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#102 1961 United States Grand Prix

2021-08-24 00:00

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#1961, Fulvio Conti, Nicoletta Zuppardo, Translated by Greta Allison Martorana, Translated by Carola Buzio,

#102 1961 United States Grand Prix

The tragic events of the Italian Grand Prix still hung over the Formula 1 paddock as the teams arrived in the United States for the season finale. The

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The tragic events of the Italian Grand Prix were still shocking the Formula 1 paddock as the teams arrived in the United States for the season finale. The death of Wolfgang von Trips and fifteen spectators had decided the title in favor of his teammate Phil Hill, who became the first American World Champion. Hill had hoped to race as the Champion at Watkins Glen, but Enzo Ferrari withdrew his team’s entry before the race (having already secured both Championships) as a mark of respect to their fallen German driver. The withdrawal of Ferrari was a potential problem for the Glen and its organizers, particularly given that the two previous United States Grand Prix were a bust. Sebring and Riverside had both hosted the race in the previous seasons, although the low attendance, poor advertising and many other issues saw Alec Ulmann's dream of a permanent United States Grand Prix almost disappear completely after the 1960 edition. The end of Forumula 1's connection with the Indianapolis 500 also came to an end that year, and 1961 saw no Grand Prix scheduled to be held outside of Europe when the FIA released their calendar. Cameron Argetsinger took the lead of the US Grand Prix after Ulmann's failures and used his position as the Executive Director at Watkins Glen to push the FIA into scheduling the United States Grand Prix again. The FIA were satisfied, and Glen was officially recognized as the final round of the 1961 Championship just six weeks before it was meant to host the race. The circuit was well prepared for the Grand Prix, while the location could potentially attract fans from Canada, which is only a couple of hours from the track. The participants of the race, except for the absent Italian Champions, featured almost all the drivers of the 1961 Championship, reinforced with a selection of American drivers. However, the fact that Jack Brabham and Stirling Moss were equipped with two new V8 Climax engines for the weekend (with the familiar L4 units as spare) raised major interest. Several familiar faces from the old days in Indianapolis would also make an appearance on the grid, while Phil Hill would act as Grand Marshall of the race. Dry and warm in the late Autumn sun, Watkins Glen was in a picturesque state as drivers began to set qualifying times. 

 

A large crowd had gathered for the joint practice and qualifying sessions while there was intrigue among the teams, as Coventry-Climax tested two new V8 engines, one given to Jack Brabham and the other to Stirling Moss. Moss opted to try out both the V8 and the L4 Climax engines during the session, setting the pace early on before switching to the new engine. Brabham, on the other hand, decided to use his new engine throughout the session, beating by over a second Moss' best time with the older equipment. The British then responded using the V8 but was unable to beat the Australian having run just 0.2 seconds slower. After the session, Moss chose to use the older spec engine, claiming his Lotus 21 behaved better with the lighter equipment, meaning his V8 times were cancelled. That decision put Graham Hill, who managed to beat his fellow countryman's best time with the L4 engine, in the front row. Moss was left to share the second row with Bruce McLaren, whose best time was matched (to the nearest tenth) by both Jim Clark and Tony Brooks. The best American driver was Dan Gurney, who put his Porsche in seventh position, the only non-Climax car in the top ten. Innes Ireland suffered a steering failure on Friday before replacing his gearbox on Saturday, with his engineers expecting it to break during the race. Ken Miles' entry was withdrawn before the start of the session, while the back of the field was packed with American cars. Roger Penske stood out among the drivers, his bright yellow Cooper has been one of the first cars to feature a sponsorship, although the Indy car driver didn’t manage to improve his time starting in sixteenth position. Meanwhile, Jim Hall made his debut at Riverside the year before and impressed everyone but struggled on his comeback, with a gap of five seconds on Brabham. Another warm day greeted the drivers at Glen, with over 60.000 people arriving at the circuit from Canada and the nearby city of New York; 28.000 of those people had paid an entry fee to watch the race from the small stands scattered around the circuit, a higher figure than the total attendance of the previous two US Grand Prix, which ensured that the 1961 edition of the race would be a financial success. Jack Brabham proved to be the best driver with his V8 Climax, although Stirling Moss’ claim that the L4 engine assured a better handling was proved when he passed the Australian later in the lap. 

