Arguably the second most well-known small town in Italy after the Vatican, Maranello has been home to Ferrari since 1944. Károly Méhes caught up with the Mayor of Maranello, Luigi Zironi, to talk about the importance of the Scuderia to his small town.
“We enjoy a unique connection. We have this historic and famous factory in Maranello. Ferrari is everywhere, because the factory is becoming bigger and bigger. Of course, this relation not only physical it is a mutual feeling which exists among as. When people of Maranello speak about Ferrari they say „We…,”as if they were part of the organization, though, not everybody works there. No question, Maranello is very proud to have Ferrari but is it also a responsibility.”
Is there any competition between Enzo Ferrari’s birthplace in neighbouring Modena and Maranello?
“If we are serious about being leaders of both motorsport and car building, both cities must act as a team and not compete with each other. This is also a unique alliance which gives us chance to fight today’s environmental challenges and move away from petrol engines in favour of electric. It must be a mutual goal, even if Italians are always very much connected to their own cities.”
As I understand, almost every family in Maranello has a member who works for Ferrari. Do other companies based in the town live in the shadow of Ferrari?
“Maranello was a small farming community when Ferrari came here in 1944. Enzo Ferrari made something very important: he built a school. This is the moment when Maranello as we know it now, was born. The farmers became workers and technicians, and they helped start the legend. It also gave locals more opportunities. The Ferrari factory employs 4500 workers, but there are many other automotive companies which supplying Ferrari with components, both for road cars and for the Formula 1 team. These factories are small, normally only employing 100-200 workers. Apart from this, Maranello and the surrounding region is also known as the Distretto Ceramico, where many factories produce some of the best ceramics in the world. We are very lucky to have all these business opportunities. We are in the pole position of Italian industry!”
Ferrari is regularly visited by famous personalities such as kings, princes, actors, artists and athletes. Do you get the chance to meet any of them?
“We have a good connection with the directors of Ferrari. First, I must tell you that Ferrari was extremely active during the pandemic, and they were extraordinary helpful towards the safety and health of the residents in Maranello. This improved our relationship a lot. When the VIPs come to the factory, we always respect secrecy to avoid problems with the public or traffic. The privacy of its customer is very important for Ferrari and we do not share any information with others.”
How is the mood in Maranello when Scuderia Ferrari is not doing well, compared to when they are fighting for the title, like this season?
“We used to say it is not boring for us if Ferrari wins every race! After the legendary Schumacher era we wait for that again. I remember we were not bored at all! We have our fingers crossed that it will be repeated! We usually have many visitors, but one can sense when Ferrari wins the number of fans visiting Maranello does increase. Of course, here is where the myth was born. They usually are surprised how little is Maranello. And of course, beside cars we offer fantastic landscapes, produce and cuisine”.