#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,

#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

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 death of Wolfgang von Trips and fifteen spectators had decided the title in favour of his Ferrari 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 teams' entry before the race (having already secured both Championships) as a mark of respect to their fallen German gladiator. The withdrawal of Ferrari was a potential problem for the Glen and its organisers, particularly given that the previous two United States Grand Prix had been flops. Sebring and Riverside had both hosted the race in the previous seasons, although low attendance, poor advertising and numerous other issues saw Alec Ulmann's dream of an established United States Grand Prix almost disappear completely after the 1960 edition. The end of Forumula 1's association 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 had picked up the bandwagon for the US Grand Prix after Ulmann's failures, and used his role as the Exective Director at Watkins Glen to push the FIA into running the Uuited States Grand Prix again. The FIA were satisfied and the Glen was officially recognised as the final round of the 1961 Championship just six weeks before it was scheduled to host the race. The circuit was well prepared for the Grand Prix machinery, while the location of the circuit had the added bonus of potentially drawing fans from Canada, only a couple of hours north of the circuit. Entries for the race, other than the absent Italian Champions, featured almost all of the entrants to the 1961 Championship, reinforced with a selection of American based drivers. The major interest, however, laid in the fact that Jack Brabham and Stirling Moss were equipped with two new V8 Climax engines for the weekend (with the familiar L4 units in reserve). 
Several familiar faces from the Indianapolis days 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 the field 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 common L4 Climax engines during the session, with Moss 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 Moss' best time with the older equipment by over a second. The Brit then responded using the V8, but was unable to beat the Australian having lapped the circuit just 0.2 seconds slower. After the session, Moss elected to use the older spec engine, claiming his Lotus 21 handled better with the lighter machinery, meaning his V8 times were wiped. That decision put Graham Hill onto the front row, who managed to beat his countryman's best time with the L4 engine almost unseen. Moss was left to share row two with Bruce McLaren, whose best time was matched (to the nearest tenth) by both Jim Clark and Tony Brooks. The best of the American racers was Dan Gurney, who pushed his Porsche to seventh, the only non-Climax in the top ten. Innes Ireland suffered a steering failure on the Friday before having to have his gearbox replaced on Saturday, with his engineers expecting the replacement to fail during the race. Ken Miles' entry was withdrawn before the start of the session, while the back of the field was largely populated by American run machinery. Roger Penske stood out among the runners, his bright yellow Cooper one of the first cars to feature sponsorship although the Indy car driver was not brighting the time sheets down in sixteenth. Jim Hall, meanwhile, had made his debut at Riverside a year earlier and impressed, but struggled on his return almost five seconds down on Brabham.

Another warm day greeted the field at the 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 off the line with his V8 Climax, although Stirling Moss' claim that the L4 engine promoted better handling was proved when he slithered past the Australian later in the lap. A stunning start from Innes Ireland, meanwhile, had seen the Brit climb from eighth on the grid to third, while Graham Hill dropped to fourth. Also making a good start was Masten Gregory, who ran in sixth despite starting in eleventh, and now found himself attacking the back of Dan Gurney as the full time Fomrula 1 drivers pulled clear of the American Privateers. John Surtees had retired almost immediately when a connecting rod failed on his car on the opening lap, while Ireland almost joined him after spinning on the oil left behind. The Brit, fortunately, was able to recover without damage, dropping from third to eleventh in the process, although his works Team Lotus machine was still in fighting condition. Bruce McLaren was now running in third, as Moss pulled a small gap to Brabham whose team were concerned with overheating issues. Ireland proved to be in the form of his life at the Glen, putting aside his spin to push himself back into the top ten, and by lap ten found himself running in the wake of McLaren in a battle for third. Moss and Brabham, meanwhile, were pulling clear while battling for the lead, Brabham's cooling issues having receeded for the time being.


