Chariots of fire

I have prepared something truly special today; for all of you not just the boys! Last week I was granted with a great opportunity to visit the Kessel racing department, housing one of the world’s sexiest car, Ferrari. What is more, for the first time I got to experience the technology and work that goes into this powerful machine. The engine itself is a work of art while the organization of technical elements assimilates the meticulous organization of a hospital’s medicinal instruments. The precision that backs the performance behind this car is impressive. Most of the technological processes, especially for the race Ferraris, are carried out using CAD computers but Kessel Auto still encourages manual vintage methods as routine mechanics especially when repairing old-timers and invests considerable time training its staff to retain their manual knowledge.

The Kessel racing team has participated in 27 Champions in 2011 and performed outstandingly well, winning trophies on a number of championships. Kessel Auto does not deal only with racing, but it is also among the most reputable high-end car dealers, always prioritizing strong client relationships and delivering highest quality products and services. Kessel’s Auto founder, Mr. Loris Kessel, was an inspiring F1 pilot, whose business emerged from his passion for racing. As a result Kessel Auto is an unbreakable bond between zeal, business and technology, a combination we rarely see in other business organizations.

Not all is pink in the F1 and auto-racing world however, and I mean that in the literal sense. The sport is still strongly prejudiced against women participating more frequently in competitions as much as it is prejudiced against women either working in the industry or owning a sports car. I read the latest issue of Ferrari magazine that ironically is dedicated to the involvement of women in different aspects of the industry, and all I could hear was the partial cynicism and partial ridicule from the author writing the articles. For example, there was an article dedicated to eight proud female owners of Ferraris and nowhere in the article does the author mention what they do for a living; surely they must be successful if they can afford a Ferrari! On the other hand, what he does emphasize is how each of them complain about not having a mirror in the driver’s seat (omitted for obvious safety reasons) because they want to check their hair and make up before they leave the car! Even more ridiculously, he mentions how one woman desired Gucci or Louis Vuitton to provide the leather for her seats.

What a disappointment, reading the Ferrari magazine… another article reflected upon how women’s roles on the paddock, haven’t changed much from the past; their usual roles are: timekeeping (quoting timekeeping as a suitable role for women because they are too scared to watch such a dangerous sport), housewife and companion of the driver and a hostess, whose job was to make the car appear more attractive- corresponding to advertising strategy, that in turn associates sex with cars. The magazine features other articles such as a banal interview with Monica Belucci and another, more pointless one by Tamara Ecclestone. Neither was associated with Ferrari directly.

Surely my job here is not to interfere with Ferrari’s gender-boxed marketing strategy, but no smart woman with a serious career would identify herself with the feminine role Ferrari is trying to project which is an image of a tidy, multi-tasking housewife that loves shopping and fixes her make up. A woman that drives a Ferrari is a man’s equal because she needs to live up to the car. She takes the same risks, fights the same battles and wins most of them.

* Many thanks to Ronnie K. who helped me prepare this post.

Enjoy it!

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