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Video: Behind the scenes in Ferrari’s “canteen”
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Posted By: James Allen  |  16 Jun 2011   |  11:41 am GMT  |  62 comments

I posted recently about the visual symbolism at work at the Montana Restaurant, next to Ferrari’s Fiorano test track, with Fernando Alonso’s presence increasingly clear.

Here is the video I shot there on the night, which gives a better idea.

In that post I forgot to mention that on that two day visit, organised by Shell to highlight their technical partnership with Ferrari, which traces its origins back to the very beginning of the Scuderia, we also visited the race bays in the F1 factory, where the cars are prepared. On the walls there are a number of large photos of past Ferrari glories. Interestingly there are plenty of images of Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari’s last world champion, celebrating victories as well as several Felipe Massa successes. In quite a few of the photos Alonso is there too, in McLaren overalls!!

Anyway, take a look at this video which gives an insight into the amazing atmosphere of Ferrari’s ‘canteen’. If you are ever in the area, I can highly recommend a meal at Montana; the food is exceptional and, as you can see from the video, it’s a unique venue.

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62 Comments
  1. Alchemy says:

    James, as usual this is an excellent blog content and you really do set the standard for other professional/journalist bloggers. Your analysis is excellent and unbiased without diluting the passion for the sport. Full compliments!

  2. clutch says:

    Thanks for the video James!

    Would love to hear some anecdotes from you on what the Montana owners/staff have to say about Alonso. He’s quite a private person, and seems to be misunderstood often.

    Would love to see more videos of Ferrari “Behind the Scenes”

  3. Jason says:

    Not a bad video, was surprised you had a website james. i didnt know. I have since bookmarked it. :) (i learnt of this site from your twitter).

  4. noahracer says:

    That’s very cool. Is it a difficult series of trains from there to London for next year’s trip with a teenager?

  5. Toby says:

    Thank you, Mr. Allen, for the video. I was fortunate to have dinner at Montana a few weeks and found the food exceptional and the overall experience even better. Notwithstanding the reality of the standings, I get the feeling that Ferrari and Alonso are made for each other as the two seem to drive each other. Some drivers are made for certain teams, I guess. Alonso proved his mettle against Schumacher when Schumacher was in a Ferrari, so the respect was always there. His dedication, work ethic, and dogged determination to win the championship seen up close has endeared him to Maranello. I think it’s special and look forward to seeing what the future holds for that union.

  6. Edward Valentine says:

    James,

    Who do you think, in terms of all round game and not just current form, is the best driver in F1 on the grid?
    Looking at this video I am reminded that it is still probably Alonso. And as we all of course know he’d have won last year’s title had it not been for a poorly timed tyre stop.

    1. Steven says:

      Or a spin at Spa, or a blown engine in Malaysia, or the jump start in China. People need to stop thinking that Alonso lost the WDC in the last race, mistakes were made all through the season, by the team and himsef. He would have never had a chance at the last GP if it wasnt for Felipe being told to move over in Germany…

      1. Edward Valentine says:

        Despite those mistakes he was still in with a great chance of winning the title at the last race. That has to be the sign of a great competitor.
        The final race was what the title boiled down to in the end. Had Vettel not got that podium in Spain when he had the break problems then Abu Dhabi wouldn’t have made a difference. Don’t get me wrong I’m no fan of Alonso but I do think he is the best of the current crop.

      2. azac21 says:

        ???
        So all the mistakes and misfortunes cost him less points than the +7 point advantage that he gained in Germany?

        He clearly demonstrated last year that he has the driving ability and mental strength to overcome any points handicap. The +7 from Germany was won on that basis.

  7. Michael S says:

    Boy… no sign of Massa anywhere in there…. I even saw a Kimi helmut, but no Massa stuff. Kind of surprised how much Alonso stuff is there as he is yet to win a title for them, and Ferrari is not about winning some races…. They are about TITLES!

    1. Jo Torrent says:

      The video was only 2mns. James didn’t put every photo in it.

  8. azac21 says:

    Do they take bookings :)

    1. James Allen says:

      I’m sure they do. Anyone can eat there

  9. Søren Kühle says:

    So James
    How was the food there?

    1. Mike B says:

      It has to be worth a trip!

  10. Michael Grievson says:

    Excellent. Is that Luca in that little room I see?

    1. mark says:

      yeah, it looked like him… i wonder if he spits little bits of food while he is shouting at stephano domenicali

  11. Andy Carr says:

    Very nice little video James, very insightful.