Further down there were issues for the Privateers in their older equipment, Walt Hansgen retiring on lap 14, while Masten Gregory pulled into the pits to retire his car. Gregory, however, was able to get back into the race when his team pulled in team mate Olivier Gendebien a lap later and handed the Belgian's car to the American. Brabham and Moss were continuing to pull clear at the front of the field, although that was set to change when the Climax engine in Brabham's car began to leak water on lap 35. By lap 56 the Cooper-Climax engine was empty of water and the Australian was out of the race, leaving Moss with a 40 second advantage over McLaren and Ireland. A lap later, however, it was Ireland leading the race, as he simulataneously passed McLaren and saw Moss limp his car into the pits. The blue Lotus 21 had developed an oil pressure fault and was forced to retire. Ireland was left leading from Hill after his countryman also found his way past McLaren, the New Zealander beginning to lose pace. Ireland and Hill's scrap would last for fifteen laps, before Hill's car limped into the pits with a lose magneto wire, although he only lost a lap during the repair. The next man to cruise up to the back of Ireland's car was Roy Salvadori, who was having a good day in his privately entered Cooper, while Dan Gurney and Tony Brooks also slipped by the tumbling McLaren. Salvadori was taking over four seconds a lap before his challenge ended in a cloud of smoke, the Brit having blown his engine, leaving Gurney as the only remaining challenger to Ireland. Yet, the American had time against him, and as Ireland completed the final lap in his battered Lotus, Gurney closed the gap to five seconds to just fall short of a historic home victory. But, it was Ireland's day, as he claimed a maiden win for himself and Team Lotus. Brooks completed his final race by finishing third, his tenth visit to the Formula 1 podium.


Phil Hill and the tragically deceased Wolfgang von Trips were declared as Champion and runner up in the Championship, while Stirling Moss finished his final World Championship in third. Dan Gurney ended the season level on points with the legendary Brit but remained behind by virtue of Moss' win, while Richie Ginther completed the top five. The maiden win for Innes Ireland saw him move up to sixth, ahead of Bruce McLaren and Jim Clark, tied on 11 points. Ferrari had won the Constructors' Championship for the first time in Monza, leaving a battle for second between two other teams. Ultimately, Team Lotus would end the season in second, beating Porsche courtesy of Ireland's win, while both pulled clear of Cooper-Climax at the finale. Concluding the point scoring constructors were B.R.M.-Climax, with seven points to their name. On Sunday 22 October 1961, the young Mexican brothers Pedro and Ricardo Rodriguez won the Parisian Mille kilometers car race, disputing a brilliant race on the Monthléry track. The race is practically resolved in a close duel between the three-liter Ferrari of the Rodrìguez brothers and another Ferrari, driven by the Belgians Willy Mairesse and Lucien Bianchi, who are classified in second place. This last success should be the seal of an extraordinary sporting season. And instead, after having won the title of Formula 1 World Champion and of the sports championship, on Tuesday 31 October 1961 Enzo Ferrari fired eight executives, and exactly Giotto Bizzarrini, Carlo Chiti, Gerolamo Gardini, Federico Giberti, Ermanno Della Chiesa, Fausto Galassi, Romolo Tavoni and Enzo Selmi. This is the official statement:


"All eight directors of SEFAC’s director have terminated their working relationship with the company by sending a registered letter 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 had been invited not to come back to the company following accusations deemed disrespectful towards the engineer Ferrari and pronounced in a local audience in the presence of Mr. Luigi Chinetti, general distributor for the United States of Ferrari cars. Therefore, no trade union, economic or technical reason or conflict is at the origin of the situation that has arisen within SEFAC. These are obviously overestimations of marginal facts that have nothing to do with the normal life of a company".


What happened? And why did this decision come about?


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

The revolt of the directors had been triggered by an altercation between Laura Garello, wife of Enzo Ferrari, and Gerolamo Gardini, the commercial director of Ferrari, which was followed by a slap of the lady against the latter, who had then complained with Enzo Ferrari that same evening, in a restaurant in Modena, in the presence of Luigi Chinetti, general distributor for the United States of Ferrari cars. For years, Enzo Ferrari had led his wife get involved in business matters. In part he had done it to keep her quiet; Laura, terrified by the idea of ​​being able to return to a state of poverty as after the failure of Carrozzeria Emilia, looks almost obsessively at any possible waste in the company, something that is also useful for Ferrari. Therefore, it was not uncommon that Laura to take part in trips to the racing fields, during which she wandered around the Ferrari garage intervening in technical or managerial matters even when she shouldn't have. Unfortunately, already when Dino was born in 1932, Laura fell ill and was hospitalized for fourteen days in the clinic. Her illness, subsequently, would have also had psychological and psychological repercussions that worsened after the death of her son in 1956. It is from this moment that Laura decides she wants to participate in the Grand Prix with the racing team, to get distracted and not stay at home. To mourn the disappearance of her son. So he asks Tavoni:


 "What is the next race you have to do?"


