Ferrari (2023) | Transcript

1957: Enzo Ferrari battles a crisis, driving his team in Italy's perilous 1,000-mile Mille Miglia race, pushing limits in a quest for glory
Ferrari (2023)

Ferrari, a 2023 American biographical sports drama directed by Michael Mann and written by Troy Kennedy Martin, is adapted from Brock Yates’ 1991 biography of Enzo Ferrari. The film portrays the complex personal and professional life of Ferrari, founder of the renowned car manufacturer, during the pivotal summer of 1957. Featuring Adam Driver in the lead role, with notable performances by Penélope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, and others, the film premiered at the 80th Venice International Film Festival and was later released theatrically in the U.S. by Neon on December 25, 2023. Acclaimed by critics, it grossed $36 million worldwide and was recognized as one of the top films of 2023 by the National Board of Review.

Plot summary: During the summer of 1957, Enzo Ferrari, the famed Italian businessman, gears up his team for the Mille Miglia, a challenging thousand-mile endurance race. Amidst personal and business turmoil, Ferrari and his wife, Laura, still mourn the loss of their only son, Dino, who passed away a year earlier. Keeping his unfaithfulness from Laura, Enzo faces pressure from his mistress, Lina Lardi, to acknowledge their son, Piero, with the Ferrari surname as his confirmation approaches.

Concurrently, Ferrari’s company struggles financially, despite the innovative development of their Formula One car. The only solution appears to be a merger, but this is complicated by Laura owning half of Ferrari’s shares. To proceed with the merger, Enzo must persuade Laura to relinquish her shares to him. Discovering Enzo’s affair and the existence of Piero, a betrayed Laura demands a $500,000 check, risking the company’s solvency. Trusting Laura’s discretion, Enzo complies.

At the Mille Miglia in Brescia, Ferrari motivates his drivers to outperform their rivals. Tragically, Alfonso de Portago, a new team member, foregoes a tire change in Rome to maintain the lead, leading to a fatal crash that claims his life, his navigator’s, and nine spectators. Despite Taruffi, another of Ferrari’s drivers, winning the race, the media blames Ferrari for de Portago’s death. Laura uses the check to silence the press and signs over her shares to Enzo, on the condition that Piero not bear the Ferrari name until after her passing. Enzo agrees and later takes Piero to visit his half-brother’s grave.

* * *

* * *

[“Febbre Della Giungla” playing]

[singing in Italian]

[song ends]



[birds chirping]



[car engine rumbles]

[engine revs]

[passengers chattering]

[announcer speaking Italian on loudspeaker]

[telephone ringing]

[ringing continues]


Please inform Signor Ferrari that the Maserati driver Jean Behra has just arrived from Milan.

Hmm. Thank you.

Thank you, most excellent and gracious signora.

[telephone ringing]


Laura. It’s Chiti. Is he there?

He’s taking a shower.

Give him a message, please. Jean Behra is in town.

[line clicks]

How are you?

Signor Ferrari? Signor Ferrari!

May I present myself? I am Alfonso de Portago.

[tires squeal]

[opera member] Wow.

[people chattering in Italian]


It’s Ferrari.

Good morning, Enzo! Your friends are back.

This time, I hope in tune.

More in tune than your cars in Monaco last week.

Enzo! We have to talk.

That bad?

I will come by later.

[door opening]

[footsteps approaching]

[door opens, creaks]

[door closes]

[telephone ringing]

[Ferrari] Yes.

[Chiti] Behra is here.

The Orsi brothers collected him at the station. Did signora tell you? The word is he’s going to challenge our record.

Is the 801 ready?

After the Workers Mass at 9:00. After that.

I’ll call Castellotti. Behra’s here.

[line buzzing] Really? So many phone calls, I thought Frank Sinatra came to town.

Hotel Medici, Firenze.

What do I tell them? “Excuse me, please, my husband isn’t here. He’s out whoring. Grazie, buongiorno.”

Signor Castellotti, please.

Enzo. I don’t give a fuck who you screw or how many. But the rule is that you have to be here before the maid arrives with the morning coffee. That was the agreement, was it not?

Laura, please.

Buongiorno, signora, Commendatore.

[telephone ringing]


[Ferrari] Eugenio, my boy.


Can you be at the Modena Autodrome by 11:00? Bring your lucky gloves.

What gloves?

The gloves that will beat Behra, who’s come to steal from you our record.

I’ll be there.


[maid] Will that be all, signora? That’ll be all.

Laura, the car broke.


What’s going on in there?

Her gentleness, the signora, is trying to shoot the Commendatore.

Buongiorno, Peppino. I let him live.

That gun was given to you for your protection.

And talk to Cuoghi. You’re going broke.

I knew it would come to this. You gave her a gun, she’ll use it.

She carries the payroll for the factory around in that handbag.

I’d rearm Germany before I gave that woman a gun.

Peppino will take you and Laura to the cemetery this morning.

And don’t forget the Workers Mass unless you want to pay higher wages next year.

Don’t fight with Laura.


Good morning.

No one was hurt, so don’t make a fuss.

What? What have I said?

[bell tolling]

Morning, Commendatore.

Good morning.

[customer] Did you know who was in the car? It was Jean Behra.

Don’t panic, Matteo. If they take the record, we shall take it back. How did our football team do yesterday?

You know damn well. We lost.

Oh, one long catalog of disaster it’s been. How long since you took over?

What about Le Mans? Jaguar one, two and three. What’s that?

