Yesterday we saw an incredibly odd press release from Ferrari, ostensibly having to do with the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix. It referred to the "penetration" of Gilles Villeneueve, the "dribble" of Jean Alesi, and also a possible shapeshifter. It turns out that that press release just might have been auto-translated.
Cue the gasps of shock and horror.
We first saw the press release on Newspress, a repository of press releases from the auto industry. You don't normally hear much about that sort of thing here on Jalopnik, mostly because press releases can be pretty boring if you don't work in the industry that they're geared to.
It appears that what happened was that Newspress got the release from Ferrari's media site, it was auto-translated without anybody realizing, and it was subsequently posted on the Internet, for the world to see, pretty hilariously.
Obviously, we knew that something had gone wrong somewhere, but the result that followed was just too good not to post. It was beautiful.
Ferrari, however, was understandably a bit mortified, and the correct press release in native English was posted up by Newspress pretty quickly, instead of the version translated from Italian. Gilles Villeneuve makes an appearance, but he is no longer penetrated, Jean Alesi is there, too, but no longer with a salivary issue, and the spirits of Rene Arnoux and Michele Alboreto no longer inhabit one body, which must be terribly lonely.
Below is the actual press release from Ferrari:
Maranello, 2 June –This Sunday sees the 45th running of the Canadian Grand Prix. The race was first held in 1967, when Jack Brabham won in his own car. It's been held on three circuits: Mosport Park eight times, Mont-Tremblant twice and Montreal, 34 times, making it a classic on the calendar.
Ferrari has won the race 11 times which is a 25% success rate. The first win was even a one-two finish at Mont-Tremblant, where Jacky Ickx and Clay Regazzoni crossed the line in that order in the 312B. The Montreal track made its debut eight years later, built on the perimeter roads of the man-made Ile Notre Dame. It used the excavated soil from the construction of the 1976 Olympic village. Local hero Gilles Villeneuve won in the Ferrari 312 T3. The fallout from this win was incredible, being the first victory for a Canadian, as well as taking place in Quebec, where Gilles was born. The track was named in his honour after his death at Zolder in May 1982 and the following year, Ferrari won again in Montreal with Rene Arnoux and a further two years on, Michele Alboreto was victorious.
In 1995, the famous number 27 won again, giving Jean Alesi the best day of his career: Michael Schumacher in the Benetton had an electrical problem, which meant he had to pit to change the steering wheel and to have the system reset. For once, Alesi managed to shake the monkey off his back that had been there for so long. The Frenchman crossed the line to celebrate his 31st birthday in the best way possible. Montreal has a big Italian population and the fans invaded the track, risking getting run over as cars were still on track. Alesi had to park his car as he was mobbed by fans and in the end, it was the aforementioned Schumacher who gave him a lift back, wrapped in the French flag.
In fact, the remaining 6 Ferrari wins in Canada all came courtesy of Schumacher, the first of them in 1997. The following year was a bit more controversial, as the Ferrari man drove into Heinz-Harald Frentzen coming out of the pits, putting the Williams out of the race. Michael was given a stop-go penalty, but he still managed to win.
Walls close to the track edge are a feature of this circuit and one in particular, on the outside of the last turn before the pit straight, has ended the hopes of many of the best drivers over the years. It has become known as the "Wall of Champions" and it has caught out big names such as Jacques Villeneuve, Damon Hill, Rubens Barrichello and more recently, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel, the latter on Friday in 2011. Schumacher wasn't immune to it either, his race coming to an end there in 1999 while leading, but he made up for it, winning in 2000, 2002 and 2004, making him the king of Canada with no less than seven wins.
Thanks for being such a good sport, Ferrari.
Photo credit: Ferrari North America