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Autumnpuma

Ferrari Is Making Me Soft

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I'm not a Ferrari historian and I'm certainly not a Tifosi (I'm far too lazy for the former and not Italian enough for the latter) but I'm beginning to feel the scarlet magic of Ferrari that creates the two. Notice that I said feel and not understand. I understand what emotions make up a Tifosi but I've never actually felt those emotions. Until now.

I'm of the opinion that all Italians want to be Caesar and it's proven with even the briefest of glances at the history of Ferrari's management. Brilliance, patriotism, power struggles, emotions worn on the hip and the indomitable Italian pride could all be found oozing from those red buildings in Maranello on any day that you chose to peek into them. That ooze somehow made legends and everyone loved those legends. But that ooze didn't make all the legends.

Not all Frenchmen want to be Bonaparte, but some do. Mostly the short ones. When Jean Todt came to Ferrari, the usual ooze was puzzled. Here was an ugly toad of man with a fierce desire to win and the Italians attached themselves to this frogling because he not only wanted to win, but he wanted Ferrari to win. Todt also came with the support of Luca diMontimynameistoolong and that one carried nearly as much weight as El Commendatore had. So the ooze allowed itself to be re-moulded into something sharper, something harder and something that resembled a machine more than a pub fight. This machine created legends too.

I never cared for the machine-created legends. While I appreciate and respect what Todt did with Ferrari, I will take a sideways Gilles fighting for second place over seven driver's championships. Winning is everything in Formula 1, at least that's what we're all told, but is it really everything? How many beloved legends have nothing to do with winning? The Tifosi know. Why did Stefano put Luca Badoer in the car for two races? The Tifosi know, though they've become so accustomed to winning, under Todt, that they complain about the Badoer decision. Simple Italian loyalty explains it quite well. It's something the old ooze would have done and now I feel why it was the right decision. It didn't win races or score points but it was the Ferrari thing to do.

It occurred to me while watching the podium ceremony at Spa that Stefano Domenicalli feels Ferrari. He stood there, clad in red, singing the Italian national anthem with so much Italian pride that I almost felt swarthy just seeing it. He's living the dream that all Italian boys, at one time or another, dream. Stefano may not ever be as effective or successful as Jean Todt, but he's Ferrari and that is, in my estimation, the Right Thing. Do you want to know something else as well? Giancarlo Fisichella is Ferrari too. He always has been and it's telling, perhaps, that Stefano has hired him and Todt never did.

Edited by Autumnpuma

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I'm not a Ferrari historian and I'm certainly not a Tifosi (I'm far too lazy for the former and not Italian enough for the latter) but I'm beginning to feel the scarlet magic of Ferrari that creates the two. Notice that I said feel and not understand. I understand what emotions make up a Tifosi but I've never actually felt those emotions. Until now.

I'm of the opinion that all Italians want to be Caesar and it's proven with even the briefest of glances at the history of Ferrari's management. Brilliance, patriotism, power struggles, emotions worn on the hip and the indomitable Italian pride could all be found oozing from those red buildings in Maranello on any day that you chose to peek into them. That ooze somehow made legends and everyone loved those legends. But that ooze didn't make all the legends.

Not all Frenchmen want to be Bonaparte, but some do. Mostly the short ones. When Jean Todt came to Ferrari, the usual ooze was puzzled. Here was an ugly toad of man with a fierce desire to win and the Italians attached themselves to this frogling because he not only wanted to win, but he wanted Ferrari to win. Todt also came with the support of Luca diMontimynameistoolong and that one carried nearly as much weight as El Commendatore had. So the ooze allowed itself to be re-moulded into something sharper, something harder and something that resembled a machine more than a pub fight. This machine created legends too.

I never cared for the machine-created legends. While I appreciate and respect what Todt did with Ferrari, I will take a sideways Gilles fighting for second place over seven driver's championships. Winning is everything in Formula 1, at least that's what we're all told, but is it really everything? How many beloved legends have nothing to do with winning? The Tifosi know. Why did Stefano put Luca Badoer in the car for two races? The Tifosi know, though they've become so accustomed to winning, under Todt, that they complain about the Badoer decision. Simple Italian loyalty explains it quite well. It's something the old ooze would have done and now I feel why it was the right decision. It didn't win races or score points but it was the Ferrari thing to do.

