What do you do?
I develop Ferrari road cars from the prototype stage until the final model goes into production, and then I follow their evolution. Usually, I spend an average of five to six hours in a car each day, both on the road and the track, then de-brief my team of test drivers and car engineers. The thing I love most is collaborating with the designers and the engineers to develop new cars. Being part of the team overseeing new cars as they are brought to life is so exciting and rewarding. The highlight of my job so far has been developing the electro-hydraulically actuated gearbox, now fitted to all F1 cars and most of our road cars.
How did you get the job?
I joined Ferrari in 1971. I was working as a mechanic in a workshop in Modena and sent the company my CV. I got a call almost immediately, and was offered a job as a mechanic. Shortly after that, I started driving the cars – I was carrying out durability tests for the research and development department – and finally became chief test driver. I had the chance to test-drive Ferrari Formula 1 cars in the late '80s and early '90s.
Does reality match the dream?
Yes, and better. But I wouldn't have dreamed of going so far. I just took one step at a time. For somebody born in Modena, working for Ferrari was a dream come true.