The past 2-3 days will undoubtedly be the toughest and most emotional for Ferrari. For the uninitiated, former president Sergio Marchionne passed away on Wednesday. The Italian was only 66 at the time of his passing. In the wake of the tragedy, driver Kimi Raikkonen and team principal Maurizio Arrivabene were excused FIA press conference duties in Hungary.
Raikkonen was set to join compatriot Valtteri Bottas, Carlos Sainz and Esteban Ocon in the Thursday press conference. Meanwhile Arrivabene would have been seated alongside Robert Fernley, Mario Isola and Toto Wolff the next day.
Aside from a brief tweet, Ferrari have not officially reacted to the news of Marchionne’s death. However, it was recently announced that the cars and its drivers will pay tribute to the Canadian-Italian. They performed a similar tribute when Fiat chief Gianni Agnelli passed away in 2003.
Marchionne was an enigmatic figure in Ferrari and quite a ‘rockstar’ for Italian business. In fact, he was responsible for saving Fiat and Chrysler from a financial crisis. He had even played a bold hand when he merged Fiat and Chrysler in 2014.
Coming back to Raikkonen and Arrivabene, the two know that the show must go on. So, they and Sebastian Vettel will undoubtedly be fired up to perform well to honour Marchionne’s memory.
When Marchionne’s death was announced, many F1 figures paid tribute on social media. These included Chase Carey, Jean Todt, Fernando Alonso, Valtteri Bottas and others.
Aside from Ferrari, Haas F1 and Alfa Romeo Sauber will also pay tribute to the late Italian-Canadian. As mentioned before, this will be an emotional weekend for the Prancing Horse but, with Mike Manley at the helm, things will change.
The question is, can Ferrari pull off the perfect send off for their late leader?