Montezemelo's Revenge


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Launch day was always a tense occasion at Maranello - one of the times Luca always got tense...

LdM: OK, why does it look ugly... again?
SD: Admit it, looks better than the others.
LdM: That's true, I suppose. So let's run through the priorities:
LdM: Be slightly less ugly, covered. Be fast.
SD: I certainly hope so.
LdM: OK, we'll I don't want to be overconfident again. Avoiding PR disasters...
SD: Absolutely fi-
KR: I'm not doing ad for Shell and I'm not doing one for that bank shit.
SD: Needs work, sir.


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Luca and Stefano were marching down corridors in Maranello that did not, as it were, exist. They walked past some of the shadier areas of Ferrari's operation.

Labels on doors gave idea to the nature of the work here - "Berlusconi policy generator - discontinued", "Red Bull fuel sensor department", "Woking dossier distribution", "de la Rosa, P." and "Ice-cream flavour lab" showed some of the depths to which the elevator had sunk.

SD: I never thought we'd have to use this room again.
LdM: Well, whose fault is that?
SD: Well, I was thinking Pat Fry.
LdM: Indeed. I bet you were.

Onwards they continued to march. Down past old projects - "Rubens Inhibitor" - and even older failures - "Alesi Luck Generator" ("We thought it kicked in that time in Canada"). They came to a final room, marked "Schlesser".

SD: This is the way to stop Mercedes?
LdM: I'm desparate now. First Red Bull, now Lauda.
SD: Surely, it cannot come to this. Surely there is another way.
LdM: Look, just put your key in the slot. Let's authorise this...


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LdM: What the hell happened to the Schlesser machine?
SD: They said it was not correctly calibrated.
LdM: How so?
SD: Well, Agent Bianchi installed it in his car.
LdM: Did he now?
SD: Yes, did you not see what happened?
LdM: Yes, not a lot...
SD: Well, two things have changed since 1988.
LdM: What?
SD: First, the dominant team changeover has increased, so the Schlesser device took the average of the last 5 results and concluded it had to hit a Red Bull.
LdM: It didn't even -
SD: And there was no multi-team ownership.
LdM: So what you're telling me, is that the device thought Red Bull were dominant, and it couldn't tell the difference between a Red Bull and a Toro Rosso...
SD: it speared into Vergne...
LdM: So the device is a failure!
SD: I'd deploy it later in the season, sir. Let's face it, it took out one car and they found fragments of the one we used today in Ricciardo's wheel gun...


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Domenicali interrupted Ferrari's counsellor in his room at Maranello.

SD: What the hell do you think you're doing?
C: Why, hello, Stefano, do you have anxiety issues I can deal with?
SD: No, I have anxiety issues you have bloody caused.
C: Excuse me?
SD: You are part of Ferrari, not some jackass in the street...
C: What is the problem?
SD: You told Montezemelo that there was nothing to be superstitious about when actually going to races.
C: Well, there isn't.
SD: There bloody well is. It was a disaster. Did you hear what happened?
C: No.
SD: Well, the Bahraini government are good at cover-ups. I don't want to see him on Sundays again, you hear?
C: But that's not my-
SD: Your job is to get Ferrari winning. If you don't listen, I'll find a new counsellor. To council,
then replace you. OK?

The counsellor wondered since when Domenicali was that angry; Montezemelo's appearance in Bahrain must have been a disaster. He walked to his drinks cabinet and opened the door. A voice came from behind him:

KR: Sorry, I thought it was free vodka.
C: Do you actually need counselling?


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Marco Mattiacci walked into the Ferrari Induction Room.

LdM: Forza Ferrari, Marco!
MM: Go Ferrari Reds, sir!
LdM: That is not the usual Ferrari greeting?
MM: No, sir, but I am from the US division, sir.
LdM: OK, whatever. Just so long as you don't paint the cars blue and white...
MM: No, sir, not at all, sir.
LdM: So, you have to improve the results of Scuderia Ferrari.
MM: Yes, sir, that's my job, sir.
LdM: Any ideas?
MM: Many, sir, so long as I have a great team, fantastic designers and engineers and committed drivers.
LdM: And we brought one of our committed drivers along to meet you...
MM: Hey, dude, you ready to sweat buckets to get us to the top?
KR: If the car is shit, we won't get to the top.
MM: Well that is just - great.

Marco was worried. Did he have what he was promised? Out of the window, he saw a man in glasses walk out of the factory, taking one lingering look at the factory before walking on.

LdM: Marco, we have every confidence in you. There are other applicants we have less faith in...

The phone rang.

PA: Mr. Briatore for you sir. He sounds like he's angry, but also crying.
LdM: See, Marco. You are the best man for the job...


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MM: Gee, sir, I need to talk about my office.
LdM: What's wrong with it, Marco?
MM: There is one hell of a stench been kicked up in there.
LdM: Really?
MM: Yeah, I could do with a better room.
LdM: Marco. You gave Kimi team orders. I'll get a work experience boy to clean behind your radiator and we'll dehumidify it.
MM: Do we tolerate that?
LdM: Welcome to F1. There's shit flying around everywhere.


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The two men stood looking at the screen.