The sports director answer:


"Let’s go to Pescara".


It was in August  


"Then I'll come too".


Laura answered


"But it's hot as hell".


Added Tavoni


"Why, doesn’t she want me?"


Laura said firmly.


"No, madam, you are welcome, only we make the journey by car. Are you coming with us or do you prefer to travel by train, which I will then come back to pick you up at the station?"


Calmed, Laura replied:


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


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


"He said he wants to leave with you. Are you taking it?"


Tavoni, nicknamed the priest inside the Ferrari, replies:


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


But Ferrari recommends:


"Tavoni, tell her to cure the disease".


Therefore, every morning Tavoni will ask 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 has no will to cure herself. This, during the third morning, in a sultry heat, Tavoni realizes that something is wrong and calls Ferrari, who invites him to let Laura take the medicines, indicating that they can be found inside the lady's suitcase. When Tavoni shows up at Laura's hotel room, he finds it in an unpresentable condition. And while trying to convince her to take the medicines, she is unable to satisfy Ferrari's request, as Laura refuses to take them. This will give rise to a disagreement that will take place during the morning of Sunday 18 August 1956. Since the Grand Prix was due to start a few hours later, the team meets in the hotel restaurant to eat together. During the lunch, Laura Garello asks Tavoni:


"Tavoni what are you drinking?"


A few minutes earlier, the lady had said that she had not ordered the soup in front of her.


"I drink Coca-Cola".


Laura, evidently in the throes of confusion due to her state of health, replies by asking why she has white wine:


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


Laura replies:


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


Laura claims she is fine, but that wasn't true at all. Furthermore, the lady has no will to cure herself. Thus, during the third morning, in a sultry heat, Tavoni realizes that something is wrong and calls Ferrari, who invites him to let Laura take the medicines, indicating that they can be found inside the lady's suitcase. When Tavoni shows up at Laura's hotel room, he finds it in an unpresentable condition. Before grabbing the glass and overturning it on Tavoni. The restaurant is full of people, but the Ferrari sports director is not upset. Then he goes back to his room, and changes his clothes, wearing a new shirt and a new tie. When the team returns to Maranello, the incident is already known, as it is reported by various newspapers. Ferrari, therefore, decides to summon Tavoni.


"Tell me what happened".


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


"Ah, you who are so good a person. Your little son is not yours, you know? And then she goes to bitches".




"And you have to stop spending my husband's money. Because we already keep it too much. Why are you robbing my husband? I know that when he goes out he charges extra expenses".


Until the sudden fury also hits Carlo Chiti, who without warning gets a scratch in the face. Three claws that line his face.


"Now Ferrari has to listen to me".


And in the evening she asks him to be able to speak. But the Tuscan engineer hears a reply from Ferrari that he could have received it the next day.


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


Even in this, Ferrari was skilled:


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

And in fact, the next day Chiti did not look for Ferrari. The situation was further exasperated when Enzo, with whom the couple's relationship had been compromised for a long time, began another relationship, which led to the birth of another child; in this Laura demonstrates that she has never fully understood her husband's sensitivity, whose life was devastated by Dino's death at least as much as her own regardless of the existence of another child. Thus, in a company that manufactures cars of great quality and value and that wins on racing fields all over the world, a paradoxical situation arose in which Laura could wander from department to department, taking the liberty to intervene, without that her husband would restrict her movements. Indeed, it is woe to mention to Ferrari the excesses or freedoms that his wife takes within the company or during travel. Quite simply, Ferrari, which obviously is aware of what is happening, refuses to consider the matter. He doesn't want to hear about complaints about his wife's behavior. It happens, of course, that it may be Ferrari himself who complains to some of his collaborators about certain actions or attitudes of his wife, but even those who benefit from confessions on his part have learned that he must be allowed to speak without intervening because at the first hint of assent to his words, Ferrari immediately becomes protective of Laura. And so, knowing that he could not personally contact Ferrari, its eight executives, to be heard, all that remained was to turn to a lawyer. Which in turn decides to write a letter to Ferrari.


