Written by Staff Writer
February 26, 1971 – Primo Ferrari responds to the news that his father, Enzo, had died in a car crash
“He was an enormous boss,” he says. “I love my father so much because of what he tried to do for racing. He had real dreams of starting the world championship.
“I must have been nine at the time, but I remember when he came to the hospital and they said: ‘Hey big man, we lost Enzo Ferrari’ — and he just broke down. I saw that for the first time, seeing my dad in that state. He was really a special person.”
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Just 16, he had little choice but to stand and sing his father’s praises during a sombre press conference in the garage hours after the news broke.
Four decades later, Ferraris would kick off the 25th F1 season with a fashion-forward four-piece catwalk show of sensational racing cars.
The Italian company is set to celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2019, and to pay tribute, founder Enzo will take centre stage at their Monte Carlo factory.
The Enzo himself will pose as Formula One’s reigning champion — still completing laps behind the wheel of one of the brand’s legendary four-seat road cars (pictured).
In the meantime, back at F1’s spiritual home, Liberty Media is making some big changes.
In an interview with CNN, Formula One Managing Director Sean Bratches confirmed the series will be reduced to three-day races, with evening races in Monaco and Belgium. The traditional three-day track races have long been rivalled by races around the calendar, typically taking place the weekend before a stop in Monaco.
“(F1’s promoters) Bernie Ecclestone wanted to stop in London, Berlin, Madrid or Berlin in November, and the promoters in those markets wanted a two-day race,” Bratches said.
“When it became obvious they didn’t want to do that and we tried to figure out how to get that fixed, Liberty offered us a three-day race in Monaco and a two-day race in Belgium. But instead of going with just the two-day race in Monaco, we’re going to have the evening race in Monaco, and the evening race in Belgium, so it’s going to come into play a little bit earlier.”
In 2019, Formula One’s season-long window for a Grand Prix will be reduced from 18 to 16 rounds, with just nine weekends of racing in Italy, Germany, France, England, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Hungary and Japan.
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Other changes include more on-track design to accommodate innovative new cars on the F1 grid, like this year’s car that should render overtaking almost impossible.
“It just makes the sport better for spectators, and so I think we’re going to be able to push the envelope a little bit more,” Bratches said.