Four tennis legends visit Maranello
McEnroe, Leconte, Bruguera and Wilander also enjoy a spin in the California T
Maranello, 24 November – Sergi Bruguera, Henri Leconte, Mats Wilander and John McEnroe were the undisputed stars of “La Grande Sfida” exhibition tournament in Modena last weekend. During their time in Emilia, however, their paths also crossed not once but twice with Ferrari. The first occasion was at the press conference held on Friday at the Museo Enzo Ferrari (MEF) in Modena to launch the event.
The grand tour. The second came on Sunday when the four great players paid a special visit to Maranello where they were welcomed by Italian tennis legends Lea Pericoli and Nicola Pietrangeli. The group toured the factory, getting an up-close look at the cars on the 8 and 12-cylinder assembly lines. Needless to say, everyone wanted a souvenir photo with the latest model, the F12tdf. The visit then continued on to the Classiche department where the tennis stars were particularly taken with an F40. John McEnroe wanted to know all the details about the model, including its price on its launch in 1987, while Sergi Bruguera told the group about the time he was given the opportunity to drive that exclusive model: “It was absolutely unbelievable – the fastest car I’ve ever driven. The F40 really delivered incredible sensations!” And speaking of tradition, John McEnroe underscored how important it as well as heart and passion are in sport, adding humorously that “if the driver is not very good, it’s probably better he doesn’t get too passion”.
Passion. Mats Wilander also explained his great admiration for everything Ferrari represents while Henri Leconte proved the biggest fan of all: “I’ve adored Ferrari since I was a boy. I’ve always dreamed about visiting Maranello and I’m incredibly happy to be here. You can go to any factory anywhere but there’s nothing like Ferrari”. Leconte then gave his own take on the marque: “Ferrari encompasses two extraordinary factors that it also shares with tennis: evolution and tradition. In tennis too, there is huge, continual evolution in materials but we also have tournaments like Wimbledon that are absolutely traditional with nothing over-the-top whatsoever permitted. For example, players are only allowed wear white and there is a story you have to know. There are essential stages you have to go through. Ferrari represents the perfect union of those two elements: tradition in that it is one of the world’s most important and well-known brands, and continual innovation as epitomised by its cars”.
The California T. The four visiting players were also taken for spin through Maranello and the surrounding area in four California Ts driven by Ferrari’s test-drivers. Unfortunately, bad weather meant, they couldn’t see the RHT in action but the car proved its extraordinary versatility and ability to deliver a sublimely exhilarating drive even in tricky road conditions with the top up.