I did not want to miss Earle’s open mic and so I showed up for an hour, played for 15 or 20 minutes, and then listened to Camille Feist, and then left. I had to get to bed early in order to get up at 5:40 AM in order to go to Ferrari in Maranello, Italy. I have now done that, have returned after an amazing day at Maranello, and I’m just putting up this little video of a song by Camille at Earle’s. I heard her sing this one previously at another open mic at Polly Magoo’s bar in the Latin Quarter a few months ago. Now after a 15 hour day for the Ferrari visit, I’m committing the sin of not going out to another one of my favorite open mics tonight. Will probably report back tomorrow with something from Ferrari…like maybe the drive I did in a Ferrari road car around the Fiorano test track a few meters from the Ferrari factory…. At the moment, I think I’ll have the best sleep I’ve had in…a half a week.
Okay, I have come back to post the short video I have of me driving the 458 Italia Ferrari, which is also sometimes known as a “Little Enzo,” since it resembles the bigger Ferrari Enzo. This car was actually developed with the help of Michael Schumacher, and I can tell you that it felt like one great big go-kart! (I say in the video it wasn’t the kind Schumacher used, but I meant the F1.) I did three laps of the circuit, although I only got the courage up to pass my monitor my Zoom Q3 video camera for the final lap. That’s why it is so short as a video. I have a much bigger video of him driving the track first to show me how. I’ll see about putting that and other bits up on my F1 Blog at the nytimes.com site in the next day or two. But for the moment you get a snippet of me doing this thing today that blew my (tired) mind…. By the way, it was totally unexpected. I went to Ferrari to interview a bunch of top people – including Fernando Alonso – and see the factory, all for my next preview for the Spanish Grand Prix. And they scheduled in this thing on the Fiorano track. I could not say no. Here is the video of me driving around the Fiorano test track (can’t imagine how they do this thing in an F1 car!):
That is the same track where the F1 team used to do so much testing – but no longer does thanks to the F1 budget cuts that outlawed testing during the season – although they still use it for straightline testing.