Gianni courting Enzo

13 October 2022

In 1963, Ford was keen to partner with Ferrari and provide much-needed funding. However, their demands regarding control were unacceptable to Enzo. He would abdicate control over the road cars but not his beloved racing division. Enzo walked away, Ford declared war, with Le Mans the battleground.

In 1966, John Surtees was driving for Ferrari.

In 1996, the F1 rules were changed again (not dissimilar to today), and 3-litre engines were the new requirement. At the time, Ferrari did not have the resources to build a purposed designed engine, so they utilised a ‘sleeved-down’ engine that was both extremely heavy and very underpowered.

Understandably, Surtees was livid.

At the time, Fiat was courting Ferrari. Gianni Agnelli’s (the charismatic head of Fiat) nephew, Ludovic Scarfiotti, was given the position of first driver at Le Mans. Placing Surtees as the second driver was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

He screamed at Enzo, ‘do you want to win this race or not?’ Surtees stormed out, never to drive for Ferrari again.

Fiat invested in Ferrari in 1969. Enzo retained control over his racing team and a 50% holding in the new venture, with his shareholding transferring to Fiat upon his death.

Oh? the results for Le Mans, Scarfiotti crashed during the night, and Ford took first second and third place.