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While some were unhappy with the fog that hung over Emilia-Romagna this morning, Ferrari President, Luca do Montezemolo, sees it as an omen.
"I liked this presentation," he told journalists following this morning's launch of his team's 2013 contender. "I felt a special atmosphere, right from the start of the morning when I left my home in Bologna. We had not seen fog here for a long time and it reminded me of the 1997 presentation, the year when Ferrari began its winning cycle.
"During the ceremony, I was moved by the tribute to the Avvocato Agnelli, someone who was very important in my life and whom I miss a lot, a man who was of fundamental importance to Ferrari on so many occasions, at the race track and in the factory.
"Apart from my family, Ferrari is the most important thing in my life and every time I walk into the factory, even after all these years, it puts me in a good mood and I continue to get new stimuli and ideas. Today's presentation went off with good spirit and passion and I'm pleased about that."
When asked about the technical characteristics of the F138, he replied: "Yesterday afternoon, I saw it and I defined it as "hopeful," because I noted plenty of attention to detail, especially in areas where aerodynamics are key.
"Why should I hope this car is competitive right from the first race?" he continued. "The answer is threefold. Firstly, because of the obsessively detailed review of the past season, secondly, the major changes to the organisation and work methodology and thirdly, the concentration on just one wind tunnel, which will be important, especially throughout this season. Track testing is not available to us, something many would like to see reintroduced, so we have concentrated more on simulation tools. Bringing an experienced driver like De la Rosa to Maranello is part of this strategy and attention to detail."
This being the final year of the V8, conversation naturally switched to engines, the Ferrari President still not entirely happy with the forthcoming change to the regulations. "A V6 engine is not part of the Ferrari tradition and in the name of the F138, we are paying homage to the 8 cylinder engine and the fact this is the last year we will use it," said Montezemolo. "I continue to maintain, for economic, musical and power reasons that it would be better to stick with 8 cylinders. But the decision has been taken to build the V6 and if next year, there will be modifications that are in the best interests of Formula 1, then I will even be pleased to see this engine at work and in fact, I'm sure Ferrari is capable of building the strongest V6 in the world."
When asked why Fernando Alonso is not taking part in the first test at Jerez, he replied: "The decision not to run Fernando in the first week at Jerez was dictated by the wish to allow him to stick to a very precise physical training programme. However, for the Barcelona test, attention will switch to performance, which is why Fernando will start then, rather than the first few days."
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