I was disappointed for the nth time by my favourite team, yesterday.
I have been a Ferrari supporter for ever; I do not remember a period in my life that did not involve being surrounded by red cars. The Scuderia is like a faith for me, for several other thousands of people in Italy and outside Italy.
Reading around blogs and forums on the Internet, it appears that foreigners think of the Tifosi as a particular kind of supporters. Passionate, tough, really committed.
To be honest, however, I have spoken many times with people of other “beliefs”, such as Williams and McLaren fans, and I do not see any difference in the type of support we give our own favourite team.
Maybe, the real difference is when we, the Tifosi, gather; that is when the true spirit of the Ferrari community stands out. That happened, for example, when I went to Maranello to watch the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, decisive to assign that year’s title. The atmosphere was incredible, even when, at the end of the day, we were all frustrated by the outcome of the race.
That was one of the worst weekends of my life, with no jokes. And yesterday it was even worse.
I am based in London, which means no fellow Tifosi around me. I set my TV to watch the race, my laptop with the live timing on and I put on my Ferrari shirt. It was raining outside and I had already had a bad day for other reasons, so I was really looking forward to spend a couple of hours watching my favourite sport.
I cannot say I truly believed Alonso could win the title this time, but after such an unpredictable year, and an equally unpredictable race as it developed, belief was starting to grow inside me. My screams and cries filled the silence the house was immersed in.
After the race was over, I felt like I had been dumped by my truly beloved girlfriend. The one that you know “she’s the one”. The one that changes your mood, the one that you are ready to do everything for. I know this might sound silly, or childish or just… weird, to people who are not like me.
But for me, and many other Ferrari supporters, this is what Ferrari is. Ferrari is what can turn a bad day into a good day. Or a good day into a bad day. Ferrari is what distracts you when you need a break from anything else. Ferrari is, as I said, a faith. It is my faith.
And it is going to be like this forever. I do not know if the Tifosi are really different from other supporters, I do not think so. All I can say is that I am proud to be a supporter of this team, for better or worse.
If Ferrari was a girl, she would definitely be the one.