On the day the new F2007 had its debut on the race track, Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo met journalists who had travelled to Maranello for the preview of the new Ferrari.
"I am glad to be able to share with you the first laps of this new car. I am extremely satisfied with this kind of presentation, because for us it was important to have a working day immediately, to be able to collect some precious data on this completely new car. I am glad that we were able to keep the timeframe that we had set for ourselves. For me this, as every year, is a day of big emotions; it is the beginning of a new adventure."
Montezemolo underlined that this year Ferrari is a completely new team, which knows how to conserve the experience gained over the last years: "This is a complete new Ferrari, and I don't speak just about the car but about the whole Scuderia. There is a new driver, who is succeeding a driver that has been with us since 1996. It is a very important substitution; not only because Michael has won more races than anyone else in our history, but also because he created a personal relationship with the company and the men. It is true that Massa is here for his second year and so we can say that he is still young. But he already has some experience and he grew a lot over the last year. There are two young managers - Stefano Domenicali, Sporting Director, and Mario Almondo, Technical Director - who come from the school of Ferrari. Over all those years we put all our resources in internal growth, which is a very important fact."
"From 1997 until today - apart from 2005 - we always won. And if we didn't win it was because we lost the Championship in the last race. This shows that Ferrari has always been, for many, many years, at the top. The competitors have changed, but we have always been the ones to beat. This year," Montezemolo declared, defining the goal for 2007, "we want to win the Championship."
So the eyes are on the reliability of the car, considering the new technical regulations and the new systems points are given to teams and drivers in the races, which will reward the constancy of the results: "To win the Championship reliability is needed more than anything else. In the last year we lost because of a lack of reliability at the beginning of the season. The single-tyre rule is good, it eliminates many insecurities and so the performances of the cars will be very close. Victories and pole positions will be matters of tenths of a second. The score will reward the reliability. Think about last year when we could have won the Constructor's Championship with the old system. It's easy to understand that reliability is fundamental and I am glad that we start driving the new car today, to collect data to develop and refine the car."
Montezemolo was also talking about the drivers, as of this year the new couple with the Brazilian Felipe Massa and the Finn Kimi Raikkonen will drive the "Rosse": "We had Raikkonen on our agenda since the race in Magny-Cours in the year 2002 and Michael was impressed by him even before then, when he saw him in Mugello on board of the Sauber-Ferrari. The Finnish school has always emitted determined and strong personalities, who have never been impressed by external elements. Kimi is also at the right point in his career to win. He comes to Ferrari at the right point of his maturity and we have to put him in the condition to gain results. Massa had a very good season in the year 2006; he won two races and gained many points. He is fast and very concentrated. He is preparing himself physically very well. The two drivers start on the same conditions, as always in the history of Ferrari. They are young, fast and determined; but with a greater experience than many young drivers, who started in the Formula 1 over the last years."
At the President's press conference there was also room for Michael Schumacher, who already feels very well in his new position. "Michael has already adopted a new mentality; I'd say even a new dimension. This morning he was at the box and listening to the comments of the drivers. I really enjoyed seeing him enthusiastic like that. He could have done something else, but he decided to stay, to contribute to the team. This shows not only his personality but also what kind of relationship he has with Ferrari; it is very personal and reaches very deep." "This year we celebrate the 60th anniversary of Ferrari," Montezemolo went on and pointed out the celebrations for this important anniversary. "I remember many things: 1974, when we won our 50th race with Ferrari, 1991, when I came back to Maranello and 1993, when Jean Todt joined us. We had lots of cars, technology and people over all those years. We won the prize 'Great places of work' and this means quality of life in general; not just quality of the work environment. The people who work at Ferrari are the base of the commercial successes: the workers, the technicians and the drivers. We will beat every sales record in the year 2007 and with the Scuderia we will stay on top of the Formula 1."
"Determination, passion, the wish to work well and hard: these are the elements characterizing the upcoming season," Montezemolo concluded. "I have another intense year as the head of Confindustria, but my life is here and I hope that I can still give something to Ferrari."
To check out our Fiorano shake down gallery, click here