Well, from my mistakes I learn, whereas the mistakes you make you repeat, week after week. When you play Bologna, I hope you win. Otherwise I have to relocate the factory so the drivers are not dispirited by living in a city whose football team dwells in the perpetual twilight of failure.

The Modena Football Club is the pride of Emilia.

[all scoff, laugh]

Cuoghi wants to meet. That means bad news. [sighs] Now, your mother missed on purpose. One day she won’t, and then I’ll be in here with you. [exhales] I’m hearing voices in my sleep again. My brother. And my father. No, I see their faces too. But also now, Campari and Borzacchini, my two good friends who died on the same day 24 years ago this week at Monza on that evil afternoon. … Ghosts. … There was a time I loved your mother… beyond reason. Well, she was a different creature then. But so was I. And I see you too, you know. Every moment I close my eyes. …


Your face I want to see.


Okay. Okay. [sighs] I go to deal with today.

[engine stops]

[car engine starts]

Did I tell you of my son Alfredo, Enzo’s older brother?

Many times, signora.

A tragedy. I lost him in the Great War.

Yes, signora.

Let me tell you, the wrong son died.

[chuckles softly]

[bell tolling]

[sobs softly]

[choir singing “Jesu, Rex admirabilis”]

[bell ringing]

[bishop] If Jesus had lived today and not two thousand years ago, he would have been born in a small town like Modena. He would have been not a carpenter but a craftsman in metal like yourselves. So a God, who understood, as a carpenter, the perfection of the adze, appreciates, as an engineer, the precision of your lathe. The nature of metal. How it can be forged, shaped and hammered by your skills into an engine, holding inside a fire to make power to speed us through the world. Which is why we give thanks to him today.

[engine revving]

Are you okay?

[choir singing “Ave Verum Corpus, K. 618”]

[bishop reciting in Latin]

[bell rings]

[engine roars]

[bishop continues in Latin]

[bell rings]

[stopwatches ticking]

[ticking echoes]

[choir continues singing]

[tires squeal]

[ticking continues]

[ticking continues]

[singing stops]

[bishop] May God be with you. Now go in peace. In nomine Patris, Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

[congregation] Amen.

Very good. Okay. Great.

[engine revs]

Great. Great, great. Very, very good.


I had 1:32.9.

[onlooker] Signor Ferrari, a Maserati–

Only for the moment.

When do we take it back?

Right now.

[engine revving]


[Ferrari] Glad you could make it, Eugenio. Okay, take it easy till the tires warm up, then put your foot down. She’ll do 1:30 if given a chance.

Look after Cecilia, will you?

[engine revving]

[sporting director] Two laps, and the tires will be warm.

[Chiti] That’s good.

Cecilia Manzini? I knew your mother.

One minute 34.

He’s slow.

Signor Ferrari? Alfonso de Portago.

We met on the Largo Garibaldi.

Yes, sir. I was seeking to introduce myself.

Yeah, but the light, it turned green.

You bought one of my cars last year and won the Tour de France.

Yes. Now I’m looking for a works drive.

I don’t need another driver, Portago.

[gear stick clunks]

[engine revs]

[gear stick clunks]

[tires squeal]

[Cecilia gasping]

[sirens wailing]

[Ferrari] De Portago. Call my office on Monday.

I woke you.

No, I was up.

Did I wake the boy?

Let me.


You haven’t said a word.

What is there to say? The newspapers, the radio, they have it all.

They do? Was he your friend, the young Castellotti? Or was it your fault? The car’s fault? His fault? Will you miss him?

Does that bring the boy back? Why do you push like that?

Why do you think? I know it matters to you.

To me? Come on. Twenty-four years ago this week, I lost two friends. Campari and Borzacchini. At Monza, in the metal I made. So I knew then it was, “Enzo, build a wall.”


Or, “Enzo, go do something else.”


“Ferrari is an industrial Saturn devouring his own children. First Tornaco, now Castellotti.” If you continue killing the nation’s heroes, we’ll have to go to America and live among foreigners.

I did not kill Castellotti.

The papers blame you.

It wasn’t me. If anyone, it was his mother. It’s true. He was engaged to Cecilia Manzini. His mother wanted him to marry a woman with more class. As a result of the weight she put on his shoulders, he became distracted, he lost his concentration, he crashed and died.

He blames the mother!

What I’m saying is, when a mother interferes in this business, death usually follows.

Call the bank. Cancel Castellotti’s salary. And call Chiti. I need a report on the car for the insurers.

Yes, signora.

There’s Ferrari.

Why is the damn top down?

I didn’t want to get it wet.

It belongs to King Hussein. Get it inside. And make sure the cockpit’s dry before you hand it over.

[test driver] Yes, sir, Commendatore.

Stall the king and tell them to get a move on in the shop.

Yes, Commendatore.


You’re going broke. Laura’s right.


How? You spend more than you make, that’s how.

The production cars pay for the racing.

I could run Portugal on what you spend on racing. How many production cars did you make last year?

Uh, 140, 150.



No. Ninety-eight.

So what do I do?

Find a partner.

I have a partner. My wife. She is very mean with money.

A real partner. Like Agnelli at Fiat or Henry Ford. Someone who has capital to pump in.

No. Impossible. With money, they want control. I must have total control.

The right partner would help with the production cars, while you do what you like with the racing. Increase production to 400 customer cars a year. Attract finance. Then you can negotiate.

How do we make-never mind how do we sell-400 customer cars a year?

Jaguar took the first three places at Le Mans. Now their sales books are full. You win on Sunday, you sell on Monday. You already have kings waiting in line.

Mm, Jaguar. Jaguar races only to sell cars. I sell cars only to be racing. We are completely different organisms.

