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Schumacher awarded honorary citizenship of Maranello

NEWS STORY
05/12/2006

Michael Schumacher has been awarded honorary citizenship of Ferrari's home town, Maranello, having played such a major part of the Italian teams' success in recent years.

The auditorium "Enzo Ferrari" was not big enough to hold all the people who wanted to attend. Consequently, a video wall was erected in front of the theatre where those outside could follow the ceremony.

In the presence of President Luca di Montezemolo, Vice-President Piero Ferrari, CEO Jean Todt and General-Director Amedeo Felisa, a clearly moved Michael Schumacher admitted that he was touched by receiving the honorary citizenship, which five years ago was awarded to the President.

The official ceremony ended with the presentation of the keys to the city by mayor Lucia Bursi and a miniature bell tower engraved with the most important dates of Schumacher's Ferrari career.

As a nod to the tradition started by Maranello's priest Don Elio Belloi and continued by his successor Don Alberto Bernardoni, the bells of the tower rang, as they do after victories of the team's single-seaters. Over the last 11 years the bells have rung 72 times for Michael.

Giancarlo Bertacchini, Scuderia Ferrari Club Maranello President, handed Michael a small barrel of Aceto Balsamico, which signifies deep friendship in Emilia-Romagna, while Giulio Corsari, President of the association of former F1 mechanics gave a leather-bound plaque with the engraving "Grazie Michael", as a perfect ending to the evening.

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