"We decided to consult a lawyer from Modena, the result was a registered letter sent to Ferrari where the problem was highlighted. We received an answer, so we thought we would discuss it in the next meeting with the staff, 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 various incidents, ask for the intervention of Enzo Ferrari to stem the intrusiveness of his wife in the professional matters of the company. But the letter from the lawyer Cuoghi angers Ferrari, who, to be honest, was already unwilling to continue working relationships with some figures considered cumbersome within his staff. One above all, Carlo Chiti. The letter, therefore, was also a good opportunity to get rid of some bulky figures present in the company. For this reason, Ferrari did not react immediately, and gave no response to the letter from the lawyer Cuoghi. As if nothing had happened, corporate life seems to proceed normally while the eight directors await a reaction from Ferrari even before his decision regarding his wife's interference. Also during the meeting on Tuesday 31 October 1961, the meeting which takes place every week at 5:00 p.m. - day and time chosen by Ferrari years before to allow its collaborators to return to Maranello from the various racing fields during the racing season - does not have any points on the agenda.


"The meeting began at 5:00 in the afternoon and ended half an hour later, without the subject being dealt with".


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


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


Inside each of the eight envelopes there are the respective letters of dismissal. Tavoni tells:


"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 ever built, me, who send me a registered letter".


A moment of surprise mixed with amazement follows, for many also a feeling of resignation. Only Romolo Tavoni, who has suffered a lot from Laura Garello, but who is also genuinely fond of Enzo Ferrari, realizes the mistake and tries to apologize. However, the now former sporting director was prevented from speaking to Ferrari by Valerio Stradi, the new secretary of the Modenese manufacturer. On the other side of the closed office door, 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 him for a face-to-face meeting. I told him: I've been here since 1950, in order to stay I would go back to being a third-rate employee".


But Ferrari replies:


"His words make me happy, it means that I was not wrong about him, but I understood that I had the pretension of transforming corporals into generals: I gave you the chevrons, but you are not able to command, so I decided to do without all of you, including yourself".


In retrospect, the story could be treated differently:


"Our mistake was to hide behind a registered letter, we didn't have the courage to face it personally. We should have spoken clearly: Commendatore, we feel uncomfortable by Signora Laura when she comes inside the plant, even with regard to the personnel we have to coordinate".


Over the years Chiti himself will also intervene on the matter, noting the very young age of many dissidents:


"The truth about that episode must be related to our inexperience. At the end of 1961 Ferrari wanted to fire some management colleagues for his personal reasons. We were very united and in solidarity, so we decided to make a common cause, going away as a whole. It was an altogether reckless gesture, also because I was not personally so involved in the affair, so much so that Ferrari asked me on pious occasions why I would ever get involved in a dispute that did not concern me, but others. We were convinced that seeing us compact Ferrari would not have had the courage to liquidate us all. It did not go like this".


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


"There was already a strong tension. The question then came to light due to the slap given to Gardini. It was decided to put Ferrari in crisis with that letter, but the Commendatore was a profound connoisseur of men, he did not go into crisis at all and knew how to start again in the best possible way".


With Tavoni, the sporting director and the head of press relations, Ferrari deprives himself of its 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 in charge of design and experimentation respectively. The letter from the lawyer Cuoghi had been the trigger for Ferrari's stance, but the discontent 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, invited not to come back to the company following accusations deemed disrespectful towards the engineer Ferrari and pronounced in a local public, in the presence of Mr. Luigi Chinetti, general manager for the United States of America of Automobili Ferrari. The latter, except for those who are taken over by Ferrari, will found ATS in Bologna. Before, however, on April 22, 1962, still unemployed, Tavoni stopped at the Casinalbo bar with some friends, when Ferrari passed by, in the car, with Peppino at his side. The Modenese builder stops and gestures to approach Tavoni, before staring him in the eye and saying:


"Ca t’gnis un cancar, Tavoni".

