Luca Colajanni’s absence will be sorely felt in the paddocks
Anyone that has seen the film Life of Pi in which a young boy is forced to share a lifeboat with a tiger after a shipwreck, will understand what I am trying to say here. On February 1st, our longstanding Formula 1 press officer Luca Colajanni is leaving us to take up a new position in the Communications department.
I worked with Luca for many years when I was Director of Communications and I got to know him well, just as all of the journalists did. I wouldn’t exactly say that he was a tiger but he certainly had the air of a very shrewd and intelligent animal in the grips of an instinctive fierceness that one doesn’t normally encounter in everyday interaction.
This meant that Colajanni became highly respected but not exactly beloved in his profession. A delicate state of affairs for anyone involved in Communications, even though, as you well know, Ferrari’s Communications always enjoy enormous interest and attention from media.
However, down all those years, one could always rest assured that everything Colajanni said, wrote or cleverly disguised was always in the interests of the firm. What might, at times, have seemed like over-the-top, exaggerated fierceness was in reality merely a determination to protect a specific, strategic company line or ideal.
Now that it’s been made official that Colajanni is leaving the Grand Prix garages, many of the very journalists once irritated by his approach are feeling a sense of genuine loss at his departure. Deep down, the Formula 1 paddock isn’t much bigger than a lifeboat. And the events that breathe life into it - some stormy, others wonderfully calm - are reminiscent of the sea on which that young boy and the tiger find themselves adrift.
And just like in the film, when land finally comes into sight, and the tiger slopes into the jungle without a backward glance or any sign of farewell to his travelling companion, the latter feels deeply pained. Being stuck together in challenging situations is something that stays with you, so I would hazard that Colajanni is sure to build a very interesting future for himself.