Survive, or you are no organism.

[telephone ringing] Hello. I am Alfonso de Portago. I have an appointment with Signor Ferrari.

Take a seat, please.

Win the Mille Miglia, Enzo. Attract outside finance. Or you are out of business.

[secretary] Signor Ferrari, this is Don Alfonso–

Yeah, I know who it is. Cuoghi!

The Marquis de Portago!

[door opens]

Hey, Ferrari!

Cuoghi! One more thing. How did Laura get her hands on the freehold to the plant? The Nazis were about to arrest me. I put it in her name along with half the shares. We built it together.

Get it back. If you face up to Agnelli or Ford, you have to hold all the cards.

Well, it’s easier said than done.

[Hussein] Ferrari!


Your Majesty!

One more thing. If I’m in bad shape, what of Maserati?

Worse. I give them six months. They’ve gone to the French for finance. And they, too, will try to prove themselves at the Mille Miglia. Everyone’s eye will be on it. Only one team will win. Make sure it’s you.

Your Highness!

Which Highness?

That Highness. You, get out to the track. Your Majesty, come this way.

I hope you got my measurements right. Last time my feet could barely touch the pedals.

Of course.

[shutter clicks]

[shutter clicks]

He drives like Varzi.

[tires squeal]

[engine stops]

[De Portago grunts]

Well, how did I do?

[Ferrari] You drive like Varzi. Your duties will include testing and road racing.

[De Portago] The Mille Miglia?

You’ll drive a works 250. Not the most powerful car, but reliable and it goes like hell round corners, so I’ll expect you to be in the points. Actresses. I have admiration, but keep them away from the paddock. They distract photographers, whose attention I want on my cars. Understand? Okay.

[Ferrari] Peter.

[Collins chuckles]

Look after our new driver. He’s wet and hungry.

Hello, Fon.

How do you do?

Pa. Papa, Papa!

What are you doing here?

Get the autograph.

Whose, Collins?

No, de Portago’s.

All right.

[Collins] I could eat a horse.

Stop pretending you can count. Good to see you.

How are you? How’s your son?

Fon. Mike Hawthorn, future world champion. The famous von Trips. Olivier Gendebien, the best sports car driver in the world. Taruffi, the oldest.

Truly the best.

[Collins] Chiti, the best engineer, but always, always anxious.

And Scaglietti.

Working on a project so secret we are not allowed to discuss.

[De Portago] Arrivederci, Maserati.


[Hawthorn] So, de Portago, what brings you to this neck of the woods when everyone knows the future of chassis technology with rear engines is in England?

Rear engines?

[Hawthorn] Yes.

The ox must pull the cart. What we need is more power. You hear that, Chiti?

But they turn quick.

And have no straight-line speed.

And the English, they have a new invention called brakes, unlike my 250.


[Ferrari] All right. To de Portago.

[all] Cheers.

[Ferrari] To de Portago’s hair.


Don’t you think?

Fon! Are you running around like that?

Oh! [moans]


[continues laughing]

[Lina sighs]

[chuckles softly]

What’s so funny?

Uh… I wondered when you’d be back.

How can I stay away? It’s the plums.


Where’s Piero?

On his way home from school. He asked me yesterday.


“Am I Piero Lardi or Piero Ferrari?”

[door opens, closes]

[Piero] Papa! Have you got it?

The autograph. No. Oh. He hasn’t, uh, had a proper picture taken yet.

What autograph?

De Portago. From Spain.

He’s going to drive for me.


Why do you like him so much?

He drives like Varzi. I’m going to be a driver. Like you.

No, not like me. I only won a few races. This is much better.


Okay. Pretend you’re inside this engine. In the intake manifold. Right here. Really pretend. You’re tiny. The size of a little ant. Now look up. It’s silver. What do you see?

A big tunnel.

Like a pipe, yes? Now pretend water races through. And when it hits this side, what does it do?

Some will splash sideways.

But if I make the curve more gentle, more slippery, what does it do?

It will go faster.

Fuel and air will move faster just like the water. And that is all an engine does. Moves fuel in, sparks them into rapid expansion, moves old gases out, new fuel in. And the faster it can do that, the more power you make.

It looks better.

Does it? I have a secret to tell you. In all life, when a thing works better, usually it is more beautiful to the eye.


[Lina] Piero, go wash up.

Mmm. Are you staying to eat?

I’ll sit with you and Piero.

Will you come back after?

It depends. I’ll try.

Mm, depends on what?

On how business with her goes.

[grunts, sighs] I’m too easy.

What do you mean?

Too modern. I should give you lots of shit like a normal Italian woman.

I prefer you like you are.

Oh, I’m sure you do. What I should become is the mistress. “Oh, Enzo! I feel so sad. Buy me a fur coat and a diamond necklace.” Piero! Sit down. Don’t worry. I do not plan to change who I am.

Thank you.

Thank you? For nothing. It’s not for you.

Do you know the hardest part of my life with you?

There is none.

There is.


Being away. While with me-what do the English say? A piece of pie?

Cake, Enzo. And you’re not.

[Ferrari] Thank you, Alda. Those are from Cuoghi. He says our days are numbered unless we find a new partner. One of the big companies. Fiat or Ford.


You’ve never had a boss. You won’t like it.

In order to attract this partner, he says we have to expand. He’s talking about building 400 cars a year.

How do we sell 400 cars a year?

We have to win the Mille Miglia, then orders for sports cars will follow.