    Will you be doing an article on Ferrari’s new $480 Million, 3 Year Mega Deal with Marlboro? Just what exactly do they get for their money? And wasn’t tobacco sponsorship banned about 5-6 years ago? Does this ban not apply to Ferrari, or is there a loop hole that allows them to be the title sponsor as no “logo” is being displayed?

    Many Thanks

    1. Steven says:

      If you think about it, there is no Marlboro adds on the Ferrai. But everyone associates Ferrari with Marlboro.

      1. Andy Carr says:

        That might be true for presumably seasoned fans like yourself and I, but for newer viewers to the sport, I don’t think they would have that same history association between Ferrari and Marlboro, *especially* now that Ferrari don’t have that non-Marlboro inspired(so they say) barcode logo on their car.

    2. Jo Torrent says:

      The ban is about Tobacco ads on the cars. As long as no tobacco brand is on the car livery, it’s ok. Afterall, If Mr Morris is happy to pay that much to have his name on Ferrari press release which only journalists read, who cares ?

      By the way, why Alcohol ads are allowed. It’s as harmful as cigarettes and even more when used by Adrian Sutil.

      1. Brace says:

        You could even argue that alcohol is much more responsible for domestic violence and for traffic fatalities then smoking!
        Problem with smoking is that it really is not healthy, but people who drink as much as an average smoker smokes, aren’t getting any healthier either.

      2. brendan says:

        spot on, a smoker only harms himself, where as alcohol can harm others, in terms of drink driving etc.

        so its seems a stupid rule for me.

        by the way i drink, i dont smoke. so there is no bias there

  12. Roberto says:

    There was an article in F1 Racing magazine some years ago (around 2002 or 2004) which had spectacular pictures of the place, were you can see and feel the warmth inside the place, that special Ferrari “mantra”, specially focussed at that time in Schumacher. Thanks for the video James, definetelly should be worth to pay a visit when i got to Italy some time. Regards

  13. irish con says:

    i see adrian newey on the official f1 website saying that one engine in particular has a been advantage over the others. i assume he is meaning mercedes but i have always thought the ferrari engine is as good as it. i remember in 08 mark hughes saying the reason that ferrari’s were 4 mphs faster down the straights in valencia was because there v8 had more power that the merc v8 in the mclaren. how could that have changed so much in an engine freeze then. think is this newey trying to make it out to be worse for his team so renault can get more power from there v8. also the ferrari engine people said to james i think that there engines retain there power better than everybody else after its been used so i think this is newey playing games.

    1. Glenn says:

      I think you read Adrians engine comment incorrectly mate.
      He said “… today with the frozen engine regulations it is very difficult for one engine manufacturer to have a big advantage over the others”.

      1. Mike B says:

        I think its taken for granted that the merc and the Ferrari have a few more horses however the Renault uses less fuel

  14. John Shaw says:

    When Ross Brawn worked at Ferrari he put on a load of weight. Presumably it was their pasta that was responsible then!

  15. DinoF says:

    Absolutely great and insightful look into the Ferrari DNA and possibly what’s missing now??

  16. Matt says:

    Kimi’s only the second driver in the last 30+ years to deliver a drivers championship to Ferrari, I’d not have thought it was that interesting he’s included in their memorabilia.

    1. Mark V says:

      Exactly. The close-knit Latin familia atmosphere at Ferrari notwithstanding, bottom line they are about racing and Kimi is still one of the best, and the guys who actually worked on the race cars and knew what they were capable of would respect that more than anyone else around there. Kimi is considered an introvert even in Finland which is a land of introverts so he gets a bum rap from the extrovert-dominated world that are usually baffled if not outright offended by introversion.

  17. Peter says:

    Spaghetti with oil, chilli and garlic? So that is what put the fire in his belly!

    Anything of the ’99 almost-man Eddie Irvine in there?

      1. Chris-W says:

        That’s a bit harsh.

    1. Ross says:

      From what I gather Eddie is still very much part of the the Ferrari family. I am sure I heard him talk about having dinner with Luca Montezemolo on a regular basis on the radio.

      It may have even been on the radio show James did with him.

  18. Dave says:

    Looks like a scene from Goodfellas :)

  19. alex says:

    James, do you know Roberta Vallorosi personally? Could you tell something about her? :)

      1. Jo Torrent says:

        you mean she’s Italian !