It occurred to me while watching the podium ceremony at Spa that Stefano Domenicalli feels Ferrari. He stood there, clad in red, singing the Italian national anthem with so much Italian pride that I almost felt swarthy just seeing it. He's living the dream that all Italian boys, at one time or another, dream. Stefano may not ever be as effective or successful as Jean Todt, but he's Ferrari and that is, in my estimation, the Right Thing. Do you want to know something else as well? Giancarlo Fisichella is Ferrari too. He always has been and it's telling, perhaps, that Stefano has hired him and Todt never did.

lovely lovely paragraph Mike, once again, so glad you're back. There's this lovely article in one of the early 2008 F1 Racing editions by Peter Windsor, who I just admire for his F1 knowledge. In the mag, there's an article about the glory days that's back (notice back) when Domenicalli took over. What he will bring to the Ferrari F1 fold. I could'nt quite grasp what it meant because they've been winning all these years with Micheal. But you have summed it up perfectly with this artcle of yours. It's inherently about the Italian pride...Not living in the constant "circle of fear", a term coined by Brawn himself, not literally, that was so apparent with the Micheal days, thats also why they let Kimi be Kimi, they understand he is a free spirit.

Edited by BradSpeedMan

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I'm not a Ferrari historian and I'm certainly not a Tifosi (I'm far too lazy for the former and not Italian enough for the latter) but I'm beginning to feel the scarlet magic of Ferrari that creates the two. Notice that I said feel and not understand. I understand what emotions make up a Tifosi but I've never actually felt those emotions. Until now.

I'm of the opinion that all Italians want to be Caesar and it's proven with even the briefest of glances at the history of Ferrari's management. Brilliance, patriotism, power struggles, emotions worn on the hip and the indomitable Italian pride could all be found oozing from those red buildings in Maranello on any day that you chose to peek into them. That ooze somehow made legends and everyone loved those legends. But that ooze didn't make all the legends.

Not all Frenchmen want to be Bonaparte, but some do. Mostly the short ones. When Jean Todt came to Ferrari, the usual ooze was puzzled. Here was an ugly toad of man with a fierce desire to win and the Italians attached themselves to this frogling because he not only wanted to win, but he wanted Ferrari to win. Todt also came with the support of Luca diMontimynameistoolong and that one carried nearly as much weight as El Commendatore had. So the ooze allowed itself to be re-moulded into something sharper, something harder and something that resembled a machine more than a pub fight. This machine created legends too.

I never cared for the machine-created legends. While I appreciate and respect what Todt did with Ferrari, I will take a sideways Gilles fighting for second place over seven driver's championships. Winning is everything in Formula 1, at least that's what we're all told, but is it really everything? How many beloved legends have nothing to do with winning? The Tifosi know. Why did Stefano put Luca Badoer in the car for two races? The Tifosi know, though they've become so accustomed to winning, under Todt, that they complain about the Badoer decision. Simple Italian loyalty explains it quite well. It's something the old ooze would have done and now I feel why it was the right decision. It didn't win races or score points but it was the Ferrari thing to do.

It occurred to me while watching the podium ceremony at Spa that Stefano Domenicalli feels Ferrari. He stood there, clad in red, singing the Italian national anthem with so much Italian pride that I almost felt swarthy just seeing it. He's living the dream that all Italian boys, at one time or another, dream. Stefano may not ever be as effective or successful as Jean Todt, but he's Ferrari and that is, in my estimation, the Right Thing. Do you want to know something else as well? Giancarlo Fisichella is Ferrari too. He always has been and it's telling, perhaps, that Stefano has hired him and Todt never did.

Todt was absolutely right in not allowing Italian sentimentality to get in the way. If Stefano did so, he's a fool. And about winning, it's the only thing that matters in any sport. The guys who didn't win but gave goosebumps to the audience will admit that they'd rather be winners than crowd pleasers.

Edit: In the pursuit of excellence / success, jingoism has no right to exist.