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Meanwhile, a stunning start from Innes Ireland had seen the British climb from the eighth place to third, while Graham Hill dropped to fourth. Masten Gregory, who ran in sixth place despite starting in eleventh, made a good start as well and now found himself attacking the Dan Gurney’s back as the professional Formula 1 drivers outdistanced the American privateers. John Surtees retired almost immediately, when a connecting rod on his car broke on the opening lap, while Ireland almost joined him after spinning on the oil left behind. Luckily, the British was able to recover without any damage, dropping from third to the eleventh position in the process, although his Lotus could still fight. Bruce McLaren was now running third as Moss created a small gap to Brabham whose team was concerned for the overheating issues. Ireland proved to be in great shape at the Glen, forgetting his spin and pushing himself back in the top ten, and on the tenth lap he found himself running in the wake of McLaren battling for the third position. Meanwhile, Moss and Brabham were running while battling for the lead, Brabham's cooling issues receded for the moment. Further down there were issues for the privateers who had older cars, Walt Hansgen retired on lap 14, while Masten Gregory went to the pits to retire his car. However, Gregory was able to go back on track when his team called in his teammate, Olivier Gendebien, a lap later and handed the Belgian's car to the American driver. Brabham and Moss continued to run in front of the group, although that changed when the Climax engine on Brabham's car began to leak on lap 35. By lap 56, the Cooper-Climax engine was empty, and the Australian was out of the race, leaving Moss with a 40 second gap over McLaren and Ireland. However, on the following lap Ireland was leading the race, as he simultaneously overtook McLaren and saw Moss bring his car into the pits. The blue Lotus 21 developed an oil pressure fault and was forced to retire. Ireland was left leading after his fellow countryman overtook McLaren; the New Zealander was starting to lose pace. Ireland and Hill's battle lasts for fifteen laps, before Hill's car goes into the pits with a loose magneto wire, although he only lost a lap to repair it. 

 

The next to reach Ireland's car was Roy Salvadori, who was having a good day in his privately entered Cooper, while Dan Gurney and Tony Brooks overtook the McLaren. Salvadori was gaining four seconds a lap before his race ended in a cloud of smoke, since the British’s engine broke down, leaving Gurney as the only remaining rival for Ireland. Yet, time wasn’t favoring the American and, as Ireland completed the final lap in his battered Lotus, Gurney closed the gap to five seconds but failed to obtain a historic home victory. But it was Ireland's day, as he claimed a maiden win for himself and Lotus. Brooks completed his last race by finishing third going on the Formula 1 podium for the tenth time. Phil Hill and the tragically deceased Wolfgang von Trips were declared Champion and runner up in the World Championship, while Stirling Moss finished his final World Championship third. Dan Gurney ended the season with the same points as the legendary British driver but remained behind because of Moss' victories, while Richie Ginther completed the top five list. The maiden win for Innes Ireland saw him move up to sixth position, ahead of Bruce McLaren and Jim Clark, tie with 11 points. Ferrari won the Constructors' Championship for the first time in Monza, leaving the battle for the second place to two other teams. Ultimately, Lotus would end the season second, beating Porsche thanks to Ireland's win, while both outdistanced Cooper-Climax in the end. Closing the Constructors’ ranking were B.R.M.-Climax, with seven points. On Sunday 22nd October 1961, the young Mexican brothers Pedro and Ricardo Rodríguez won the Parisian 1000 kilometers race, doing a brilliant race on the track in Monthléry. The race is practically ended in a close duel between the three-liter Ferrari of the Rodríguez brothers and another Ferrari driven by the Belgians Willy Mairesse and Lucien Bianchi, who end in second position. This last success should be the seal of an extraordinary sporting season. And instead, after winning the title of Formula 1 World Champion and the sports championship, on Tuesday 31st October 1961 Enzo Ferrari fired eight executives: Giotto Bizzarrini, Carlo Chiti, Gerolamo Gardini, Federico Giberti, Ermanno Della Chiesa, Fausto Galassi, Romolo Tavoni and Enzo Selmi. 

