Ferrari has an enviable position in several areas, not the least being Formula One racing under the moniker, Scuderia Ferrari. It’s been said that Ferrari makes road-going sports cars so they can finance their F1 racing efforts. It’s a princely sum; in 2016, close to 386 million euros [$460 million USD] was spent on their factory team. Their fans, aka Tifosi, are beyond passionate regarding team Ferrari. I’ll leave it to you to think of superlatives beyond “fiercely loyal and passionate.”
Earlier this year at the Spanish Gran Prix, Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen crashed at the first turn of the race. A 6-year old French boy, Thomas Danel, burst into tears upon learning his hero was out of the GP. His parents were beside themselves. I’ll let author, Formula One reporter and devotee, James Allen take it from there. Click here for his story.
If you read Allen’s story, then you’ll understand the arc of my post. Being warm and fuzzy is not one of Ferrari’s key attributes, racing or otherwise. Perhaps it’s an effort to make F1 racing more empathetic to emerging Tifosi, young and old alike. Maybe there’s a contagion involved, as demonstrated by tire manufacturer, Pirelli, at the end of the Challenge races.
The photographs posted here are from the Ferrari Challenge races held at Lime Rock in Connecticut. Pirelli is the exclusive supplier of racing tires for the Challenge series. Not many know that after one race, those tires are done. This could be interactive marketing in a most basic way, but Pirelli offers to the fans these “one-and-done” racing slicks, which means they don’t have to lug as many back to the factory graveyard. I wonder how fans packed these large souvenirs home?
Yes, the younger fans have ideas on what to do with them; in most cases—and not surprisingly so—mom & dad have the final say.
I did catch a few choice conversations, mostly between a youngster and a parent. “This is gonna look great in my room! It’ll be next to my bed!” After listening to similar expository ramblings, the most common response was a resounding, “No you’re not!”
I’d like to think that there’s a sense of reciprocity in play, other than Pirelli making all sorts of impressions to influence consumer behavior. For example, the size of these racing “sneakers” make for a fantastic foot rest, his and hers no less.