The Spa-Monza double-header always poses a question: fly or drive? This year I chose the latter option and took the opportunity to visit some of the people and places I’ve always wanted to meet (or re-visit). Near Parma, for example, I called on the former Ferrari engineer, Enrique Scalabroni. He and his partner live in this gorgeous villa in the mountains. Enrique hits golf balls in the early morning – he’s surprisingly good – and works during the day from his office in the main part of the building. The thought occurs, as you sit outside at night, feasting on pasta, home-grown tomatoes and local white, that there aren’t too many places more delicious than this.
I had a schedule to keep, however, so I was off the next morning to see my friends at Prema Powerteam, the Italian race team founded in the early 1980s by Angelo Rosin and Giorgio Piccolo. Today, Prema have few rivals: in terms of single-seater race wins and championships, Prema are simply world-class. In F2 this year, Prema’s Charles Leclerc has been a revelation – a driver not only of immense skill and feel but also a human of courage and depth. Here’s a video I put together around a chat with Charles just before the Monza weekend: