Ferrari press release
The Belgian Grand Prix weekend gets underway today, while back at Ferrari work continues apace, both on the racing side and on the commercial front. President Luca di Montezemolo arrived in Maranello this morning to get through a long list of meetings. First off, it will fall to Team Principal Stefano Domenicali to give an overview of the current Formula 1 situation, which involves going through a lot of points, starting in the very short term with the technical evolution of the 150º Italia, along with the mid and long-term plans, which means looking at the design project for the car that will tackle the 2012 season.
On this subject, Domenicali already made clear over the past few days that the number one priority will be to ensure it is competitive at the highest level, right from the very first race. In the afternoon, Montezemolo will meet Managing Director Amedeo Felisa: on the agenda will be the launch of the 458 Spider, which will be officially unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in mid-September, as well as the state of play of future Ferrari cars.
The team arrived in Spa late on Wednesday afternoon and today, the engineers and drivers are already at the track to go through the job sheet for the race weekend. Here too there is plenty going on, as Friday’s three hours of free practice has now become the time to concentrate chiefly on evaluating new technical solutions as they get their first track test. The weather is always an unknown factor and the forecast for tomorrow is not that encouraging, but as usual at Spa, one will have to make a virtue out of necessity.
He will always be in the hearts of all the men and women who work in Maranello
This twelfth round of the Formula 1 World Championship is a special occasion for one driver in particular. It was at this very track, on 25th August, twenty years ago, that a young driver made his debut in this the highest level of motor sport. He would go on to rewrite the record books and to leave an indelible mark on the history of Formula 1 and of Ferrari. His name? Michael Schumacher.
“Michael was and will always be one of the most important figures in the history of Ferrari and he will always be in the hearts of all the men and women who work in Maranello and of all fans of the Prancing Horse,” Luca di Montezemolo told www.ferrari.com. “A large part of those twenty years of Formula 1 were spent with us. Together, we achieved results that will be difficult to repeat. His passion for racing is incredible, as is the effort he puts into it, along with the courage and determination he has always demonstrated, which won him the affection of us all. On behalf of everyone at Ferrari I wish to thank him for everything he did for us and I send him all our best wishes for this, his twentieth anniversary in the greatest sport in the world.” “We have prepared a little something to mark this occasion,” announced Team Principal Stefano Domenicali.
“Even if today, he is our rival on the race track, Michael is still a friend and there is no way it could be any different, given everything we have shared over all these years, growing together. When I look at his career statistics, especially those established during his long time spent at Ferrari, I realise just how extraordinary they are. In fact I imagine they will never be repeated. I have so many personal memories linked to him, some of them actually to do with this circuit, as well as other particularly enjoyable ones, which makes it very difficult for me to single out any one in particular. I prefer to think of the future, which I am sure will also produce some very satisfying moments.”
Despite the usual frantic activity, typical of a Grand Prix weekend, there will no doubt be time for many of the Ferrari crew who worked alongside Michael at the race track to have a quick chat with him, as in fact has been the case since the German decided to return to racing last year and, who knows, there might even be the odd surprise in store for him.