  20. Bru72 says:

    Nice one James,
    now I’m hungry for the next race and some aglio, olio, con peperoncino (garlic, oil and chilli)

  21. Bayan says:

    James, I’m am very jealous. I told my wife that going to Maranello (and Montana) would be a great Fathers day gift but I won’t hold my breath (as we live in LA). Anyone F1 fan would love to be there. Great video and again, you certainly make the wait between races more exciting with your articles.

    Thanks James!!

  22. Malcolm says:

    Really nice James!

  23. Don Farrell says:

    Fantastic video clip James – I’m sitting here in a cold, wet and wind swept June ‘summers’ evening in Cork, Ireland dreaming of visiting Maranello and finishing the day with a fine meal in Montana’s afterwards! One of these years! cheers!

    1. Peter C says:

      How about a D-I-Y from the English Market?

      1. Don Farrell says:

        Yup I guess that will be as good as it gets this summer! lol

  24. Jules says:

    Where do I find the last article on this, it was very good. I want to share it with my Alonso fan friend..she will love it ( and this one too of course! The last one really showed the older couples love for Schummy and Alonso especially..

  25. Sufyaan Patel says:

    Thanks so much for that video James! Looks fantastic… and makes me want to visit Fiorano that much more now. Also reminds me of Jeremy Clarkson’s Italian Job feature, he visited the museum in Fiorano which looked absolutely amazing! Have you been there? I’m guessing you have.

    Oh and yey to the team still having pictures of Kimi up. Really miss him. What are the chances of him coming back? Must be slim now I guess, he seems really committed to rallying.

    Finally, loved it that you pointed out Martin Brundles helmet still on the wall :)

    1. Ross says:

      Are the helmets just random F1 drivers or is there a Ferrari connection. I know MB tested one of Schumachers Ferrari’s for a ITV a few years back but I could not get the Roberto Moreno connection.

  26. Andrew J says:

    Did anyone notice that picture of Alonso with the Chef looked completely fake? Bad Photoshop!

    Why would he be wearing his racing suit in the kitchens of the restaurant? haha

    1. Alex says:

      Maybe he dropped in for lunch during a “filming day” at Fiorano.

  27. Eric says:

    Went to Italy last week (I’m from the USA). Visited Rome, Florence, Venice, and Maranello, for a short day trip. Had an interesting time driving, and my passengers had an especially interesting time navigating! But, all was worth it when we arrived. We went through the museum of course, and walked around the grounds a bit. It was my goal to visit the Montana, and we even started walking there.

    Unfortunately, however, we were pressed for time, and were having trouble finding the place. We even asked a couple Italians washing a car where it was, but they apparently didn’t know, or decided to have a bit of fun with us, as they said we were going the wrong direction. So, we went back the other way and dined at a cafe. On the way back to Venice, we proceeded to drive down the same road we had been walking along, and discovered that the Montana was a mere 50 yards from where we stopped and turned back! Oh well, next time…

  28. Jo Torrent says:

    Enzo Ferrari and Montana
    *********************

    Enzo didn’t go to races and watched races in the restaurant. He has a special room for him with a TV set.

    He stayed there alone with his lunch and watched his cars perform.

  29. Janis says:

    Most excellent blog, James.
    For me it’s routine now: autosport.com for breaking news and your blog for real inside F1 enjoyment.
    Thanks!

  30. Cool video James, thanks.

    I love it that you put some content that is not just racing and politics.

    You must have had a terrific weekend in Fiorano. Good on you mate.

  31. adam h says:

    James, they can put up all the pictures of alonso they want, we all know it was Schumacher who brought them to the top! and that fernando can never do! (otherwise he should have done it with the return to Renault!)

  32. Dan says:

    Felipe, Fernando more pasta than you, can you confirm you understood that.

    1. Felipe says:

      Yes, I’m more into the antipasta to keep my weight down to help me overtake that guy.

    2. Brace says:

      Hahahaha! XD

      Of “Felipe, Fernando needs more pasta then you, can you confirm you will leave him repeats.” :)

  33. Ri says:

    Perhaps what we need more are changes in the rules of F1 racing. For example, doesn’t anyone think the time given to change tires is too short? The post here traces the successes in F1 in partnerships with big names, but it still can be made better.

    –Ri of http://www.changerules.net

  34. Tim. says:

    Thanks James

  35. Tim. says:

    The new team pages are wonderful….and of course the Ferrari is the best :)

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