Ferrari at Misano 2002
Ferrari celebrated another outstanding year in motor sport last weekend with its traditional end-of-season event, “Tutte le Ferrari a Misano” (All the Ferraris at Misano). Parent company FIAT might be facing a financial crisis but, with its fourth consecutive F1 Constructors’ World Championship win, Ferrari is riding on top of the world. Even when it came to the weather, it seemed that nothing could go wrong for the prancing horse - the Misano circuit was bathed in warm October sunshine as Ferraris from all eras were raced or demonstrated on track.
One of the older cars was the 1952 F1 Ferrari of Alexander Boswell, which came to Misano straight from its restoration by GTO Engineering. Despite being pristine and untested, Boswell treated spectators to one of the most exciting battles of the weekend, with the car coming through to win its maiden post-restoration race against stiff opposition from a Maserati 250F, among others. Meanwhile, among the newest cars was Paul Osborn’s 2000 Schumacher Ferrari F1, which he brought from England for a demonstration run at Misano, only to discover that the team had left the car’s £50,000 steering wheel at home… oops. So he borrowed another one from Ferrari. Now how many places in the world could you do that?
Michael Schumacher made a superstar’s entry on the Sunday, arriving on the pit straight by helicopter, where he was greeted by an army of F1 team members. While the cognoscenti were more interested in the cars than the celebrities, Schumi certainly brought the public flooding in.
For the competitors in the Shell Historic Ferrari Maserati Challenge, one of the highlights of the event came on the Tuesday before the race weekend, when they were treated to a day at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track. Here they were given the news that Ferrari has plans for a Classic Centre to support Historic cars and – more controversially - will be introducing a certification scheme to ensure the genuine eligibility of competing cars.
Predictably, reactions were mixed.
Story and photos; Charis Whitcombe