This man knows contract law. What does he know about motor racing? Hmm? A thousand miles across bad roads with sheep and dogs. Anything can happen. What else? What else?

You should assign me control of your stock in the company and the freehold, uh, so I can deal.

Oh. Because Henry Ford won’t deal with a woman.

No. Because if it comes to a deal, it’ll be hard and fast. I have to have all the cards in my hand.

Well, half the cards are in my hand.

Laura. What do you want me to say? “Mr. Ford, we have a deal, but first I must wait until I ask my wife for permission”?

Yes, you can say that. You know what? I’m gonna give you power of attorney over my stock, so you can deal.

For half a million dollars.

I don’t have half a million!

You will if you make a deal.

Okay, I’ll give you a check. Post-dated.

Not post-dated.

I’ll give you a check on condition you promise not to cash it until and unless the deal goes through. Is that reasonable? … Is that reasonable? We need this.

One condition.


I want my gun back.


I want my gun back.

[Ferrari moans]

[Laura moaning]

[Ferrari panting]


[table thumping]

Did you sign de Portago?


I’ll draw up a contract.

And I need money for Cecilia Manzini.

How much money?


What? 25,000?

She’s broke. Her mother told me.

Her mother? Have you been fucking her mother?

What? Are you crazy?

I want $25,000 in cash.

Ah, you’ve been fucking the mother and the daughter.

We have obligations to that family.

Both. Oh, obligations. So compassionate. Sympathetic. Bullshit. Fucking bullshit.

I am compassionate!

Five. Ten. Fifteen million lire. Or 25,000 US dollars.


How do you want me to enter this?

As a bequest to Signora Manzini. To buy a property. She’ll have the use of it, but we’ll retain the freehold.

Ah, the same arrangement as in, uh, Castelvetro.

Castelvetro? We have a property in Castelfranco.

[bank manager] Oh. Yes, yes. I’m sorry. I got the towns confused. [chuckles]

I also need a banker’s order for a new driver. His name is de Portago.

How do you spell that?


Thank you.

Thank you.

[sighs deeply]


As her gentleness, the signora, commands.

Commendatore! The press conference.

[telephone ringing]

[Ferrari chuckles] He’s dating Linda Christian, that blonde who follows him around.

Who is?

De Portago. Tyrone Power left Rita Hayworth for the blonde. She left Tyrone Power for de Portago.

What are you reading, Commendatore?

“Rome Merry-Go-Round.”

Here’s who will be there. And I will exclude Di Massimo and Fusaro. They are the worst.

No, no, no. I want them there.

So what do you think?

[sighs] Ah, there is no ashtray.

Are you a prima donna?

You ever tried flicking ash out of a car at 200 kilometers an hour?

I’m offering you a brand-new car which has the edge on Maserati.

Bullshit. The Maserati is faster and it has an ashtray.

If I put in an ashtray, will you drive it in the Mille Miglia?


Good. And don’t ask me for a navigator.


You know every inch. You’ve raced it 16 times. I can see in your eyes you’re going to ask me, and I’m not seduced by you, silver fox. Get all these cleaned up before the photo call.

How’d she handle?


This is not, “How was lunch?” “Good.” I want to know brake wear. I want steering, suspension, gear ratios, final drive. If it’s going to run in the Mille Miglia, it’s got to be 100%. Here, talk to him.

[assistant] Go. Get inside.

[journalists chattering]

Okay, Di Massimo.

Signor Ferrari.

I’m not an assassin.

It was a figure of speech. Uh, Commendato

[Ferrari] Out!

[Di Massimo] Commendatore.

Out. Fusaro. You said I was Saturn devouring his young children.

I was merely quoting the Vatican, Commendatore.

You too. Out.

[journalists grumbling]

And you, Moretti. A “widow-maker.” For the record, Castellotti was not married, okay? Out.

When we win, I can’t see my cars for shots of starlets’ asses. When we lose, you’re a lynch mob.

[journalists protesting]

It’s enough to make the pope weep. Next. Let me introduce my spring team for the Mille Miglia.

[journalists clamoring] Signor Ferrari! Ferrari!

[Ferrari] This is de Portago, Castellotti’s replacement. But he drives like Varzi.

Hey, Fon, is it true about Linda Christian? She’s your girlfriend?

Don’t answer that question. This is my old friend Taruffi. Last time he was second. This time he will be first. Peter Collins. Future world champion. Taffy von Trips. A tiger. And this is Olivier Gendebien, the fastest driver of road cars in the world.

[journalists clamoring]

[camera flashes firing]

[photographer 1] Yes, all together.

[photographer 2] Smile. A smile. Look at me, sir.

[all shouting] Linda! Linda!

[photographer 3] Linda, look over here!

Linda, big smile! A shot of you by the car!

Linda! Linda, with the car!

[clamoring continues]

Rancati, a word after. A word after.

[photographer 4] Smile!

Hey, Linda!

Stop. Stop. Go back. Go back. … Turn right.

[Ferrari] Giuseppe. Rancati, there’s something I want you to do for me. Write an article suggesting that there are rumors that I’m talking to Henry Ford II about the future of the factory. At the end, say you asked me, bluntly, and that I categorically denied it.

And are you? Categorically denying it?

Ah, yes, of course. Categorically, I deny it.

If I write this article, will you give me an exclusive on your private life?

Yes. If you promise not to publish it.

For the time being.

Until I authorize it.

Okay. It’s a deal.

[engine stops]

[car door closes]

You’re going tonight?

Yes. With my friends.

He’s quiet. I didn’t get him de Portago’s autograph.

It’s not about that.

What is it about?

