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Pistunzen’s blog

For those who don't know, Pistunzen is our mascot. This baby-piston is actually the only one allowed to sneak into the secret departments of the Ferrari factory in Maranello. Every now and then he likes to blog about what happens behind the scenes, check it out!
Pistunzen

I adore drivers

Pistunzen
Cars that drive themselves? Pistunzen says: “Boring!”

I have to say that even the idea of working in the engine of one of those self-driving cars makes me want to nod off. Just imagine how incredibly boring it would be stuck in the engine of a car that decides where to go, that doesn’t like revving and won’t do anything even remotely fun. We Pistunzens like to feel the driver’s foot on the pedal. The harder the pedal is to the metal, the quicker and more enthusiastically we respond.

I adore being driven well. When I think about it, however, there are risks that these cars that drive themselves remove. When you’re in the hands of a really bad driver then – crrrunch! - you get a whack on the valves that hurts like nobody’s business. Luckily, however, modern electronics helps out and now those kinds of accidents have become almost a thing of the past. All that aside, as our editor has pointed out in his post, we Ferrari Pistunzens are in no danger: Ferraris will always have drivers!
Pistunzen

Last minute

Pistunzen
Pistunzen’s thousands of books I’ve nothing against them taking advantage of the summer shutdown period to do various bits of work here in the company. But when a poor Pistunzen that’s been slaving away for 11 months of the year is only told at the last minute they’re going to change his engine block, he won’t be happy.
Because whatever you think, talking Pistunzens aren’t content to simply slip around in oil and have explosions go off around their head at a rate of several thousand times a second. They also have their books and all their other things to move so that they can be ready to answer the questions of anyone that asks their opinion of the Ferrari of today and yesterday. Well, there you have it. I’m here packing up my books. I’ll make the most of the time to refresh my memory of long-forgotten incidents…

I drove the simulator and feel ready for the track

Pistunzen
I must admit I blushed a little when the simulator technician tucked the cushion behind my back to help me reach the steering wheel and the pedals. It’s not often that you see Pistunzen behind the wheel, I can tell you! When you’re inside the engine, someone else does the driving! However, I actually felt like a real driver after my stint in the simulator: the most thrilling part is when you accelerate and you feel the car really sticking to the track like a bit of chewing gum. The faster you go, the harder it sticks. Then there are the complications you have to look out for: when get to the end of the straight at Monza at 320 km/h and you have to brake down to 70 for a chicane, you can get a bit confused. But after a few laps you pick it up and ask yourself: how come Alonso and Massa want to get paid to have this much fun? I would be ready to shell out my own cash to do their job (if only I did it better)…

Ghosts behind the wheel

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You’ll probably counter that not much will change for a Pistunzen like me. That’s where you’d be wrong. How would you like to be answering to an over-excited driver demanding more horsepower or cutting off your fuel to brake in a hurry? That whole scenario worries me a little. Sure, Ferraris will always be driven. But where will it all end? Will we end up racing in cars driven by ghosts?

Two new stars for the Ferrari Museum: the LaFerrari and Pistunzen

Pistunzen
The supercar exhibition features a host of information on Ferrari technologies and an extraordinary display centring on the styling of the new car. Pistunzen is very proud he’s been asked to welcome visitors with clear, simple technical explanations This time I really am part of it: I have a very important role to play at the supercar exhibition at the Museum in Maranello. My job, in fact, is to explain all the technical stuff to visitors. It might seem only natural for a Ferrari Pistunzen to be asked to do something that tricky, but it won’t be easy. However, I’ll do my best to deliver the goods as usual. Sticking with family gossip for a moment, I recommend that you don’t miss my 12 brothers who’ll be looking good in the engine of the LaFerrari, Maranello’s new supercar. The hybrid engine set-up is presented pretty spectacularly as it’s been broken down into its various components so it’s very easy to see how it works. Even though I’m not that keen on them because they don’t have pistons, I have to concede that the two electric motors do help my brothers punch out almost 1,000 hp. Looking forward to seeing you all at the Museum. It’ll be fun!

