EC: What was your first car?
GR: My first was a little Fiat 600.
EC: Did you get some Abarth stuff?
GR: Oh yeah. I remember once I ran the bearings on it and I didn't know what I'd done and I went to this old man who used to really abuse me, telling me how stupid I was and how I didn't take care of stuff. He had this little garage and I would always go there; his fingernails were always dirty and he'd been chewing on garlic and everything else and I'd come in and he'd say, "So now what?" It was never "Hello." Sheepishly I'd come in and I'd say, "You know, Mr. Julio," and he'd say "So what?" and I'd say, "I've got a red light that's on," and he'd say, "Red light, huh?" and he'd crank it up, fix the light, listen to the engine and say, "Let's pull it out, how much money do you have?" And I'd say, "Not very much," and he'd say, "You had better park it." And he said to me-and this was so classic-he said to me, "Risi, you are a very stupid, ignorant young man, do you understand that? And if you go through life like this you will not even be able to have a bicycle."
EC: But you remember his words. And today you may not be a micro manager, but know enough and are smart enough in the important areas and know that you'd better be prepared.
GR: Absolutely. You hit the nail on the head.
EC: We all know that for Ferrari, success means F1, and if there's something left over, sports cars. Risi Competizione has won all the big races. Does Maranello recognize that?
GR: The first thing you have to remember about Ferrari is that when you win a race, Ferrari wins. When you lose a race it's the team, but Ferrari never glowingly tells you, "Thank you," but it's shown in their way. One has to recognize their way.
EC: That's not going to change.
GR: No, that's not going to change. But it's shown through extra help.
EC: Have you ever wanted to go back to the fellow with the little garage who was so mean to you? Wouldn't you have loved to have given him one of your trophies?
GR: No question, I should have. Oh yeah.