In two weeks, he’ll be confirmed. As whom? Piero Lardi or Piero Ferrari? We said when he was ten, we would sort this out. Then Dino’s illness got worse, and he’s still Piero Lardi. I’m out of excuses.

Postpone the confirmation.

His whole class is being confirmed.

Say he lost his faith in God.

Enzo. Who else knows about him?

Nobody. Apart from the chief of police.

The doctor?

Well, yes, the doctor.

And Piero’s teachers.

The teachers.

Tavoni, Sergio.

Of course, Tavoni.

And the bank manager?

The bank manager.


Apart from them, no one.

Enzo, this is Italy. Yes? All of Modena knows!

Except Laura. And that must stay as it is. Especially for now. Oh, you’re going to tell me, “Enzo, don’t be so bourgeois, so Italian.”

Don’t make me sound like a beatnik.

You read French books.

What happened between us in the war happened. As with many. And sometimes I wish it didn’t.

How can you say that?

Because if I was a woman like I am now, not 12 years ago, I would not have interfered in another woman’s marriage. And now she’s lost a child. But the present is what the present is. And in our world here, between me and you and Piero, what is best for Piero? Who speaks for him? You’re his father.

How do we reconcile this?

I don’t know. But that makes it no less.

[faint singing in Italian on television]

Aren’t you coming?

No. Make an excuse for me.

The cash for Cecilia?

Brown envelope by the door.

[door closes]

What’s this I hear about you looking for outside investors? Fangio eating up all your money?

No. With television, it’s going to become big business. To do this, one has to be capitalized. The game is changing, Enzo.

And this outside capital will magically bestow its favors upon Maserati.

[chuckling] Of course. After we win the Mille Miglia.

[crowd quiets]


[tenor singing “Parigi, o cara”]

[singing “Parigi, o cara”]

[both laughing]



[soprano continues singing]

[Laura clapping]

I’m pregnant.

[commentator] Hawthorn is third, Fangio and Collins…

[Ferrari] Where is everybody?

[cork pops]

[Scaglietti] I gave them the day off.

[Ferrari] No wonder you’re so late with everything.

Enzo, it’s Sunday. My men work weekends all through the year for you.


Their children haven’t seen them since the day they were born.

That’s very sad. Here’s to you and that pack of color-blind louts you employ.

De Portago is slowing down, having overshot on the braking. Mrs. Vanderbilt and Cooper watch excitedly as Lewis-Evans goes through in the straight followed by Musso’s Ferrari. Vanwall leads the race, averaging 120 miles per hour. Musso makes his tires smoke as he strains all his nerves to try and close down the gap. We got word of a collision between the BRM and the Cooper-Climax. Oh! There is a lot of smoke, making it very–

[tires squeal]

[crowd cheering, whistling]

[mechanic] What is problema?

[speaking Italian]


[mechanic] Oh, no. [grunts]

Is she operable?

Ah, that’s bad. Bad, bad. Very bad.

With three laps to go, after Fangio, Musso, it’s Behra and de Portago. He’s trying all he knows to close the gap. De Portago! And he brakes first!

Call in de Portago.

Hurry up. Hurry up.

[Tavoni] Fon. Fon.


[Tavoni] Out.


Out! Peter’s taking over.

Thank you, old bean.

Go, go, go!

What happened?

I could have taken him.

[Ferrari] You lack commitment. Look at the Maserati team. Fangio. Behra. Stirling Moss. Hard-nosed pros. Men with a brutal determination to win. With a cruel emptiness in their stomachs. Detachment. Loyal to one thing-not the team. Loyal to their lust to win. It rains. The track is slippery with oil, an evil-handling car. Will they falter? No. My spring team. Courageous? Skillful? Yes. Recently in school. Aristocrats, straight from Almanach de Gotha. Gentlemen sportsmen. Very nice. On the straight into the tight corner at Nouveau Monde, there’s only one line through it. Behra pulls up next to you, challenging. You’re even. But two objects cannot occupy the same point in space at the same moment in time. Behra doesn’t lift. The corner races at you. You have perhaps a crisis of identity:

“Am I a sportsman or a competitor?”

“How will the French think of me if I run Behra into a tree?”

You lift, he passes. He won, you lose! Because at that same moment Behra thought, “Fuck it, we both die.” Make no mistake, all of us are racers-or have been. We all are certain, “It will never happen to me.” Then my friend is killed. I give up racing forever on Monday. I’m back racing by Sunday. We all know it’s our deadly passion. Our terrible joy. But if you get into one of my cars– and no one is forcing you to take that seat– you get in to win. Brake later. Steal their line. Make them make the mistake.

I would have taken him. Behra.

I’m changing the lineup for the Mille Miglia. I want you and Olivier to swap cars. He’ll drive the little coupe and you’ll take one of the 335’s.

You’re giving me one of the most powerful cars in the race.

Well, put it another way: I’m giving Olivier the more agile coupe.

Won’t he mind?

Well, of course he will, but he’ll beat you anyway.

This is the power of attorney which Signor Ferrari requested that you put your name on. And the check for $500,000.

It has not been signed. The signing of these affidavits was conditional on the exchange of the check.

I’m sure it was an oversight.

Bullshit, Cosetti. Go away, please. Give me a pen.




I’ll hold on to these until I get my check signed. And… I want information about special payments made by the factory last year.

To whom?

Lina Lardi. Lina Lardi. I want to know how much they are. I want to know for how long they’ve been going on.


[Laura] Enzo. Lina Lardi. What does that name mean to you? The boy is yours?


I need to think about this.

