Franco Gozzi, a key part of the history of Ferrari, passed away April 23rd, 2013 at the age of 81.
“We have lost a key figure in the history of Ferrari,” said President Luca di Montezemolo. “My most abiding memory is of all the hours we spent together, talking about drivers and cars and I am grateful for the fact he was close to me when I was a young sporting director at the Scuderia.”
It is hard to sum up in a single word what Gozzi was to Ferrari – Sporting Director, Press Officer, Head of Communications and above all, one of the closest advisers and confidants to Enzo Ferrari. While we was a witness to many important events, the active role he played at the Prancing Horse can perhaps be best understood from looking at photo albums from the past thirty years. As seen above, you will often find Gozzi with the Founder – he was his spokesman and sometimes the purveyor of his silences.
Those who knew him well and shared outstanding moments with him as well as daily life in the company, recall his humanity, and his sense of irony, while those who met him during the final chapter of his life at Maranello recall his great ability to put across through apparently innocuous anecdotes, the values that have made Ferrari a legend around the world.
If there is one man at Ferrari today who knew Franco Gozzi well, it is Piero Ferrari. “I spent so many years together with Franco. From 1965, the year I began working in the company, up to the day he left. It was a long time, almost a lifetime, which meant I got to know and appreciate him deeply, from every point of view, as an individual and professionally. His greatest talent was his ability to never get angry: he was always ready with a joke, even after a proverbial roasting from my father,” said Piero Ferrari.