Alex Zanardi

A visit worth its weight in gold

Maranello, 30 January – It was a surprise for everyone to see Alex Zanardi turn up at the Gestione Sportiva building, when the former car racing champion came to Maranello to see his friend Stefano Domenicali. Along with the Scuderia Ferrari team principal, Alex visited the departments where the car that will take part in this year’s Formula 1 World Championship is taking shape. Last year, he became an iconic symbol for the London 2012 Paralympics, taking gold in the individual H4 (hand bike) time trial and the individual H4 road race and was part of the team that took silver in the H1-4 Team Relay. The mechanics, busy with the final, delicate stages of assembling the car, gave him a very warm welcome, before posing together for photos. “It was a very exciting evening for me!” said Alex, talking to “The thing that struck me the most when I went into the department where the new car was being built, was the smell, the same I used to smell when I went to the Chip Ganassi team headquarters in America. There too the car was red, but it definitely wasn’t a Ferrari! I know many of the guys who work at the Scuderia from a long time ago, but this was my first time in Maranello and it was a great experience. Finally, I can claim to have got my hands on a Red car! It’s true that these days, the top teams are pretty big, just like a real average-sized company, but at Ferrari, I could see there was still that passion for the job that only comes with a love of racing. Then, thinking back to how nice was the tortellini and cold cuts of meat, you can imagine what a great evening it was, without any regrets about breaking the rules regarding my diet…”