[slams telephone]

[line buzzing]

She found out.

The boy?

That too.

So what do you think?

The driver in front will piss his pants when he sees it in his mirror. And when it passes, it has an ass on it like a Canova sculpture. So what do I do?

What do you want to do?

Leave her.

So, do it. You see that pigeon up there? I left its door open, but it won’t come out. It’s forgotten what freedom is.

Freedom for that pigeon is pigeon pie.

Tell Laura that you two should live apart, you are going to live with Lina, and that you are going to recognize the boy. Everybody thinks that you should anyway.

I don’t give a damn what everybody thinks. What do you think?

There are a lot of people on your payroll with families. Ferrari needs continuity to stay Ferrari.

[sighs] We have history. … Stay there, pigeon, or you’re dead meat.

The whole of Emilia knows, but not me?

I thought it would break your heart.

You broke my heart years ago, Enzo. When did it start?

The war. The factory had been bombed twice. Uh, it began during the worst of it. She worked at Carrozzeria Orlandi. You and Dino were in the hills that year, and by Christmas she was pregnant. So I bought Castelvetro and she went to live there.

Is she different from the others?

I was in love with her. And I still am.

[scoffs] I find myself sharing my whole life with a woman I have never met. [chuckles softly] It makes a mockery of you in the years when our son was ill. When he was dying.

How can you say that?

That boy, is he going to inherit our factory, our name? ‘Cause I don’t want him to. We have a son.

One son, two sons. Five sons. I miss Dino any less? Every morning I see him in the cemetery. The hospital he died in is funded in his name. A school was built in his honor!

Honor? Who gives a shit? You were supposed to save him!

You blame me for his death?

Yes! Yes, because you promised me he wouldn’t die!

Everything. I did everything. Tables showing what calories he could eat. What went in, what came out. I graphed the degrees of albuminuria, the degrees of azotemia! Diuresis! I know more about nephritis and dystrophy than cars!

Yes, I blame you! I blame you ’cause you let him die.

The father deluded himself! The great engineer! “I will restore my son to health.” Swiss doctors, Italian doctors. Bullshit. I could not. I did not!

‘Cause you were so consoled at Castelvetro, you lost your attention. You had another boy growing stronger while Dino was getting weaker!

What goes on in your mind? He got sick. Dystrophy. Kidneys! It destroyed him! It destroyed us.

What do you care? Huh? You have another son! You have another wife!

She’s not my wife. But he is my son.

Move out. These are the papers. They give you power to negotiate on my behalf. And there is a problem with your check. You forgot to put your name on it.

We are partners. This is a gun pointed at our head. You cash it before I conclude the deal, Ferrari is no more.

That’s right.

[door opens]

[door closes]

[door opens]

[door closes]

[Ferrari] It’s done. She knows. You’ll come to Modena.


Why not? Modena is where I live.

It’s not me. It’s about Piero. Does he sneak around? As whom?

She knows he is our boy?

She knows he is my son. But nothing has been resolved.


[Piero] Hey, Papa! De Portago’s autograph.

You go back to sleep.


[chanting] Fer-ra-ri! Fer-ra-ri! Fer-ra-ri! Fer-ra-ri! Fer-ra-ri! Fer-ra-ri! Fer-ra-ri! Fer-ra-ri!

[Piero continues chanting] Fer-ra-ri! Fer-ra-ri!

[engine fades]


[crowd chattering in Italian]

[engines revving, roaring in distance]

[photographer shouts in Italian]

[engines revving]

[person] Signor Ferrari.

[photographer] Commendatore Ferrari!

[journalist] Mr. Ferrari!

[crowd clamoring]

[person shouting] Ferrari!

He’s here.

Peter. How are you doing?

Okay, here we go. Come here. Come this way.

This is Peter Collins.


All right.

Let’s go.

This is my new friend, de Portago, our newest driver.


Good luck, gentlemen.

Good afternoon, Commendatore.

Registration forms, licenses.

Good afternoon, gentlemen.

Good afternoon, Orsi.

Good afternoon, Ferrari.

I’m entering five cars.

Collins, Taruffi, de Portago, von Trips, Gendebien.

[Ferrari] Are you making them richer?

[mechanic 1] Yes, for the humidity.

[Ferrari] No sleeping. Especially you.

[mechanic 2 responds in Italian]

[huffed sighs]

Good evening, Commendatore.

And to you, my friend.

[commentator on television] …of the smallest of the racing cars. Painted on each of the cars is the time of its departure.

[Tavoni] No, judges should be at Ravenna.

[Ferrari] Okay. Make sure they show these at every control. Otherwise they’re disqualified.

[commentator] I’m honored to have at my side the owner of Maserati, Cavaliere Adolfo Orsi.

All right, I have a few last-minute instructions. Refueling. Remind the mechanics the gas is to go into the tanks, not on the drivers. Especially Taruffi. I prefer he not go up in flames.

I’m writing to Linda. What do I say?

[navigator] I don’t know. Um…

[Collins] My darling Louise. The same letter I write before every race. I have no worry for myself in this race, as ever. My only fear is that you will need me and I won’t be here. In that unlikely eventuality, know you have all my love always.

[crowd applauding, cheering]

[engine revving]

Remember what I told you. Get behind Taruffi and Collins. Okay? They know the way. If you can hang on to them till you reach Bologna, you’re in with a chance. One last thing. Can you autograph this? It’s for a very, very special young man.

What’s his name?



P-I-E-R-O. If Moss and Behra attempt to pass, wave them through. Your job is to get round in one piece.

See you in Bologna!

