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My Kingdom For a Horse


Might King Richard III have walked to Ferrari for a horse? I do believe if they had had one that could carry him back into success on the battlefield then, yes. Indeed he would have run to the Scuderia and paid any price.

So is Sir Lewis about to do a King Richard loser-move (hint for those rusty on their Shakespeare, it didn't end well for King Dick...), or is he more likely to emerge with a Derby-winning super stallion?

For us long-suffering fans, either scenario will be an adventure well worth the watch.

Casual fans tend to forget that Fangio won his five World Drivers' Championships with four different teams. He drove for Alfa Romeo, Mercedes, Maserati and Ferrari during his death-avoiding days of derring-do. His genius provided each team a Drivers' Championship. Loyalty to brand over an entire career? Not so much. Each season he looked long and hard into the mouth of various gift-horses... then chose wisely.

Sir Lewis, long may his minstrels dine on Monty Python members, has merely won championships for Mercedes along with a solo effort for McLaren. Can he now swap a fancied mare (bet each way, in the top three), for a race winning (on the nose) stallion in 2025?

Is his drive to change stables good for himself, the sport and Ferrari?

Short answer. Well Heavens yes! While no man is bigger than the sport, Sir Lewis is currently a planet-wide known person, and, based on his public utterances is actually a man of some subtlety complexity. Sure, big watches, bigger trousers and bigger baggy tops. But there is reasoning and clear thinking behind it all. The more I have followed Sir Lewis, the more I respect him. Note dear reader this does not mean I agree with all he says or stands for, but it does mean I respect him for it. Clear, well-reasoned stances on the topics he elects to speak about. Heck, if he took-up Country music he has a chance to be bigger than Taylor Swift!

I'm confident Marcus Aurelius would have welcomed Sir Lewis into the flickering candlelight of a late night discussion session, to consider the victories, and remains, of the day. Likewise, Maximus would have welcomed Sir Lewis at his back in a fight, because he knew if Sir Lewis said "I've got your back" it was a statement true until death. Trust. Honesty. Sincere commitment. Capability... virtues valuable beyond the worth of pure gold.

Bernie, long may his white shirts shine in the world as angel's wings, was a man of his word. One needed to understand what his word was, and what was committed to, yet once committed it was honoured and delivered. How say thy words Liberty Media?

The Nicene creed talks about the "Quick and the dead". It is a timely reminder of the fact that we all die. A fact I fear is missed by the church congregations uttering the words with no heed to their actual meaning.

"The quick" are us, the living. Living is but a fleeting phase in this universe. The dead is where we all end up. And depending on your philosophy, religion or ignorance, you will have a very personal view of what "being dead" means. Release. Eternal prison. Eternal salvation, or eternal silence - fore there is nothing beyond this mortal chatter.

Which for us dear reader, and which for Sir Lewis? The noble knight of the realm seeking an immortal epitaph.

Most car loving folk have at a minimum a respect for Ferrari, and at the extreme a passion that exceeds earthly logic. I've been blessed to view many Ferraris, and drive a modest few. A Porsche 911 is a remarkable rendition of a very well built typical car. A Ferrari is a beast from another planet which happened to land here and briefly indulge our excitement. A 911 (to this author) feels like a Golf GTI built by Titans and finished by Demi-Gods. While a Ferrari feels like the dreams of a Demi-God rendered real by the hands of a God. While writing this sentence I only have to close my eyes and pause... and the sweet feel of that six-speed manual box are enough to bring tears to my eyes. It was another world. Whereas the 911 was simply the "standard" world made awesome.

So Sir Lewis is showing his human side. Who can resist the siren call of the immortals? Just as there is only one first watch on the moon (the Omega Speedmaster), so there is only one Ferrari. If I were Sir Lewis I'd be jumping in, boots and all, to give it one last role of the dice. Possibly Sir Lewis can be Hercules one last time and provide the super human extra 0.05% which moves one from being on the podium to top of the podium.

So many grand names are before him on the driving roster. So many remarkable wins. So many of the brave meeting death at full speed behind the wheel. So many breath-taking sweeping curves of beauty. The myth that is Enzo. The V6, V8, V12 and flat-12 engines which are, each and every one, a work of wonder worth studying for their own remarkable legends.

The world now has a Ferrari SUV which it surely never required. Yet the brand educated, dollar wealthy, but history poor, appear to demand that their most prized brand be slapped on the fashion choice of the day, an urban four wheel drive. Such is the cocktail of fashion, dollars, and historical ignorance.