MM: Gee, boss, that ain't lookin' good.
LdM: It is operational, we just need to give it time, it will pay us back!
MM: You seem calm about this, boss.
LdM: Yes. Well, I'd rather it happened when we were 3rd, if I'm honest.
MM: 10% isn't good enough, it hardly did anything...
Saturday 24th May 2014. Nico Rosberg rounds Casino Square when his steering wheel juts quickly to the right. He corrects the swing but his car is now to unstable to take Mirabeau. He turns down the escape road, and sees the error "SCH5" appear on his screen. "Michael?", he says, but he could not be further from the truth.
Sunday 25th May 2014. He hated this time of year, with all the roads shut. All he could do is drive his moped around at high speeds around the grounds of the casino. He saw some kind of light in the distance, and kicked up some dirt into the air as he weaved off into the parkland. He couldn't hear the sound of "Frickin' hell, my eye" as it was contained within a helmet.


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LdM: Oh, no, no, no.


LdM: I do not believe this. Our top secret device...
MM: Gee, boss, it is incredible Ferrari engineering to get that to work.
LdM: We need the car to work as well though!
MM: Boss, I think we need to up the device's tolerance.
LdM: We can't let Bernie know it exists. We just can't.
MM: Sorry, boss, I'll tell the guys what we need to do.
LdM: Well, I think it's motivation time.
MM: Excuse me, boss.
LdM: Confiscate all ice-cream. No more spinning on straights!


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Luca left the Schlesser device room and passed various successful (Indianapolis Michelin Detonator), unsuccessful (Irvine Mouth-Brain Connector) and downright dangerous (Top Team Spring Magnet) top secret projects.

The bookcase swung open, to the sound of a flat "Ow. I was only looking for porn" from an employee not to be identified, but with a noticeable Finnish lilt.

Off Luca walked to the least secret room in the whole place. "Departure Threatening Room" said its nameplate.

Maybe this time he'd go to Le Mans...


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Luca clicked on his computer to his clock off machine reports. It turned out every employee of Ferrari had clocked off sick at 14:20.

LdM: This is not acceptable. There is no way we should suffer this indignity. We are getting beaten by... everyone.
With such tactics, what driver would possibly want to drive for us?

The phone rang

LH: Holy frick, the tactics here are terrible. I need help.
LdM: And you decided to call us? And how did you get this number?
LH: Hold on, who the frick is this? Niki told me this was Christian Horner!? It's 'cos I'm black, innit?
LdM: This is Ferrari.
LH: Well, at least both of your frickin cars are screwed...

This was not the right thing for Lewis to say...


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The Ferrari high level leadership were having a meeting

LdM: So, fill me in on FRIC
MM: Right, boss, it is a front and rear interconnected suspension system which allows-
LdM: I'm not interested. What's the deal?
PF: According to the FIA, we can't run it, but maybe we can.
MM: Sorry, Pat, I don't understand.
PF: Well, they say its illegal, but it isn't, and that everyone has to agree before they run it, which they don't.
LdM: That sounds like the FIA. What are our options?
PF: We don't run it, like Mercedes and Red Bull won't, then we're definitely legal.
LdM: Sounds like a bad idea.
PF: We could not run it, be charged by the stewards and disqualified, then appeal while simultaneously reminding Todt and Ecclestone how much Ferrari means to F1 and what a shame it'd be if we decided to off and do LMP1 instead.
LdM: That sounds like what we'd do.
MM: Gee, isn't it more sensible to not run FRIC?
LdM: Why?
MM: Well, isn't our FRIC essentially useless compared to that of the other teams?
LdM: OK...
MM: So we want FRIC banned...
LdM: I see your logic.
MM: Although if we had every part of our car that was not as good as Mercedes' banned, gee, we'd have more time for LMP1.
LdM: OK, so the options are to intimidate the FIA or be slightly less crap.
MM: Yeah, boss.

Luca went off to watch the official review of the 2004 season. Oddly enough, they'd only sold one copy outside Italy, and it had passed into Italian hands via an inheritance earlier in the year. The red had turned a little pink though...


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Luca walked into the room. Everyone went quiet.

LdM: Today is another day of humiliation.
MM: Gee, boss...
LdM: Shut up, you've not improved this... Stefano wouldn't, well, maybe would have...
MM: Well, boss, what I don't understand is...
LdM: Anything!
MM: Boss, we should cheer up!
LdM: Why is that, Marco?
MM: The young drivers' programme, boss. It seems to have worked...


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Luca was spending all day answering phone calls from team principals and other F1 personnel on the plans for his new HQ

No, Ron, I haven't every pane of glass individually. And I don't think the trees are meant to be the same size.

No, Frank, we don't need a clock tower.

No, Vijay, it isn't an airport and you can't use it as an Italian hub.

Yes, Bernie, I do like the idea of holding a Grand Prix there. How much? You can **** that right off, we've got Abu Dhabi!

No, Adrian, I'm not paying
again to implement that extremely thorough list of suggestions.

No, Lewis, it is not a 'crib'.

No, Marco, that's not your office, yours is much smaller than that.

No, Kimi, that whole section is not a drinks cabinet.


Yes, Fernando, you can do whatever you want in there as long as you sign the contract!


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The caretaker headed into the President' s suite. There was a chill about the place that he'd not seen before.

The desk was clear, the expensive combs, the stationary, and the nameplate had been removed. On the computer screen the words "Account Deleted" flashed.

The caretaker realised that the President was gone. He looked out of the window as a FIAT left, carrying a swivel chair, racing bicycle and a model F2004 on the roof rack headed for home.

There was barely a look back as Luca left, especially the price Prost had paid for that bicycle. No wonder his team went bust...

They were tears of laughter. Apparently.
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