As Christmas approaches and Ferrari has a clear goal for the 2024 racing season – to stop losing and return to the fight at the top – other targets are not considered, and it could not be otherwise. For this simple reason, discussions “amount to nothing.” Speculating about the near future makes sense up to a certain point, especially if one ventures into promises or lofty flights about the competitiveness of the car. What matters, the only thing, is the work done during the winter to give meaning to the future of the Prancing Horse. It has to stop chasing.
Every year, the Maranello team organizes a meeting with the press as the Christmas festivities approach. The media can participate. It’s a roundtable dinner where only a few selected and “accommodated” individuals take part, including presumed experts who often are not really so. From Ferrari’s point of view, these moments are perfect for conveying information since it’s during these occasions, behind closed doors, that they plan the statements to release to journalists, which, as we know, will go around the world in all forms. This has been the case again this year. Everything was absolutely predictable.
Then there are the so-called “off-the-record” moments, where, in theory, private information should come through, giving an overview of the situation. These provide material for writing something on paper and various websites at a time of the season when news is scarce. Apologies for disillusioning the reader, but the protagonists, away from recorders, notebooks, and various notes, do nothing more than repeat the same things, as previously agreed upon under the festive meeting table.
Ferrari: Many Words at a Table Decorated with Banalities and “Predictability”
Traveling to Maranello, perhaps from the other side of Italy, to boast the honor of sitting at the Ferrari Christmas table is tempting for many. After all, the opportunity doesn’t come every day, and obviously, humans, being “emotional animals,” cannot help but be attracted by a scenario set up “ad hoc.” There could be hours of discussion on this point, but we won’t do that. We can express one concept, resurrecting a phrase from a cult film: “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”
Although in the case of the film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, the issues were quite different, it’s easy to understand how holding onto those who write about you is essential, especially when your name is Scuderia Ferrari. Moreover, especially in Italy, public opinion counts much more than it should, while facts, the real ones, are sometimes overshadowed for common interests. Having expressed this concept, we can add another important consideration that pairs with the previous one.
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“The new car that will participate in the F1 World Championship 2024 will be presented on February 13th.” This is the only real news that Ferrari has decided to release. For the rest, they talked about things that were already known, albeit in a very vague and confusing manner, which has been extensively anticipated in recent weeks. There’s talk of a new chassis that, as we know, was not up to par on the SF-23. A technical aspect that has produced limitations on updates.
The same goes for suspension and transmission schemes, which by necessity will be revised to maximize the winning concepts of this regulatory body that governs the next-generation wing cars. Unlike many others, during the course of the championship, through punctual analysis, data study, and the on-track behavior of the Italian car, we have raised the main issues of the red car on multiple occasions. We tried to explain them and, above all, indicate where to intervene to change things.
“At a standstill,” if we want to borrow a football term, we can say that we haven’t gone far from the truth despite not having great means. On the contrary, without false modesty, saying that we have nailed everything or almost everything does not make us braggarts at all. All this makes sense. It’s not about pinning medals to our chest; it has never been our style. We simply recount these facts to underline, indeed, how in F1, by skillfully and passionately following the ups and downs of a team, informative work is worth much more than what can be achieved at a Christmas lunch or dinner.
Someone might accuse us of being the fox with sour grapes. That is, we talk like this because we can dream of being at that lunch. Free to think so, but believe it or not, participating in a lunch, however prestigious, doesn’t change who we are and what we think. Not participating, the same. In fact, maybe it’s better; I don’t know if you understand the thread of the conversation. Ultimately, the issue of Alberto Antonini. The former journalist unfortunately left us a few days ago. Ferrari has dedicated a space to remember him in the media meeting. Well done.
It was the minimum considering his time in the ranks of the red team. However, the embarrassment related to the lack of condolences on the day of his death remains. It cost very little, like colleagues and non-colleagues, to write a few words to remember one of the pillars of Italian sports journalism and a man who, for almost half a decade, was in charge of Ferrari’s communication. It had to be done regardless. Just to be clear: sometimes silence is golden, other times it makes more noise (negatively) than a thousand speeches.
Source: Alessandro Arcari for FUnoanalisitecnica