Many years ago, back when they wrote stirring stories and had the world's finest motoring journalist, no, not Jeremy Clarkson, but the Demi-god of the wheel and typewriter LJK Setright, UK motoring magazine Car presented a glorious 1995 cover story about taking a Ferrari F512M (effectively the final Testarossa update) to the Northern Sahara.

One of the finest road trip stories I've ever read. Most especially the part where Richard Bremner (the author of the adventure) talks about coming face to face (well, bumper to bumper actually) with a four wheel drive full of tourists coming the other way thinking they were Indiana Jones in the middle of nowhere... and here was an Englishman in a brand new bright red Ferrari crossing said dry river bed in the other direction! If it has been a 911, a Lotus or a Corvette it would simply not have been the same.

Even people that do not know cars know Ferrari. Over the years while driving, Lotus, RX-7s and Jaguars (indeed even a Mazda MX-5 - it was late and I believe the other party had imbibed a pint too many - I've been asked "Oh! Is that a Ferrari?" People who do not know cars assume anything decent looking, low and sleek must be a Ferrari.

The legend on and off track is a magnet to all. The fact that a current road going Ferrari is more a cross between a mobile work of art and a giant-sized item of jewellery is to miss the point.

Only the excessively well-monied have ever purchased them new. Only legends have ever driven them as works cars on the track.

Ferrari and Sir Lewis? A match made in heaven which is going to light a bonfire under season 2025! Please! Can we simply give V. Max the 2024 trophy now, and move directly to March 2025 eleven months early!?

A Titan among men, wrapped in the legendary Adamantine armour of the Gods, a works Ferrari race car. This will truly be a story for the ages.

Surely as history lovers, and racing fans, we can only marvel at what joy this will bring to the racing season. Winning or winless almost being beside the point. They will craft legends anew regardless of the outcome. Yet Sir Lewis will be quietly hoping this horse on which he hopes to bolt, will race up the inside rail and win by a nose. Thus weaving him forever more into the legend that is the prancing horse.

Who are we dear reader to mutter that he is wrong?

Sir Lewis! May the Horse be with you!

Max Noble

Learn more about Max and check out his previous features, here



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1. Posted by Max Noble, 20/02/2024 9:06

"Sorry… @burton - I’m sure they are working with the DTS script writers, the FIA, and the main (card) dealer at the Lucky Strike ‘Vegas casino to apply the spice ASAP! Cold sweats all around as they try to monetise the heck out of it all (or “squeeze the juice” as some Americans like to say… not to my liking. It worked as a Led Zeppelin lyric, but that is where such references should stay…).

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2. Posted by Max Noble, 20/02/2024 9:02

"@Chester - Yes it will generate excitement for sure… Cannot wait to find out what sort…!

@Burton - Along with the current Horner-gate adventures I’m sure the DTS script writers are laughing themselves silly each morning as they read the real world headlines and laugh to one another “…you couldn’t make this stuff up!”

@TokyoAussie - My thanks. I’ll humbly take that as a compliment. I frequently think of him. Only ever had email conversations with him (sadly never met face to face) but he was a remarkable larger-than-life character.

@ancient70! - Sigh! Imagine the BRM V16 (1.5L supercharged to boot!) making a comeback! Best one gets these days is being in a tunnel the same time as an Aston owner goes large on the loud pedal!


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3. Posted by ancient70!, 20/02/2024 8:04

"Nice one Max! As noted here 2025 will be very interesting (entertaining?) Even though nary a v12 or heaven forbid a flat 12 note will be heard!"

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4. Posted by TokyoAussie, 20/02/2024 0:13

"Several turns of phrase channelling Mike Lawrence, I notice, long may his memory remain."

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5. Posted by Burton, 19/02/2024 18:18

"Liberty should force Merc and Ferrari to do an immediate driver swap for peak engagement! Isn't this supposed to be an entertainment franchise?! How short-sighted they are... "

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6. Posted by Chester, 19/02/2024 17:19

"Even I, a non-Hamilton fan, am excited about his move to Ferrari. It is fascinating and will be enjoyable to watch.

But I think 2024 will be fun as well. There is an old saying "That's why they play the game". It sums up the fairly frequent divergence of pre-game/race pundit prognosticating and the actual result."

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7. Posted by Spindoctor, 19/02/2024 7:35

"Brilliant! 2024 is likely to be a bit of an anti-climax as we wait for that marriage made in Asgard. But this is still "sport" so maybe........."

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8. Posted by habentsen, 19/02/2024 5:46

"Looking forward to 2025!

2007 is 17 years ago, so it's time for a Ferrari WDC again.

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