Christof Innerhofer in Maranello
Wind tunnel testing for the Italian ski hero
Maranello, 29 May – With gold, silver and bronze world medals, silver and bronze Olympic medals and six victories in the World Cup to his name, Christof Innerhofer is one of Italy’s finest alpine skiers. From Gais in the South Tyrol region, the downhill and Super-G athlete had a difficult 2014/2015 season because of various physical problems. However, he has made a great recovery and is back in training to regain his previous form. During his visit to Maranello, he focused on perfecting his aerodynamic position on the flat where air penetration needs to be as efficient as possible. The visit was part of a collaboration between Ferrari, Coni, the Italian Olympic Committee and Fisi, the Italian Winter Sports Federation. Christof was accompanied by his trainer Alberto Ghidoni.
Second time lucky. This was not Innerhofer’s first time in Maranello, however. “I’ve already been here once before and that day we came away with some very useful information. I think that today will be very important for next season too,” he told us. Like many other sporting champions, Christof has a lot in common with the Prancing Horse, first and foremost of which is maniacal attention to detail: “Ferrari is famous for the excellence of its cars which are meticulously detailed. It’s the same thing with my sport: physical preparation, studying your position and the track are all absolutely fundamental. When I go into a Super-G (a discipline you don’t get a chance to test out the piste), I might go up and look at the same bend four or five times to be sure I won’t make a mistake. In fact, I’m always one of the last to finish my course inspection”. But all that attention to detail certainly brings results: “I’ve never gone off in downhill in the World Cup and in my entire career I’ve only been knocked out of four Super-Gs – twice when one of my skis detached and twice when I touched the snow with my boot, but never because I made a line error”.
Passion. Innerhofer has an instinctive love of speed. In fact, in the downhill in Wengen, he flew along at 159.8 km/h: “I adore sports cars and Ferrari builds extraordinary ones. Don’t ask me what my favourite is I’ll just say ‘All of them!’….I’ve only driven one – a F430 Scuderia owned by a friend. I still remember the thrill and pleasure of being in command of so much power!” Innerhofer also drove on the track on one occasion also: “It was a fantastic experience that I hope I’ll be able to repeat soon”. So perhaps he might consider a career in motorsport after he’s put up his skis? “If my back gives me some peace and I don’t get injured, I would love to be able to compete in at least another two Olympics. I’ll think about everything else after that”.