Some time later, the same sporting director will admit:


“Due to the letter to Ferrari we found ourselves home within half an hour, but we all needed to work and we hoped to continue doing it in our field. While Della Casa and Giberti were taken over 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 financier in Jaime Ortiz Patino, whose family was among the most important in the production of tin, but a third financier was missing".


That same evening, Enzo Ferrari called engineer Mauro Forghieri, son of Reclus Forghieri, one of the trusted men of the Modenese manufacturer, to his office. Reclus, an excellent technician in the use of machine tools, worked at Ferrari and had also been part of the small team that shortly before the war had built part of the engine of the Alfa Romeo 158 from the Grand Prix, in the Scuderia Ferrari workshop in Modena. in via Trento 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 headed by Carlo Chiti, where he would be responsible for chassis, suspensions and gear ratios in relation to the various circuits. Forghieri also enters the Technical Office under Chiti, but with the task of performing calculations on the engines. The young engineer works mainly with Rocchi and Bellei. But since he also takes care of the engines in the test room, together with the head of department Taddei, he is also close to Cavalier Luigi Bazzi, with whom he shares the desk in a triangular office, which often also 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 then closed quickly, which concerned the recovery of energy by means of an exhaust turbine. A modest recovery, of 15 horsepower out of the initial 180. The project, however, 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 (aboard a company car, a Fiat 1100) to the 1960 Monaco Grand Prix, to the 1961 edition, then to the French Grand Prix and the tragic Grand Prix of Italy in 1961, without having a specific role. The first year and a half in the Technical Office is not at all easy for both Forghieri and Dallara. In fact, at the end of the first year of experience in Maranello, Dallara decides to accept the Maserati offer, while Forghieri repeatedly contemplates submitting his resignation. This is for two reasons: the relationship with Chiti, with which the young engineers cannot dialogue peacefully, presenting their ideas, both for the salary, of only 60.000 lire a month. But the father Reclus invites his son not to resign to Ferrari. But then, following the imminent dismissal of engineer Carlo Chiti and Giotto Bizzarrini, Forghieri - as mentioned - on Tuesday 31 October 1961 was called to the office by Ferrari.


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


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


"Fa el tò mester, to rest agh you think of me".


("You just have to do your job, you have to be a technician. Do your job and I'll take care of the rest")


Forghieri, also chosen following the advice of Bazzi, Taddei and Jano, thus takes command 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 its office it frequently updates numerous dossiers containing 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 with which, by pressing the red button, Ferrari is able to listen to any phone call made in the company. Compared to any 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 it to listen to internal conversations after selecting the number in question. It is no coincidence that Valerio Stradi, one day, found himself faced with a particular situation. The secretary of Ferrari, when he was not yet holding this important role, had two bottles of ink with him, with which he recorded the wages of the employees (green) and that of the workers (blue). One day, Stradi is called by Mari, a warehouse employee, who asks him if he can borrow green ink.


"Sure Mari, go ahead and get it. Keep in mind, however, that his name is Peter".


According to the local saying: Peter goes back. Stradi doesn't have time to hang up the receiver, when the phone rings again. On the other hand, Ferrari responds, inviting 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 the latter is about to leave, the Modenese manufacturer exclaims:


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


Valerio Stradi, still very young, turns red in the face and replies:


"Pietro, Signor Commendatore".


Ferrari laughs heartily, appreciating the courage of the young and enterprising boy. This shows how Enzo Ferrari was more astute and shrewd than all of his former directors; that their hatred for his wife, Ferrari used it to get rid not of her, but of them, now too cumbersome. 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 had begun to use the title of engineer that had been attributed to him. The dismissal in the trunk and above all en masse of the general staff of Ferrari causes a pandemonium, pushed by journalists. Even those who are at home in Maranello are caught off guard by this amazing and in many ways incomprehensible move. But there are also those who, knowing Ferrari, declare not without reason that the eight, leaving, will give him ten years of life. Gino Rancati, journalist and friend of Enzo Ferrari will say: the more angry he gets, the more he becomes young again.


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