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Any good stories when Gianfranco Fantuzzi was Service Manager at Ferrari of SF?

Discussion in 'California & Nevada (Northern)' started by TeamF1Jr, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. TeamF1Jr

    TeamF1Jr Formula 3
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 8, 2003
    2,102
    Lake Mead
    I had a few of those Ferrari of San Francisco brochures from the 90s where they boasted of having Gianfranco Fantuzzi as their Service Manager, just one year removed from being Gerhard Berger's chief engineer. I was always curious, never have met him, how he got on in this job. Any stories out there, it's a dramatic switch from working in F1 to working on production Ferrari's. I assume he had a lot of great stories going way back to the Lauda days.
     
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  2. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    25,757
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    #2 Rifledriver, May 2, 2019
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
    Gianfranco was a great guy. Tried many times to get me to work for him but their pay sucked so it never happened. Last I saw him he was back in Italy racing. We had dinner together in Maranello. We lost touch when he was in Cologne with Toyota F1 and I had heard after that he was an engineer with El Torro Rosso.

    As I recall he was here for Ferrari supporting the 333 program and his job ended about the time FSF was due to open. Instead of sending him back to Italy they just plugged him into FSF. His daughters grew up here and spoke perfect English with a California accent. When I was meeting him in Italy one of his daughters answered the phone. She answered "Prego".I kind of stammered "do you speak English?". She immediately shifted to perfect English.
     
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  3. ferrari.ace

    ferrari.ace Karting

    May 25, 2006
    232
    So.Cal.
    Full Name:
    Adam Cox
    The BEST boss and leader I have ever worked with and for, hands down!

    He started working at the factory as a kid in '76, He grew up there. He worked in several departments over the years. Most notably in F1 as a race engineer with Berger and Alesi. Following that he and his family relocated to America with the introduction of the 333SP to North American road racing. While here supporting the 333's, Ferrari was constructing their first company owned and operated retail dealership, "Ferrari of San Francisco" . While racing at Laguna Seca, he was asked to go visit and report back his observations of the project and its progress. Soon after, he was relocated to the Bay area and lived in walking distance to the dealership. He had the title of service manager, but he was our leader. The only true hands on factory guy in the building. A real honor and privilege to work with. In the late '90s he relocated back to Italy. He appointed me as shop foreman upon leaving. We didn't need one when he was overseeing operations. Again, he was working at the factory, where he was engineering in the R&D department, also worked in the translation department (he fluently spoke Italian, German, French and English) and also ran a team out of the reliability testing and homologation department. Whenever I would go for training at the factory or racing, I would stay with him and his family, Mary, his wife and Francesca, his daughter. Around the time of the Maseati aquesition by Ferrari many individuals were being moved around in the factory or being transferred to Maserati. This was about the time Gianfranco was offered an opportunity to return to his passion F1 racing. He took a job with Minardi F1 as a race engineer for about 2 1/2 yrs. A small company, but he was working with friends and doing what he loves. Shortly after that he was approached by Toyota and worked in logistics for TRG for 5 yrs. Eventually Minardi was aquired by Red Bull and it became STR (Scuderia Toro Rosso). He was Team manager at STR for 7 1/2 yrs, General manager for 4 yrs and continues to be a Special projects consultant for them currently. I lost close touch with him during the busy TRG/STR years, but he will always remain as one of the finest influences and human beings in my life. Automobile racing is my career, my passion and my life. Gianfranco provided me with the confidence and determination to achieve much success in a sport we both share a deep passion for... He is the Man!
     

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