In the interests of full disclosure it needs to be said up front that there are (currently) no petrolheads in the Time+Tide office. Hence the title. So, for the F1 enthusiasts, sorry but DC is in Switzerland, we can’t really help you. Please bear with us as we make do with a different kind of layman’s coverage of all things high octane. It will be no less interesting, mind you, just with a different (read: more food and watch focused) point of view.
For example, when we were invited to tour the pit lanes of the Scuderia Ferrari (SF) team with Hublot – a sponsor of the ICC World Cup, and the SF F1 team – our first thoughts were along the lines of, will it be very Italian? Will it be macho, will it be loud? Will there be buffalo mozzarella? We hoped so.
So please come with us as we discover the most reassuringly, life-affirmingly Italian things that happened on our access-all-areas tour. Apologies in advance for the lack of technical detail, for hardcore GP coverage maybe go here. The shortest possible recap right now is that our local talent, Daniel Ricciardo has had a rotten time, but clawed his way back to 7th on the grid, Hamilton and Rosberg are smashing it in the front row, while Vettel from Ferrari sits just behind in the second row alongside Felipe Massa from Williams. If you’re in an F1 mood and want more, read our interview with Rosberg here.
THE MOST ITALIAN THINGS YOU’LL FIND IN THE FERRARI CAMP AT A GRAND PRIX
Loud ‘80s music:
It was almost too good to be true, but as we walked into the Ferrari pits, music from some long forgotten ‘80s metal band was blazing in the pits. It seemed a fluke, then it was backed up by some early Crüe. SO GOOD. The tunes were helping a guy put some kind of heat blankets on the 11 sets of tires brought for each car/driver. The ridiculous guitar solos were helping some other guy set the temperature for said sets of tires to 95 degrees, which is how hot they need to be. Overall: Helping us feel right at home in team Ferrari.
- Lots of Hublot watches:
LOTS of Hublot watches. On the chemical laboratory technician perfecting the fuel mix. On the guy in the catering department. On the guy in marketing who made us very welcome with Scuderia Ferrari branded espresso shots…. Hublot signed with Ferrari late in 2011 for a start in 2012. Brand manager for Australia, New Zealand Joel Ruiz explains the deal: “It’s what we call a 360-degree partnership, which means that we developed a watch collection with them but we work across the different activities of Ferrari which is something new for Ferrari. From the Gran Turismo, to Scuderia, to the Ferrari Club.
“Before us the timing partners were Panerai and before that Girard-Perregaux. They developed watch collections with them that were very nice. But what we have done on top of that is working hand in hand with them across different activities.”
- Talk about Panerai:
“Yes, Panerai was a past sponsor and Panerai is a good fit with Ferrari because it is an Italian brand, it is luxury, it is very alpha male,” Ruiz admits. “But Hublot has a more similar approach to Ferrari to materials and also in our philosophy to our product. Hublot is all about the ‘art of fusion’ and about innovation. That involves the materials, but it’s really the innovative aspect of both brands. They are both very edgy, very contemporary, very avant garde in terms of design and of materials. We use ceramic, carbon fibre and titanium in our watches as well. We have also found in terms of customer behaviour that it is a very good fit as well. We find that people who buy Ferrari cars love our watches. There is this transfer of passion across the two, the car and the watch.”
- But no Hublot ‘La Ferrari’ models. Not one.
Look, they go for $355,000, so probably only Räikönnen and Vettel (the two highest paid people in Auto-Racing according to Wikipedia) could afford one in real life. “The ‘La Ferrari’ watch was developed at the same time as the ‘La Ferrari’ car. The watch is very much inspired by the shape of the car. It’s very conceptual. We will create only 50 of these, but they are already pre-sold. The Big Bang Ferrari from 2012, 2013 and 2014 are also limited editions and they feature not only the Unico movement but also the scratch resistant ‘Magic Gold’ which is a new alloy made by us. ‘Magic Gold’ took two years to deliver because it’s a new alloy between gold and ceramic. Jean-Claude Biver (Chairman of Hublot) would take this watch to dinner and take out a knife to try and scratch it. I wouldn’t do that of course. This year will be a new Big Bang Ferrari at Basel but we haven’t seen that yet.”
- Buffalo Mozzarella! Yes!
In the Ferrari canteen you will find lots of interesting things. On our day we found Kimi Räikönnen (in a corner, with a plate of gnocchi), lots of standard issue Ferrari Puma sneakers (everyone was wearing them but us) and…. Buffalo mozzarella! One of the salads was basically cheese, basil and olive oil. We loaded up on this, largely ignoring the pork kebabs and pesto crumbed fish, and revelled in its Italian-ness.