Good luck.

[engine revving]

[race official] Ready? Go.

[tires squeal]

[Ferrari] Good morning, Peter.

And it’s going to be a good one.

This car can win. Once you’re over the mountains, you’ve got the legs on the others. Then it’s either you or de Portago, understand?

Are you forgetting about Moss and Behra?

Watch out for stray dogs and children. They’re the real danger. All right.

[Tavoni] Here you are. Ah, si.

You can win this one, Taruffi, if you don’t smoke yourself to death before it’s over.

What’s the weather like on the Futa Pass?

Good. Maybe rain. Listen to me. You need this race. How can you tell your grandchildren that you picked up every trophy in Europe but you’ve never won at Brescia?

Make sure I get the backup. No foul-ups. Especially at the fuel stops.

[Ferrari] All right, that’s the spirit.

[engine revving]

[tires squeal]

Stirling, are we all set?


Take the lead right away and stay in front.



[engine revving]

Jean, you stay back behind the Ferraris. Wait. Some will break, eliminate themselves. Then attack before Bologna. Okay?


[cheering, applause muffles]

[cheering, applause fade back in]

Good to see you.

For once he did not complain.

[engine revving]

Do you know the way ahead?

I’m not sure.

[Moss] Okay, let’s see what she can do.

Let him go, Fon.

[tires squeal]

No brakes. Bloody pedal snapped off!

[engine starts]

[Moss] Let’s get this bugger home.

[commentator] The first car into Ravenna this morning was Peter Collins’s Ferrari and a Fiat 500 timed at 140 on the final section.

Magi, it’s Ferrari.

[bartender speaking Italian]

[commentator continues in Italian]

Moss is out.

On this, straight.

[crowd cheering]

What’s next?

Commendatore? Avvocato Agnelli’s on the phone.

All right. Uh, sit down, gentlemen. Excuse me for one moment.


I apologize for calling in the middle of the race, Ferrari. But I have this article by Rancati in front of me that is, uh, so disturbing.

Avvocato, it’s fiction. I have absolutely no idea where they get their stories.

This is important. Ferrari cannot go to foreigners. You are a national treasure.

A “jewel in the crown of Italy.” [scoffs]


Then why does the jewel have to scrimp to put its cars into every race?

If it’s that bad, why didn’t you call me?

I did. You said no.

Impossible. When was this?


Stop it. You were a child.

I was 19. I needed a job. A secretary came back with a card. One word written on it: “No.”

That was a long time ago. In business, each day is a new day.

Well, the personality of Fiat is timeless. The offer you would make me will be full of conditions.

That is not so.

My bosses will be bookkeepers in Turin.

We should talk this over. If you’re looking for financial assistance, talk to me, please. Not Ford. You’re busy now. Call me after the Mille Miglia.

I’ll call you first thing tomorrow.


[crowd cheering, whistling]

[official speaking Italian] Yup?

[shouts in Italian]


When you get to Bologna, change the rubber.

I will call ahead.



Meet me in Brescia. I can’t. I have a camera test.

I am going to win. I want you to be there.

[tires squealing]


[tires squealing]

[Taruffi] Took a shortcut?

[chuckling] Yeah.

Come on.

[engine revs]

[paparazzo speaking Italian]


[shutters clicking]


[crowd clamoring]

[clerk in Italian] Your keys? Oh, grazie. Grazie. Buongiorno.

[footsteps approaching]


How much time do you have?

First cars arrive in about an hour. About half past 2:00.





[crowd cheering]

Everything okay?  No, the transmission is gone. I don’t know if it’s the gears or the rear axle, but the bloody thing’s buggered either way.

Who’s behind me?

Everyone. You’re in the lead.

What about Moss?



Before Padua.

[chuckling] Why didn’t you tell me? It was Moss I was worried about.

Well, I’ve fucked the bloody transmission up now, haven’t I?

Kid, you want Collins’s banana?

Peter, you can do it. Take it easy.

[engine starts]

Thank you very much. Best of luck.

[Taruffi] Thank you.

Taruffi, I gave you a brand-new car. Look at it!

The rear axle is bent. I only have the first, third and the fourth gear.

What happened?

I went off. Futa Pass.

You’re a passenger in a Ferrari. You should have walked!

All right. Any more damage-

I don’t think it can make it.

Any more damage, Taruffi, and you pay for it.

Commendatore, now that Maserati’s out, we are in danger of running the cars into the ground. Order the drivers to hold their positions.

Yeah, why bother? They won’t. Any problems, Olivier? You’re the head of your class.

I’m going to win this outright.

All right, and you can. Collins’s back axle is gone. There’s a problem with Taffy’s transmission. That leaves Taruffi, and he’s lost a gear.

So it’s me and de Portago.

You and de Portago.

Okay, let’s go. Go.

[Chiti] But if we continue at this pace–

[Tavoni] For the future of the factory-

My factory is built on racing. They are racers.

I think I can make it.

[Ferrari] You better, you geriatric. If you don’t finish in the first three, your wife will never speak to you again. Nor your children. Okay, go for it!

How is Behra?

He’s okay.

He kept coming.

He brakes, you pass. You brake, he passes. Or no one brakes.

[De Portago] What’s going on here?

You need new rubber.

I don’t have time. Check the pressures.

Chiti, check the tires.

Nelson, did you check the front offside?

Yes. It’s okay.

We’re wasting time, Ferrari. Come on!

[Ferrari] Chiti, check the front offside.

Come on, they’re good.

[Ferrari] Chiti!

[Chiti] They’re worn.