Anyway, great to have you back, Mike.

Edited by LabradoRacer

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...... Winning is everything in Formula 1, at least that's what we're all told, but is it really everything? How many beloved legends have nothing to do with winning?............

Great post Mike, but the bit above says it all for me.

I'm not really sure winning is everything for me any more either, mainly because our sport can throw up great talents that circumstances shaft big time. Winning the F1 championship 7 times is special, but not as special as all the personalities that have been beacons throughout the sport's history - for example if Mansell, Rindt, Senna, Andretti, Clark (or insert your own fave's) hadn't have been champions, they still would be to me, because of the special something they gave whilst trying.

And as others have said, really great to see you back!

Edited by medilloni

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Todt was absolutely right in not allowing Italian sentimentality to get in the way. If Stefano did so, he's a fool.

yes, reason being? Ferrari is steeped in tradition, it thrives on tradition and will continue to do so. It is a powerful brand instantly recognisable with tradition. Say Ferrari and you think...... yes, you have it, Italian sentimentality. They have lost much of this in F1 with Todt's intent on winning and nothing else, and doing things differently. Yes, winning might be everything to certain ppl, but you can have fun along the way...

to be truthfull it all started recurring again with stephneygate, if you ask me, thats when the need for Italian sentimentality started fuelling again

Edited by BradSpeedMan

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I think back in the old days Ferrari could strike a balance between Italian pride & sentimentality, and achieving the results that were demanded by the early members of the Tifosi. That is the ultimate combination, and probably what shaped the Ferrari legend and brand to what it is today. After all nobody cares for a racing team with great success but apparently no passion (e.g. almost any Japanese/Chinese company which is successful), or the other way around. So in the beginning, Ferrari struck the perfect balance. However in more recent times, it seems to be the case that it must be a choice between one or the other, sentimentality & pride or success. It seems that usually when Ferrari is run by Italians it's fraught with soft management decisions (e.g. Badoer), political turmoil or lack of success. Maybe that is because in modern F1 efficiency is more important than ever, and when Italians run the team ego gets in the way. Who knows. Perhaps only an outsider (read: non Italian) such as Todt can turn the company into a lean, mean, racing outfit; that's a shame, but maybe as long as it brings success the Tifosi don't mind all that much.

As for Stefano, he definitely eats, sleeps and breathes Ferrari, and seems like a genuinely nice guy. Whether that will translate into the kind of success the team is capable of, only time will tell.

Sources: none.

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Awwww, Mike. Does 'Pretty Woman' make you cry too? I am deeply fascinated by the personnel who have transformed the team over the last fifteen years or so but I struggle to feel the passion for the team as a whole that I most certainly do feel for the road car operation.

Great post though.

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I'm not a Ferrari historian and I'm certainly not a Tifosi (I'm far too lazy for the former and not Italian enough for the latter) but I'm beginning to feel the scarlet magic of Ferrari that creates the two. Notice that I said feel and not understand. I understand what emotions make up a Tifosi but I've never actually felt those emotions. Until now.

I'm of the opinion that all Italians want to be Caesar and it's proven with even the briefest of glances at the history of Ferrari's management. Brilliance, patriotism, power struggles, emotions worn on the hip and the indomitable Italian pride could all be found oozing from those red buildings in Maranello on any day that you chose to peek into them. That ooze somehow made legends and everyone loved those legends. But that ooze didn't make all the legends.

Not all Frenchmen want to be Bonaparte, but some do. Mostly the short ones. When Jean Todt came to Ferrari, the usual ooze was puzzled. Here was an ugly toad of man with a fierce desire to win and the Italians attached themselves to this frogling because he not only wanted to win, but he wanted Ferrari to win. Todt also came with the support of Luca diMontimynameistoolong and that one carried nearly as much weight as El Commendatore had. So the ooze allowed itself to be re-moulded into something sharper, something harder and something that resembled a machine more than a pub fight. This machine created legends too.

