About Enzo Ferrari so many things have been said and written. And it is not for less since it is one of the legends of motorsport and the automotive industry. He has always been described as a difficult guy and in love with the emporium he had created. That is now reflected in the words of Giorgio Ferri, who for many years was an assistant to Il Commendatore. In an interview published in Infobae, made by colleague Darius Coronel, Ferri delves deeper into the personality of El Drake and brings clarity to some historical moments of the Italian brand.
“It is very difficult to talk about Enzo Ferrari because there were two personalities: one in the early years, when he was a very tough person, between 1940 and 1970. Then he was a sweet person who allowed himself to be advised. He had an intelligence superior to any person and a formidable memory. I always thought about the future "Ferri explained.
However, the former assistant clarifies that to achieve a goal "He was capable of sacrificing, even, the one who had given a whole life for the Ferrari". And for that he gave as an example what happened to Mauro forghieri, who for two decades was in charge of the sports area and who changed when the victories in Formula 1 began to be scarce.
Regarding the relationship between Don Enzo and his pilots, Ferri commented: “Ferrari always thought about his car. He would ask me to record the races to see the drivers. He had his theory: pay little. And he liked discovering talents like Niki Lauda, who was pointed out to him by Clay Regazzoni; Gilles Villeneuve, who came from snowmobiles, or others, like John Surtees (world motorcycling champion) and Lorenzo Bandini. He wanted to show that it was his car that was winning and not the driver. Make it 50 percent of the driver and 50 percent of the car. The only one who had a high contract was Jody Scheckter ”.
In this context, Ferri recalled what he thought about Carlos Alberto Reutemann, who ran for the Scuderia between 1976 and 1978. “Enzo Ferrari always defined it as tormented and stormy. He was internally tormented and doubted about everything. Carlos was a very, very, fast driver, but he always raced the car that he beat a year later. He left Ferrari and in 1979, Jody (Scheckter) won. It happened at Lotus and Williams. He was a great pilot, but he did not take his quality leap because of his fear, because of his non-aggressiveness. I remember Mauro Forghieri (team manager) yelling at him and asking him: 'How do you want the car?' He was indecisive in everything ”.
The former Ferrari secretary confessed that his boss once tried to bring his team to Jim Clark y Stirling Moss and until he had meetings with a young man Ayrton Senna. Regarding the negotiations with the Brazilian, he indicated: “Senna went to Enzo Ferrari's house in Modena when he was racing with Toleman… But then his collaborators said that (Senna) cost too much and nothing happened. Senna later returned to Ferrari and had a meeting, with Cesare Fiorio (at that time team leader), in 1990; but the contrast with the Fiat was given for the money. We later found out about that meeting (of Senna with Enzo Ferrari) from the Ferrari driver. He (Ferrari) and his son Piero were at his house. It was a very private meeting ”.
Ferri also revealed little-known data from the negotiations that Ferrari and Ford had at the time. “There came a time when Enzo realized that his business, his workshop, needed a partner, because it was growing too much. He was very Italian. In his agenda, at the end, he had a handkerchief with the Italian flag. What we have always thought is that Ferrari, using Ford, stimulated Fiat and Agnelli (owner of that brand). The negotiations with Ford began in the spring of 1963. American technicians came to evaluate the values of the factory. A pre-contract was made with two companies: one was called Ferrari-Ford, which was for sports and racing, and the other was called Ford-Ferrari, for industrial production ", he remembered.
“In one of the 30 pages of the pre-contract, Ferrari saw, in the sports part, a very important phrase that said that 'Ferrari had the power in sports management, but if it exceeded the budget of 450 million lire a year, it had to ask authorization to Ford '. When (Enzo) read that, he wrote with his purple pen 'we disagree'. He broke the contract and the next day he fired the Americans. When he sold the factory to Fiat in 1969, he stopped wearing a pin with the Ferrari Cavallino on his suit because he understood that the company ceased to be all his "He said.
Ferri also recalled the last days of Ferrari, who passed away on August 14, 1988: “He was on dialysis treatment in his last days, and he was very sorry about it. He said: 'Let me die in peace', because dialysis for him was very strong, and he was not very well. 'Leave me alone, you have to forget about me', he always said ... "