Will it get us to Brescia? Will it get us to Brescia?

Go, go! Hurry up!

[photographer 1] Eh, eh, Laura! Signora! Laura, please? Laura, please. Please. Laura, please? Please, Laura. Another one, please. Laura!

[commentator] To bring you the latest…

[door closes]

…from the Mille Miglia, I’m sure you are as curious as I am to see who finished in glory today. Let’s hear from Signor Ferra–

Signor Ferrari, who’s gonna win?

It could be any of the first five.

[commentator] And what about Gendebien’s 250?

He demonstrates that even the smallest Ferrari can compete at the highest level.

[commentator] May he win?

Of course he may win! Who wants to come in second?

[crowd laughs]

You knew about her and you never told me?

He is entitled to an heir.

I gave him one.

As it turns out, one was not enough.

I gave him one! I gave him one!


[child] Edoardo!

Edoardo, go back, wash your hands.

[Edoardo] They’re coming!

I think this guy is crazy about these cars. [laughs]

He’s only ever thinking about cars.

[crowd chattering, cheering]


[tires screeching]

[no audible dialogue]

[no audible dialogue]

[cheering fades in]

[Linda] Peter, hi!

Where is Fon?

I don’t know. He was behind me until my car broke down. He’ll be here somewhere.

[crowd chattering]

[sirens wailing]

[person sobbing]

[police officer] Commendatore?

[baby crying]

[Chiti] Maresciallo, we are here to collect the car.

De Portago?

They took him away.

[door opens]

[door closes]

[crowd chattering, laughing]


[Ferrari] Piero.


It’s Enzo. I wanted to congratulate you.


Well, what happened is separate from your victory today. It will go into the history books.


Good night, Piero. And again, I salute you.

The police are on their way from Rome. They want the car.

[telephone ringing]

I don’t know. No, I don’t know when. I’m sorry.

[telephone ringing] I will tell him you called.

[secretary] The Commendatore is not available. I’m sorry, he is really tied up.

[telephone ringing]

[secretary] Signor Ferrari is not available to answer your questions.

Commendatore. This wheel hit a curb stone, a brick. Something solid to cut it. It wasn’t the tire.

Lina called me. She wants me to bring you there. What happened? … We all know death is nearby.

No, no, no, no. No, children don’t know. Families don’t know.

[telephone ringing]

I have to talk to those vultures. Then drive me home? Tavoni! Tommaso!

[Cuoghi] Enzo! She cashed the check.

[journalists clamoring]

Why did you keep running drivers on poor quality tires?

[journalist] Did you realize that your negligence cost the lives of nine people, including five children?

How do you plan to respond to all the accusations?

And how do you plan to justify the number of casualties?



Largo Garibaldi. Phone Lina for me. Tell her I’ll call maybe tomorrow. I have business.

[lock clicking]

[journalist] Do you realize that your negligence has cost the lives–

Look, if Italy is looking for a scapegoat, then here I am!

[journalists clamoring]

No lights?

[sighs] I have a headache. The phone’s been ringing all night. I took it off the hook. [sighs] You’re in real trouble, you know. To do with the tires. The press is competing for who can vilify you the most.

Nothing wrong with the tires. He hit something. Did you take any calls?

[scoffs] Ugolini from The Gazette.

What did you tell him?

I told him to fuck himself. Then that man from Autosport. I told him to fuck himself. Then Agnelli.


I told him… to call back.

Anyone else?

Cuoghi. I told him to fuck himself, then I took the phone off the hook.

Great. Mama, what are you doing?

I’m all packed. When do we leave?

We’re not going anywhere. Go back to sleep.

[sighs] This is God’s way of punishing us.

Us? You think he slaughtered nine people at Guidizzolo to get even with you and me? I got a message from the bank. You cashed the check.


They’re calling insolvency experts. We’re done.

The bank is getting hysterical over nothing.


You bankrupted us.

Enzo, stop it. What good are you doing yourself? Mm, “I’m a scapegoat, I’m a martyr.” Who are you? Who have you become? St. Sebastian? You stand there and let them shoot arrows in your ass? Go beat the hell out of them. The writers. Those cheap hacks. Threaten them. Extort them. And those still on their feet, the most sanctimonious and hypocritical, those, you give them brown envelopes. And then they also will discover that, “Perhaps the Sage of Maranello has been maligned unfairly. Perhaps moderation should reassert itself in the distinguished Italian press.” And for that, you need the cash.


You thought I’d pack a suitcase and go, right?

It crossed my mind.

It crossed my mind too.

You’re financing this?

No, lending it.

And the conditions are?

No conditions.


No conditions. There was a part of you in Dino. Your warmth. Your wit. Your joy. He had that. I had that from you in our early years. But after a time, I only got what was left when you came home from the fights in the factory. The ambition, the drive, the plots. The paranoia. Even our fucking. As if that could save Dino. What I loved in you I also found in him. All that’s gone. There is no condition. You have the money. [sniffs] But it is my wish… for my grief for our son, for the years building this… you do not acknowledge the boy with the name Ferrari while I am alive.

How’d you get here?

[Piero] I came with Giuseppe.

Giuseppe? Your mother sent him because she wants me to come home. … You haven’t been here before, have you?


Do you know something?


Your mother and you are going to come live with me in Modena.

Papa. Is the TV reception better?

[laughs] Much better.


You can see the tower from my window.

Did you get de Portago’s autograph?

I did.


Come. I’ll introduce you to your brother Dino. I wish you could have known him. He would have taken you with him everywhere.






[singing ballad in Italian]

[song ends]


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