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This is the official statement:

 

"All eight councilors of SEFAC’s director have ended their working relationship with the company by sending a registered mail to the president and managing director Enzo Ferrari and to the board of directors of the company. They are: engineer Giotto Bizzarrini (control and testing management), engineer Carlo Chiti (design and racing management), accountant Gerolamo Gardini (commercial management), industrial expert Federico Giberti (production and procurement management), accountant Ermanno Della Chiesa, (administrative management), engineer Fausto Galassi (foundry and metallurgy management), accountant Romolo Tavoni (sports management), accountant Enzo Selmi (personal management). The resignation was motivated by an act of solidarity with the accountant Gardini, who was encouraged not to return to the company following the disrespectful accusations towards the engineer Ferrari and expressed in public in the presence of Mr. Luigi Chinetti, Ferrari’s general distributor for the United States. Therefore, no trade union, economic or technical reason or conflict is the source of the situation arisen within SEFAC. Obviously, these are overestimations of marginal facts that have nothing to do with the normal life of a company".

 

What happened? And why was this decision made?

 

"Enzo Ferrari never attended the Grand Prix, but his wife Laura began traveling with the team. Although he rarely interfered with my job as a sports director, there was constant criticism from great part of the staff. I remember that, on one occasion, Laura attacked Chiti for not paying the rent of the apartment in which she lived, ignoring the fact that the terms of her contract provided the free use of the premises. When we went to Ferrari, we tried to explain the situation to him, but he replied: it's my problem, it's my life, it has nothing to do with you".

 

The revolt of the directors was triggered by an altercation between Laura Garello, Enzo Ferrari’s wife, and Gerolamo Gardini, the commercial director of Ferrari, followed by the lady slapping the director, who had then complained with Enzo Ferrari on that same evening, in a restaurant in Modena, in the presence of Luigi Chinetti, Ferrari’s general distributor for the United States. For years, Enzo Ferrari had let his wife get involved in the business. He had done this to keep her quiet. Laura, terrified by the idea of returning to a state of poverty after the failure of Carrozzeria Emilia, looks almost obsessively at any potential waste in the company, which is useful also for Ferrari. Therefore, it wasn’t uncommon for Laura to take part in business trips to the tracks, during which she wandered around the Ferrari garage intervening in technical or management matters even when she shouldn't have done so. Unfortunately, when Dino was born in 1932, Laura got sick and was hospitalized for fourteen days. Subsequently, her illness had psychological repercussions that worsened after her son’s death in 1956. It’s from this moment that Laura decides that she wants to participate in the Grands Prix with the racing team, to get distracted and not stay at home. To mourn the disappearance of her son. So, she asks Tavoni:

 

 "What’s the next race you have to attend?"

 

The sports director answers:

 

"Let’s go to Pescara".

 

It was in August. 

 

"Then I'll come too".

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Laura answered:

 

"But it's hot as hell".

 

Tavoni added:

 

"Why, don’t you want me?"

 

Laura said firmly.

 

"No, madam, you’re welcome to come, the thing is that we travel by car. Are you coming with us, or do you prefer to travel by train, then I’ll pick you up at the station?"

 

Calmly, Laura replied:

 

"No no, I'm coming with you".

 

The group left: Laura Garello, Romolo Tavoni, Bazzi and Marchetti, the chief mechanic, got on the car. But before leaving, Ferrari asks Tavoni:

 

"She said she wants to leave with you. Are you taking her?"

