There are birthday parties and then there is Finali Mondiali. For their own platinum jubilee, Ferrari just went full Ferrari by inviting thousands of fans and rolling the finest guns out for everyone to enjoy. Then with the concluding cup races, the end-of-season feast and the anniversary celebrations combined, it was Maranello's crème de la crème. Behold, the 2017 Ferrari World Finals.
Scuderia Ferrari-owned L'Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, having hosted Finali Mondiali every second year since 2011, feels perfectly fit for the purpose. Located in the northern part of picturesque Tuscany (so, from the global point of view, pretty much in Maranello's backyard), the circuit and its whereabouts instantly set the tone for the whole event.
Yet, there is more to taste before reaching the racetrack gates. Even on the arrival day, you have the growing feeling that something extraordinary is about to happen. Take the apartment check-in. The landlord hands us the keys with that understanding smile. 'Ferrari' is one of few words that we pick up from his enthusiastic Italian chatter. Sure enough, he knows what we came for before we even open our mouths. Next thing we notice is the usual, red and chequered flag planted in front of the house. Then in the evening, in the local, cosy ristorante, we find ourselves table by table with the XX Programme mechanics, for now casually discussing their working routine. But the big day is already in the air.
Oh, no, not just a single day. It's days. Four 'official' days of automotive feast plus a couple more for some private on-track activities. Remember, Ferrari don't know 'average'. As something between an institution and religion (more of the latter, to be fair), they are allowed to do things their own way. So they do, spreading the event over almost a week.
And they sure let their fans and customers get the most of this time, too. On and on through a special tent set up in the paddock area shines a thorough display of the F1 and GT racing machines from all motorsport eras. A stroll along these genuine legends easily makes any Tifosi heart pump the Rosso Corsa blood with all its might. The historical models are complemented by the current range and the premiering FXX-K Evo – a beefed-up version of the superior 'laboratory car', as dubbed by Ferrari.
But the past, presence and future meet on the track as well. The once-retired Formula 1 cars are kept alive thanks to the F1 Clienti division, while the FXX-Ks and 599XXs help developing the latest tech for years to come. All through the race weekend, the customers' F1 and XX vehicles, accompanied by the 333SP triplets, get the chance to blast around in between the multinational Trofeo Pirelli sessions, providing the whole valley with pure V8/10/12 music.
Still, if the paddock and racetrack stars leave you wanting more, you can simply dive in the unsurprisingly impressive variety of private Ferraris stationed here and there in the surrounding car parks. Be it a sublime 308 GTS owned by an elderly couple, a fancy Tailor Made LaFerrari on Monaco plates attracting crowds of youngsters, or any other possible F-car – each and every single one helps you understand the phenomenon. See, for seven decades Ferrari have been setting the ever greater automotive benchmarks while cherishing the unique legacy. And with the immense enthusiasm on both ends of the brand, you can rest assured that the red passion will live on in all its shades.