John Surtees in Maranello, from the past to the present
Maranello, 29 June – For the past two days, a truly special guest was welcomed within the Ferrari walls, in the shape of a former Ferrari driver and one of the legendary names of the sport, John Surtees. He was involved, along with Fernando Alonso in a promotional event organised by Shell at the Fiorano track which saw Ferrari past and present brought together in the garage. “Looking into Fernando’s eyes, I could see the same determination I had when I was racing,” he said. “Time passes, but passion for racing is something that never changes across the centuries and if you have it in you, you see it in others.”
On leaving Alonso, Surtees met Piero Ferrari, the Ferrari vice president and Stefano Domenicali, the Scuderia team principal and was then taken on a tour of the company, beginning in the Ferrari Classiche department, where he was met by Giulio Borsari, a former mechanic and now a consultant to the company, who had worked closely with Surtees when he drove for the Maranello team. The Englishman is actually the only man to have won world championships in Formula 1 and its equivalent on motorbikes. He made the move to four wheels in 1960, having won seven world titles with MV Agusta and he joined Ferrari in 1962, taking the world title in ’64. Borsari and Surtees reminisced about the significant and enjoyable moments they spent together at the race tracks. The tour for the “figlio del vento” (son of the wind) as he was called back then by his Ferrari team, continued with a visit to the new assembly line and he was clearly impressed by the technology involved. “It’s incredible how everything has changed!” exclaimed Surtees on entering the building. “In my day, the cars were pushed on trolleys and a group of mechanics would work around it. Now, everyone has a place to work and no one seems to be pushing trolleys!”
It was an emotional moment when he went to the Ferrari Museum, where he was snapped alongside his old helmet and a winning photo dating from 1964.