 

Tavoni, nicknamed the priest inside Ferrari, replies:

 

"The lady can come with us, of course".

 

But Ferrari recommends:

 

"Tavoni, tell her to take care of herself".

 

Therefore, every morning Tavoni asks Laura:

 

"Madam, did you take your medicine? Do you need a doctor?"

 

Laura claims she is fine, but it wasn’t true at all. Furthermore, the lady doesn’t want to take care of herself. Therefore, during the third morning in a sultry heat, Tavoni realizes that something is wrong and calls Ferrari, who exhorts him to make Laura take her medicines, saying that they can be found inside the lady's suitcase. When Tavoni shows up at Laura's hotel room, he finds her in a bad condition. And while trying to convince her to take her medicines, he’s unable to satisfy Ferrari's request, as Laura refuses to take them. This will lead to a disagreement that will take place during the morning of Sunday 18th August 1956. Since the Grand Prix was to start a few hours later, the team meets in the hotel restaurant to eat together. During lunch, Laura Garello asks Tavoni:

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"Tavoni what are you drinking?"

 

A few minutes earlier, the lady said that she didn’t order the soup that was in front of her.

 

"I’m drinking Coca-Cola".

 

Laura, who’s clearly in the grip of confusion due to her health, replies asking why she has white wine:

 

"It's white wine. You asked for some white wine, madam".

 

Laura replies:

 

"No, it is not true. You took my Coca-Cola".

 

Before grabbing the glass and spilling it on Tavoni. The restaurant is full of people, but the Ferrari sports director isn’t upset. Then he goes back to his room, changes his clothes, wearing a new shirt and a new tie. When the team returns to Maranello, the incident is already known, as it was reported by many newspapers. Therefore, Ferrari decides to convene Tavoni.

 

"Tell me what happened".

 

The sporting director tells everything briefly. Thereafter, Laura's health condition will continue to deteriorate. Nevertheless, the lady continues to show up at the factory, suddenly insulting anyone in the departments during working hours, at any time and in any situation.

 

"Ah, you’re such a good person. Your little son is not yours; you know? And then you whore".

 

Or:

 

"And you have to stop spending my husband's money. Because we already waste it too much. Why are you robbing my husband? I know that when he goes out, he spends more".

 

Until fury suddenly hits Carlo Chiti, who without warning gets scratched on his face. Three nails cut his face.

 

"Now Ferrari will have to listen to me".

 

In the evening he asks him to speak. But the Tuscan engineer is told by Ferrari that he could receive him the following day.

 

"But I would like to speak now, I have a personal problem".

 

Ferrari was skilled even on this:

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"I postpone it, so you think better before you have an attitude that could be unpleasant for me and for others".

 

And in fact the next day Chiti didn’t look for Ferrari. The situation was further exasperated when Enzo, whose relationship had been compromised for a long time, started a new relationship, which led to the birth of another child. Laura demonstrates that she has never fully understood her husband's sensitivity, whose life was devastated by Dino's death as much as hers, regardless of the birth of another child. Thus, in a company that produces cars of high quality and value and that wins on tracks all over the world, a paradoxical situation arose where Laura could wander in every department, taking the freedom to intervene, without her husband restricting her movements. Indeed, people couldn’t dare to mention to Ferrari the excesses or freedoms that his wife takes in the company or when travelling. Quite simply, Ferrari, who obviously is aware of the situation, refuses to address the problem. He doesn't want to hear complaints about his wife's behavior. Of course, it happens that Ferrari himself complains to some of his collaborators about certain actions or attitudes of his wife, but even those who benefit from his confessions have learned that he must speak without someone intervening because at the first signs of assent, Ferrari immediately becomes protective of Laura. Therefore, knowing that they couldn’t personally contact Ferrari, his eight executives turned to a lawyer in order to be heard, who decides to write a letter to Ferrari.

