RIP Enzo Ferrari's confidant Franco Gozzi

| 24 Apr 2013

Franco Gozzi, a Ferrari backroom legend who died in Modena yesterday, should be remembered for far more than being the man who for a couple of years was sporting director of the Maranello marque.

Perhaps it was because those particular years (1968-1970) were bleak in F1 by the Prancing Horse's standards that Gozzi is not better recognised, but he was an integral part of the Ferrari "family" for more than a generation from 1960.

He was variously the front-facing PR man and head of communications, but his most important role was as confidant, as much as anyone ever did having the trust and ear of Il Commendatore.

Tributes for the 81-year-old were unsurprisingly effusive today from Maranello. 

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said: “We have lost a key figure in the history of Ferrari. My most abiding memory is of all the hours we spent together, talking about drivers and cars and I am grateful for the fact he was close to me when I was a young sporting director at the Scuderia.”

Ferrari's own tribute perhaps sums up his character best: 'Those who knew him well and shared outstanding moments with him as well as daily life in the company, recall his humanity, and his sense of irony, while those who met him during the final chapter of his life at Maranello recall his great ability to put across through apparently innocuous anecdotes, the values that have made Ferrari a legend around the world.'