Ferrari gives a taste of F1 in Israel
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Jerusalem, June 14, 2013: There was an incredibly large crowd for the second and final day of the Jerusalem Peace Road Show, the event organised under the aegis of the City Council of Jerusalem, with support from Kaspersky Lab, one of Scuderia Ferrari’s most important partners. Over 180,000 spectators turned out this morning on what is a holiday or pre-holiday for the majority of inhabitants of this historic city, lining the 2,800 metre long route. The crowd was enthusiastic and in party mood and got into the spirit of the theme of this event, which was to bring a series of motor sport symbols both two and four-wheeled to the fans and to the people who live in a country where motor sport was actually banned up until two years ago. Jews, Christians, Muslims and foreign tourists were all gathered together today to see this event for themselves, which not by chance has the word “Peace” in its official title.
Naturally enough, the star attraction of the event was Ferrari, the first team to fire up a Formula 1 car and run it through the streets of Jerusalem. At the wheel of the F60 for a dozen or so laps was Giancarlo Fisichella. “It was an honour for me to be here and I want to thank Ferrari, Kaspersky Lab and the city for having made this event possible,” he said live via the on-board radio linked directly to Israeli television which was broadcasting the run. “I really hope I can come back here next year!”
The Italian driver was clearly moved by the warmth of the welcome he got in Israel and by the enthusiasm of the crowd. “Even if I’m not racing in Grands Prix anymore, I still get to drive fantastic cars like the Ferrari Formula 1 in events like this, but I don’t believe I’ve ever experienced such a special atmosphere as here in Jerusalem. These have been historic days and unforgettable ones for me.”
Even if Giancarlo’s Formula 1 career is now behind him, he hasn’t hung up his race suit, far from it. “It’s true, I’m now dashing back to Italy to prepare for the most important racing event of my career, the Le Mans 24 Hours, which takes place next weekend, when I will race an AF Corse 458 GT2. It is one of the most important races in the world and winning it last year was one of the best moments of my career. It will be difficult to repeat that feat this time, but I will give it my best shot and I know I can count on having a fantastic car and team.” This first event of its kind was definitely a success and underlined that Formula 1 has the obligation and the honour, as the highest level of motor sport, to do what it can to bring motor sport to the general public, especially youngsters. The Scuderia puts a great deal of commitment into events like this one in Jerusalem, having also staged demonstration runs in Rio de Janeiro in early March with TNT and in Warsaw with Shell, both featuring Felipe Massa, while still to come in mid-July is one in Moscow and more besides.