Pistunzen tells it how it is

Pistunzen
Dear friends, it is with a huge sense of pride that I can reveal that I’ve been enlisted by the Ferrari Museum in Maranello to provide (hopefully) clear, simple explanations of the technologies used in the Ferrari Supercars. I was delighted that the Museum’s management felt that I was the right character to perform that particular role. If all goes well, I’ll soon be handing out autographs! Speaking of which, the Supercar exhibition officially opens on March 8th and runs until the end of September. Check out the details at the Museum’s website: museo.ferrari.com

Armchair drivers and real ones

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It’s easy to sit there on the sofa, beer in hand, gabbing about the Ferrari single-seater and how it can’t and won’t deliver what Alonso needs. I’ve spent a lifetime in engines and what I remember of racing is what some of those people have clearly forgotten: the experiences of the big international car giants like Toyota, BMW and even Mercedes today, prove just how difficult Formula 1 is to get right. In fact, both Toyota and BMW eventually threw in the towel and gave up in frustration. So how can anybody criticise a constructor whose driver is still in the running for the title two grands prix from the end of the season? Only one man can win but that’s the beauty of the sport. Watching that extraordinary race last Sunday was beautiful even though realising it would mean just three extra points did give me a bit of a headache. But are three points small fry? Maybe if you consider that Fernando getting eliminated at Spa and Suzuka on the first bend cost us a lot more. Take it from me, if those two incidents hadn’t happened, Fernando would be well out in the lead. But that’s motor racing for you and people love Ferrari because it knows both how to win and how to lose. So let’s leave the armchair critics to their sofas, because we here in Maranello, keep the pistons going day and night.

Felipe rejuvenated!

Pistunzen
When Felipe Massa first arrived in Maranello, he still looked very much like a little boy and I liked him immediately. I felt we were a bit similar, perhaps because he’s quite compact and a bit impish too. Because a Pistunzen can never stray too far from the track, I was at Fiorano in 2002 the first time he sat behind the wheel of a Ferrari Formula 1 car. And I have to tell you that I was very impressed with the confidence he displayed even from the first lap. Then – you know how it is – I stayed the same old Pistunzen and he became famous. I don’t mean he ever got any airs or graces around me. Far from it. But he was no longer the half-impish, half-scared young lad I’d met that first day. I was very sorry to see him so off-colour these last few months. I’d even begun think we wouldn’t be seeing the old Felipe again. But then at Suzuka last Sunday, he really did drive very well indeed. I know a thing or two about tracks and, let me tell you, Suzuka, along with Spa, is the toughest of the entire season. So, Bravo Felipe! He looks like he’s 10 years younger again!

Radio Pistunzen live from the pit wall

Pistunzen
Everyone knows I’m well in in Ferrari. But I think a few of you will still be envious to learn that I watched the Monza Grand Prix from the pits and listened in one the drivers’ conversations on my headphones. Back in my day, all the drivers did was go out and drive but now they’re in constant contact with the pitwall to improve their strategy during the races. Felipe didn’t say much. He had a great race and his car did the business. Fernando, on the other hand, was much more talkative because he made to make his way back up the pack because of the positions he’d lost after a mechanical failure in qualifying and, more importantly, as a result of Vettel’s moving across to prevent him passing which resulted in the Spaniard’s car ending up on the grass. That made Fernando lose his habitual cool and he burst out: “Did you see what he did to me at 340 km/h?” His engineer Andrea Stella calmed him down at once by telling him that everyone had seen the incident. In fact, Vettel was given a drive-through penalty shortly afterwards. It was a truly emotion-packed moment for me, even though I’m well used to all kinds of races. But the most thrilling thing about the entire Grand Prix was the last three laps. Don’t forget the rear shock and spring of Fernando’s car were damaged when he went off the track and towards the end of the Grand Prix both the driver and the guys at the pit wall were worried something would give. Fernando kept checking how many laps were still to go while his engineer warned him to keep off the kerbs to avoid putting further stress on the damaged suspension. Nerve-wrecking stuff! But fortunately, everything turned out okay in the end. And even I, made of the hardest of hard metals, felt my heart soften and melt.

Heads down, Maranello-style

Pistunzen
Plus all the other things we here in Maranello have heard endless times before and which, if we actually bothered to read them all, would leave us no time for actual racing. That’s just how it is in Formula 1, so you have to put your head down and keep going. You can’t listen to anyone else, just trust in your own ability. Anyone, such as myself, that spends their life actually inside engines powering them along knows that. So well done to Stefano Domenicali, Pat Fry, Marmorini, Alonso and Massa who’ve given us back that great sense of pride we’d gotten so used to. I, for one, am content.