 

"We decided to see a lawyer from Modena, the result was a registered mail sent to Ferrari where the problem was highlighted. We received an answer, so we thought we would discuss it in the next meeting, scheduled for the last Tuesday of October 1961".

 

The letter was written by the lawyer Cuoghi from Modena. In it, the eight executives, after having carefully reconstructed different incidents, ask for Enzo Ferrari’s intervention to stem the intrusiveness of his wife in the professional issues of the company. But the letter from the lawyer Cuoghi upsets Ferrari, who, to be honest, wasn’t already willing to continue the working relationships with some figures considered to be cumbersome among his staff. One above all was Carlo Chiti. Therefore, the letter was also a good opportunity to get rid of some bulky figures of the company. For this reason, Ferrari didn’t react immediately and didn’t give any response to the letter written by the lawyer Cuoghi. As if nothing had happened, corporate life seems to proceed normally while the eight directors wait for a reaction from Ferrari even before his decision regarding his wife's interference. The meeting on Tuesday 31st October 1961, which is a meeting that takes place every week at 5.00 p.m. - day and time chosen by Ferrari years before to allow his collaborators to return to Maranello from the tracks during racing season – doesn’t have any points on the agenda.

 

"The meeting began at 5.00 pm and ended half an hour later, without addressing the subject".

 

The meeting proceeded without any major turmoil and without the topic being taken into consideration, although Ferrari is more tense than usual and places the folded letter in front of him, on the open page of his agenda placed on the table around which all eight directors are sitting. When the meeting ends, Ferrari closes his agenda and greets the eight directors, as he has always done - up until then - at the end of the weekly meeting, before going back to his office. But when he returns to the ground floor of the structure in Maranello, the secretary of the deputy chief of staff, the accountant Radighieri, calls the eight directors, individually, and gives each of them an envelope.

 

"Gentlemen, those are your liquidations. Either you sign them, or we deposit them in the bank. That's the door. Go out and never come back here".

 

Inside each of the eight envelopes there are the respective notices of dismissal. Tavoni says:

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"At the end of the meeting we went to the ground floor and the secretary was waiting for us. He handed each of us a letter and said: this is your monthly salary, now leave the company and never come back. We were petrified".

 

Then, from behind the closed door of his office, the eight directors hear Ferrari scream:

 

"They didn't understand anything. What kind of men have I created, who send me a registered letter".

 

A moment of surprise mixed with astonishment follows, for many there was also a feeling of resignation. Only Romolo Tavoni, who put up a lot with Laura Garello, but who is also genuinely fond of Enzo Ferrari, realizes the mistake he made and tries to apologize. However, the now former sporting director was prevented from speaking to Ferrari by Valerio Stradi, the new secretary of the manufacturer from Modena. On the other side of the closed doors of the office, Tavoni hears Ferrari shouting an imperative no. But Tavoni insists, and gets to talk to Ferrari, who only gives him sixty seconds.

 

"I went to his office for a face-to-face meeting. I told him: I've been here since 1950, to stay I would also go back to being a third-rate employee".

 

But Ferrari replies:

 

"Your words make me happy, it means that I wasn’t wrong about you, but I understood that I had the pretension of turning employees into managers: I made you become the leader, but you aren’t able to lead, so I decided to do it without all of you".

 

In retrospect, the story could be treated differently:

 

"Our mistake was to hide behind a registered mail, we didn't have the courage to face it personally. We should have spoken clearly: Commander, we feel uncomfortable around Miss Laura when she comes to the factory, even with regard to the staff we have to coordinate".

 

Over the years Chiti himself will intervene on the matter, noticing the very young age of many opponents:

 

"The truth about that episode must be related to your inexperience. At the end of 1961 Ferrari wanted to fire some management colleagues for personal reasons. We were very united and supportive, so we decided to sue him together, going away as a group. Altogether, it was a reckless action, also because I wasn’t personally involved in this, so much so that Ferrari asked me on several occasions why would I ever get involved in a dispute that didn’t concern me, but other employees. We were convinced that when seeing us so solid, Ferrari wouldn’t have had the courage to fire us all. It didn’t go like this".

