Todt and we were so focused and worried that it was as if we had never won anything ever and this is an encouraging sign: the desire to go one better."
"It is clear that that will be the theme this year: some want to start winning and some want to continue winning. With the exception of General Motors and the Audi-Volkswagen Group, all of the biggest automobile manufacturers are involved in F1. They are competitors we respect, that we have beaten and who we hope to continue beating, though we know it will be very tough."
"This is what pleases me: compactness, solidity, a united front to get through the good and the bad times, which there always are. Schumacher has beaten all the records out there as a Ferrari driver, Rubens Barrichello has contributed in a determined way and has won us Constructors titles since he has been here. Luca Badoer performs a tough but precious job."
"This is our life: one of passion and responsibility. We know what it means to be at Ferrari, with the eyes of the world trained upon us. It will certainly be a challenging year, a very difficult one. I hope 2004 is as close as last season, but that we come out on top again in the end."
"Everyone needs to be focused from the off; last year we didn't make the most of our early opportunities. The task this year is to start well. We are aware that our competition will be tough and that in sport, as in life, for good or bad, the wheels keep on turning. We are already ready to win in 2005 if, in 2004, we lose out. This, though, is something I don't even want to consider."
"It's with this spirit," concluded Montezemolo, "that I wish the team the greatest success and would like to salute the exceptional people behind the creation of these great cars: from the drivers to the technicians and engineers for having won five consecutive Constructors' and four Drivers' titles. It is not enough to have the best car and the best driver to win; you also need an excellent team. Good luck and Forza Ferrari!"