Sunday June 17th, 2001
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo claims Ferrari is still very much an Italian team, saying 90% of the staff is from Italy.
Present in a Bologna book shop for the launch of his new book, "The great Ferrari wins - From Lauda to Schumacher", di Montezemolo said: "I think that Jean Todt is the most Italian of all, because he is so tense before the start of a race! Joking apart, of the 600 people who work at Ferrari, 550 are Italian. Of the key personnel, the president is from Bologna, the heads of the engine and electronic departments are Italian. Ferrari is 90% Italian."
Di Montezemolo also reflected on Ralf Schumacher's win in Canada, telling reporters how much Michael's brother has matured over the past few years in F1, but swiftly adding: "However, I am happy to have our Schumacher!"
"After Brazil, Montoya was feted as a mix of Senna, Nuvolari, Lauda, Mansell and Prost, but then it became clear that Ralf is usually quicker than him," di Montezemolo said. "Now, Ralf has won in Canada thanks to the fact that his tyre situation was much better, and everyone says he is the best. That suits us. The important thing is that if people talk about the antidote to Ferrari or to Schumacher then it means we are still the strongest."
Asked what has been the best moment of his presidency, di Montezemolo answered immediately: "It was the victory in Suzuka. I have a photo of Todt, Schumacher and Barrichello celebrating in red wigs, two weeks later in Sepang and it sums up the sense of release after so many years of chasing the prize. We went hungry for so long that now we appreciate the feast even more."