People relate to each other in many different ways. And it’s often difficult to guess what any other individual, no matter how affable or polite they may be, is really feeling. That’s why it was so especially touching and uplifting to hear Luca di Montezemolo’s Christmas speech to the Prancing Horse employees during which he spoke about the emotion he feels every time he walks into Ferrari.
As someone that, like Montezemolo himself, has been with the company for over 20 years, I can assure you that walking through the factory gates in Maranello is always - and I mean always - a very special experience. I used to think it was just me being an incurable old romantic because I’d dreamed about Ferrari since I was a child and had spent my days clinging to the fences in the various circuits just to watch the red Prancing Horse cars in action.
But then when I heard Chairman Montezemolo describing the same feelings, I recognised not only how sincere he was being but also something else. I recognised the passion that drives him and which is normally something very private, something one treasures for oneself.
That emotion provides the only genuine and irrefutable explanation for Ferrari’s worldwide success and the huge impetus that Chairman Montezemolo manages to bring to our racing. It’s only by providing that kind of impassioned leadership to a company that you can ensure its success. But what’s even more impressive – and what everyone loved – was that he actually confessed all this to us. A very reassuring thing to do.