 

Alfonso Galvani, first director of the factory, will confirm:

 

"There was already a strong tension. Then, the issue arose due to the slap given to Gardini. We decided to cause Ferrari distress with that letter, but the Commendatore knew his staff really well, he didn’t struggle at all and knew how to start again in the best possible way".

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With Tavoni, the sporting director and the head of press relations, Ferrari deprives himself of his own commercial director, Gerolamo Gardini; the administrative director, Ermanno Della Casa; the procurement director, Federico Giberti; the personnel director, Enzo Selmi; the head of the foundry, Fausto Galassi; and the beating heart of the technical department: Carlo Chiti and Giotto Bizzarrini, the two Tuscan engineers respectively in charge of design and experimentation. The letter from the lawyer Cuoghi had been the trigger of Ferrari's position, but the dissatisfaction in him had probably been spreading for some time. In fact, the communication to the press spoke of an act of solidarity towards the accountant Gardini, who was encouraged not to come back to the factory following the accusations deemed disrespectful towards the engineer Ferrari and expressed in public in the presence of Mr. Luigi Chinetti, Ferrari’s general manager for the United States. The latter, except for those who are taken over by Ferrari, will found ATS in Bologna. However, on 22nd April 1961 Tavoni, still unemployed, stopped at the bar in Casinalbo with some friends, when Ferrari passed by, in his car, with Peppino by his side. The manufacturer from Modena stops and gestures for Tavoni to come closer, before looking at him in the eyes and saying:

 

"Ca t’gnis un cancar, Tavoni". ("I hope you get cancer, Tavoni". In Modena, this exclamation is used instead of the more classic fuck you, and is not really meant to wish illness on the person receiving such a reproach).

 

Shortly after, the sporting director admits:

 

“Due to the letter to Ferrari, we found ourselves fired within half an hour, but we all needed to work and we hoped to continue doing it in our industry. While Della Casa and Giberti were replaced by the Commendatore in a short time, the remaining six, including myself, were contacted shortly before mid-February by Count Giovanni Volpi di Misurata, who proposed us to found the new Scuderia Serenissima. He had already found another business partner in Jaime Ortiz Patiño, whose family was among the most important in the production of tin, but he was looking for a third partner".

 

That same evening, Enzo Ferrari called engineer Mauro Forghieri, son of Reclus Forghieri and one of the men trusted by the manufacturer from Modena, to his office. Reclus, who was excellent at using machine tools, worked at Ferrari and had also been part of the small team that, shortly before the war, built part of the engine of the Alfa Romeo 158, in the Scuderia Ferrari workshop in Modena, in viale Trento e Trieste. He was particularly involved in the crankcase of the 8-cylinder in-line engine. Forghieri had entered the factory in March 1960, after graduating in engineering and having completed an internship within the Ferrari factories. Immediately afterwards, a young engineer from Parma, Gian Paolo Dallara, was also hired. The latter was placed in the Technical Office led by Carlo Chiti, where he was responsible for chassis, suspensions and gear ratios in relation to the different circuits. Forghieri also enters the Technical Office under Chiti, but with the task of doing calculations on engines. The young engineer works mainly with Rocchi and Bellei. But since he takes care of the engines in the test room too, together with the head of department Taddei, he is also close to Cavaliere Luigi Bazzi, with whom he shares desk in a triangular office, which often hosts Vittorio Jano. The first work assigned to Forghieri concerns the calculations of the 1.500 cc Formula 1 V6 engines, both in the 65° version and in the subsequent 120° version. Forghieri also participates in a project, which was closed quickly, which concerned the recovery of energy through an exhaust turbine. A modest recovery, of 15 horsepower out of the initial 180. However, the project will be shelved when Brown Boveri decides to ask Ferrari to participate in the research and development costs of the mechanical components. In order to gain experience, Forghieri was sent with Tavoni (with a company car, a Fiat 1100) to the 1960 Monaco Grand Prix, to the 1961 Monaco edition, then to the French Grand Prix and the tragic Italian Grand Prix in 1961, without having a specific role. The first year and a half in the Technical Office isn’t easy at all for both Forghieri and Dallara. In fact, at the end of the first year of experience in Maranello, Dallara decides to accept the offer from Maserati, while Forghieri repeatedly contemplates the option of resigning. 

