OK. What is your job reduced to its barest essential?
I think Ferrari is one of the very few objects, one of the few cars that transmit this ideal of the soul. The Greeks believed in the concept of “anima” in objects, or the animating principle. This is what triggers emotion in people.
A Ferrari is not a machine. Yes, on some level it is the reconciliation of aerodynamic, mechanical and aesthetic properties. But it has to be more than this. It has to speak through a sort of meta language, not through words.
Ferrari always comes from a dream. So our job is to find the conjunction between the dream and reality while still keeping all the beauty of an emotional object.
I am told that the technical constraints of a car actually help you to define what it should look like. Is this true?
Well, if you were to ask other designers, they may say the technical constraints are a problem, it is difficult to design a car if the technical constraints are too many. But at Ferrari, we respect first and foremost the engineering and we believe that engineering is a thing of beauty and therefore should be translated in a beautiful way.
I look at technical constraints as an opportunity to bring a signature design to a new Ferrari, to empower the visual identity of a new Ferrari. It is about understanding them and then channelling them in a creative way.
Can you give me an example of this?
Sure, for example, you look at the shark fins on the rear fender of the F12tdf. Many people felt that these were reminiscent of similar vents found in the 250 GTO and some of our other iconic cars.
But these are not a stylistic flourish; in fact, they come about from a specific request of the aerodynamicist. There was also the request to have additional little spoilers at the two sides of the rear screen. We made many proposals but they added so much unwanted detail, so much visual noise to the rear that I was completely against this.
And then at some moment I had the intuition to use a special T cut on the rear glass to function as a spoiler. So, combined with a kind of two scallops under the glass, it really works like spoiler. So we could reach the objective of the aerodynamicist in a very interesting way. And few people know this.
They might say, oh, this is a stylistic feature, but the reality is that the this theme is born of a technical need. Another detail is the aero bridge of the F12tdf. People recognise it as a signature design element but it is a technical necessity for the car.