Christmas provides food for thought at Ferrari

Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:04pm EST
 
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By Alan Baldwin

MARANELLO, Italy (Reuters) - The winds of change have swept through Ferrari and even Christmas has a different feel now.

Media invited to the team's Fiorano test track to attend the traditional seasonal lunch in a building next to Enzo Ferrari's old house knew what to expect when former chairman Luca di Montezemolo was in charge.

Like a Medici prince of old, sitting in the middle of a long table, the elegant Italian would hold court and pronounce on anything and everything that vexed or pleased him.

At last year's gathering, his last such occasion, the impeccably dressed 67-year-old merely toyed with a salad as the steaming tortellini in brodo and sliced cotechino con lenticchie (pork sausage with lentils) were served.

Over the course of the meal, Montezemolo would lay into the sport's over-complex rules, with particular scorn for any that he considered disadvantageous for Ferrari, and emphasize the need to improve the show.

There was much to displease him at the end of 2013, with a new V6 turbo hybrid engine formula in the offing, and he did not hold back.

The menu was unchanged when the media returned to Fiorano on Monday, and new Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne also had plenty to get his teeth into after a dismal season for Formula One's oldest, most glamorous and successful team.

But the style, two months after Montezemolo's departure and with double world champion Fernando Alonso also gone along with a host of others, was different.   Continued...

 
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo is pictured during the third practice session of the Italian F1 Grand Prix at the Monza circuit September 7, 2013. REUTERS/Max Rossi