The magic of Fiorano - What makes Ferrari's test track so special - Henry’s memories

We try to pin down why we love Fiorano just so much

Henry’s memories

I've never actually driven round Fiorano, but I have fond memories of it nonetheless.

When I was 21 I went to Maranello with my father as part of a holiday in Italy. Not being customers, we didn't have any special access, but it was wonderful just being at the home of Ferrari, seeing all the landmarks and catching sight of prototypes casually driving round the streets.

I remember being on the other side of town when we heard the F1 car start testing. It was so loud that it sounded like the V10 was right in amongst the houses. We hot-footed it across to the circuit and although we obviously couldn't get in, there are a couple of places where you can get quite close and watch through the fence. Just off Via Gilles Villeneuve, is Via Marsala and down the end, next to a block of flats, you can get a view of the big hairpin.

There was just a chain link fence there at the time, so it was easy to see what was going on. I think they've tried to tighten security now, but it's still possible to watch and there is a little piece of wall that you can stand on to peer over the top. I spent hours there, avidly watching, taking terrible photos, noting the vast difference in speeds and braking distances between the standard road cars, the competition cars and the F1 car. Happy times.

Henry Catchpole

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