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This is for two reasons: the relationship with Chiti, with which the young engineers cannot dialogue peacefully and present their ideas, both for the salary, of only 60.000 lire a month. But the father Reclus exhorts his son not to resign from Ferrari. But then, following the imminent dismissal of engineer Carlo Chiti and Giotto Bizzarrini, on Tuesday 31st October 1961 - as mentioned earlier - Forghieri was called to the office by Ferrari.

 

"From this moment on, you are in charge of all sporting and experimental activities".

 

Forghieri, surprised by the decision, explains to Ferrari that he has no experience in this area, being only a twenty-six-year-old man. But Ferrari closes by saying:

 

"Fa el tò mester, al rest agh pensi mi". ("You do your job, and I’ll take care of everything else")

 

Forghieri, also chose to follow the advice of Bazzi, Taddei and Jano, therefore takes the lead of the Technical Office, which boasts valid professionals such as Rocchi, Salvarani, Farina, Bellei and Maioli. After all, Ferrari is always informed about everything that happens inside and outside the factory, and in his office he frequently updates many dossiers that contain the professional and personal stories of technicians, drivers and journalists. Not surprisingly, among other things, on the desk of the office in Modena there is a telephone through which, by pressing the red button, Ferrari can listen to any phone call made inside the company. Compared to every other phone, which has a white button for internal calls and a black one for long distance calls, Ferrari's also has this special button, which allows him to listen to internal conversations after selecting the number in question. It’s not a coincidence that Valerio Stradi, one day, found himself involved in a particular situation. Ferrari’s secretary, when he didn’t have this important role yet, had two bottles of ink with him with which he noted the wages of the employees (green) and those of the workers (blue). One day, Stradi is called by Mari, a warehouse employee, who asks him if he can borrow the green ink.

 

"Sure Mari, go ahead and take it. However, keep in mind that its name is Jack".

 

According to the local saying: Jack comes back (it belongs to Stradi’s office). Stradi doesn't have time to hang up the receiver, when the phone rings again. On the other side Ferrari replies exhorting Stradi to join him at the office. After making him sit down, Ferrari asks Stradi what Mari had asked for. Stradi, with great honesty, says he lent the ink to the employee. Nothing else. So, Ferrari dismisses Stradi, but when he’s about to leave, the manufacturer shouts:

 

"Ah, stop there. What's the name of that bottle of ink you keep in your office?"

 

Valerio Stradi, still very young, blushes and replies:

 

"Jack, Mr. Commendatore".

 

Ferrari laughs heartily, appreciating the courage of the young and resourceful boy. This shows how Enzo Ferrari was more astute and shrewder than all his former directors. Ferrari used their hatred for his wife to get rid of them, who were now too cumbersome, and not of her. This is also because there had been those who, after being awarded an honorary degree, had laughed at the fact that, in official communications, Ferrari began to use the title of engineer that was attributed to him. The instant firing of Ferrari’s general staff causes mayhem, enhanced by journalists. Even those who are at home in Maranello are caught off guard by this unexpected and, in many ways, incomprehensible move. But there are also those who, knowing Ferrari, declare that the fact that the eight directors left will give him ten more years of life. Gino Rancati, journalist and friend of Enzo Ferrari will say: the angrier he gets, the younger he gets. 


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