I never cared for the machine-created legends. While I appreciate and respect what Todt did with Ferrari, I will take a sideways Gilles fighting for second place over seven driver's championships. Winning is everything in Formula 1, at least that's what we're all told, but is it really everything? How many beloved legends have nothing to do with winning? The Tifosi know. Why did Stefano put Luca Badoer in the car for two races? The Tifosi know, though they've become so accustomed to winning, under Todt, that they complain about the Badoer decision. Simple Italian loyalty explains it quite well. It's something the old ooze would have done and now I feel why it was the right decision. It didn't win races or score points but it was the Ferrari thing to do.

It occurred to me while watching the podium ceremony at Spa that Stefano Domenicalli feels Ferrari. He stood there, clad in red, singing the Italian national anthem with so much Italian pride that I almost felt swarthy just seeing it. He's living the dream that all Italian boys, at one time or another, dream. Stefano may not ever be as effective or successful as Jean Todt, but he's Ferrari and that is, in my estimation, the Right Thing. Do you want to know something else as well? Giancarlo Fisichella is Ferrari too. He always has been and it's telling, perhaps, that Stefano has hired him and Todt never did.

I almost got tear in my eyes reading this, what a great post, you know what I feel the magic too, I wish I could listen the Italian National anthem at every podium ceremony even my kids enjoy when that antehm is played, I am Ferrari too.

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Once, I got choked up by an Adam Sandler movie, there was probably a festival of minor waterworks, too, but I'm too insecure with my pending masculinity to admit that.

Oh, and I like the Ferrari team singing the anthem, and stuff. It's cool. The best anthems are the ones when people sing along. Sing next time. Even if your anthem is a super wordy series of questions like my country's is. It's still cool.

I like spirit, I suppose. I guess I'll always be one of those weridos who wants sports to be more than sports. But the spirit can only be Ferrari, cuz that's Ferrari, and it'd just be silly to have Ron Dennis (yeah, he's gone, I know, but is he really?) belting out "God Save the Queen," just like Ken Anderson mumbling "The Star-Spangled Banner" or Adrian Campos singing "iTaquito Fiesta Ol

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I am sure Enzo didn't intend to start a flag-waving social club and ruthlessness and sentimentality can and should work hand in hand at the Scuderia. Both Ascari and Michael proved that and Todt marshalled the troops to support the latter and swing the prancing horse into the 21st Century. Schumi is still there - it where his soul lives. I agree that Domenicali does embody the 'spirit' of this magnificent team but he's a corporal, not a General and their intermittent form is testament to that. Nice writing though.

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Welcome back Mike and Eric!!

Great thread and I wish F1 had more historical teams to write about!

The thing about Ferrari is that is an "exotic" car manufacturer that dares to compete at the ultimate level and not simply built "rich boy toys" that are hidden behind horsepower numbers.

There is an authentic racing heritage that is alive and kicking in their road cars and is available to the public!

Also the sentiment does belong in a team like Ferrari, but remember Enzo Ferrari!

He was notoriously hard but also generous with every single one of his employees! He demanded absolute perfection! The ultimate success Ferrari had during the Todt-Schumacher-Brawn era would make him indeed proud, to see his team united like an army and aiming only for the ultimate success!

Also all (we) Mediterranean guys are notoriously bad at losing and I know very well I enjoyed every single one of MS's victories or any other Ferrari driver for that matter! Perhaps there is a bit of a cultural difference in perception regarding competitiveness , since this is the World championship, but I assure you that even though many of the fans were complaining of boring seasons, many other where enjoying them or getting terribly annoyed because their team was doing/not doing well!

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Suddenly Fisichela is not Fifi anymore, I wish to see him winning at Monza even if Kimi has to let him by, I just wish to see an Italian winning in Italy, I want to be a witness of what it would be like to see that actually happening and Kimi taking a second place, I guess I would see the crowd floding the track as they are used to do but in this case they will have a bigger reason to do it.

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Suddenly Fisichela is not Fifi anymore, I wish to see him winning at Monza even if Kimi has to let him by, I just wish to see an Italian winning in Italy, I want to be a witness of what it would be like to see that actually happening and Kimi taking a second place, I guess I would see the crowd floding the track as they are used to do but in this case they will have a bigger reason to do it.

Yes, you really need help.

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