The heart of Ferrari, as we imagine it, beats red, of course. Sometimes lighter, sometimes darker, but always red. Well, probably the colour needs to be corrected by a few shades. At least when we are dealing with the place where, a quarter of a century ago, one of the greatest, most beautiful and most honest love affairs ever to have existed in Formula 1 began. The heart of Ferrari, as Michael Schumacher came to know it as a newcomer to the Scuderia for the 1996 season, is grey. More precisely: asphalt grey.
The record-breaking career in red begins in Fiorano, Ferrari’s private race track, very close to the Maranello factory. Here, the famous Gestione Sportiva, the brand’s sports department, can test racing cars to their heart’s content. And this is how the job is to be understood, which the then already two-time F1 world champion must first take on after his sensational change from the radiant Benetton racing team to the stumbling traditional team: he not only has to test the car, he also has to permanently put everything else to the test at the behest of team boss Jean Todt, who had moved to Italy a year earlier – the team, the tools, the strategy.