Log Book

Marco CalovoloSilently, he appears at the entrance of the garage. The suit tied at the waist, the under-suit with short sleeves and biceps, sculpted, well in sight. A huge watch on his left wrist. He’s holding a bowl of muesli, from which he draws relentlessly while watching us. You can feel that he comes – for sure – from another world. He considers us with sympathy, we, the poor animal species that populate the garage in that moment, so busy to polish the red sedan that he will drive soon. He is very kind and polite, greets all the team members. He smiles when he sees his name on the windscreen and rear windows. The number one on the doors, it’s a due tribute. He begins with the questions. He wants to know everything. The calm tone of voice, the watchful eyes, focused, as if he will drive one of his starships. Intstead, he will bring around the ups and downs of Tuscany a vehicle that weighs more than twice of his red arrow, and it has one third powerful. I have seen other drivers in similar situations, to dispense smiles at the limit of commiseration for those who, like us, had to work with heavy cannon balls instead of their winged arrows. But he did not. Even if, the other, those smiling , he does not even see them. His attitude is that of a driver who knows he has to go to the limit of whatever he is given. This is his himself. Total concentration in what he does, only. All or nothing. I’ll see him and his talent soon. Then he gets in the red car, the ours. We are ready to stuff the drifts seat cushions, different types of safety belts, wide, narrow, steering wheels of all kinds and with spacers of each measure, pedals of all shapes and sizes. He sits down, fastens his seat belts and says it’s okay, perfect. We look at all surprised by so much simplicity. We start the engine to warm up. One of our drivers goes out first, just to see if everything is working fine. An used set of tyres, then a new set. We need fresh datas, he asked us as a reference. The car comes in and we download the data. We sit down, with him, in front of the computer and, I confess, I was bit excited while we were look through many pages of the telemetry. Once the analysis is over, he gathers his mind for a moment, then says it’s okay, we can start. First run. Out and in after a few laps. All right, the car is easy to drive, his goodness, he didn’t think it was so much fun. He asks if it is possible to have another set of new tyres. While he is still asking, the car is lifted and fitted with a new set. I suggest to adjust tyres pressures according to what seen in the previous run. He nods and asks me to confirm him that the tyres are good only for one single lap. I confirm, and I add that it is better to not push in the out lap, until the last, long corner. And he gets back on track. I listen to the echo of the engine. He drives with a little more than half throttle. I think, he’s great. Then he goes for the fast lap. And it’s a different rhythm, crisp, perfect. I have my reference at the entrance of the last corner, to know in advance how the lap time it will be. I have to do my calculation twice, I think the first is wrong, and, yet, here I got the confirmation on my stopwatch. I feel the huge curiosity around me. I say nothing and show the stopwatch. I think it’s a great performance. Everybody, without exception, are impressed. Unbeliavable. As expected the second lap is slower, although not so much. He’s coming in. I expect him to say a few words for the occasion, to leave his greetings and return to his red arrow. But not. He asks, politely, if we can download the data and analyze his best lap. For a good ten minutes we read and dissect his lap, as if we were after a qualifying session. The most impressive remark is his way of using the throttle. No half ways, or fully open gas or fully closed. All or nothing. Then, satisfied, greets all the staff and willingly accepts the inevitable souvenir photos. His assistant comes, she requires him in the besides garage where the faster red arrow is waiting for him. He thanks us again and goes away. By our side, the satisfaction that everything went smoothly is huge. We know that we lived an unforgettable moment. For the briefest of moments we shared his journey. And it is something that we will be taking in, forever.

Marco Calovolo