How Ferrari responds

Illustration for article titled How Ferrari responds

One month after Chris Harris attacked Ferrari for juicing tests in his must-read rant found exclusively here on Jalopnik, we've finally heard an official reaction from the Italian automaker.


And by "we," I mean other auto journalists who've have been asking nonstop for a comment from Ferrari. One month later, Stefano Lai, Ferrari's communications director, has deigned to respond — telling The Telegraph's Andrew English that Ferrari claims Harris's charges are untrue and then engages in an old Italian trick around since before the Renaissance: Deny reality:

"For most Ferrari owners these things are not important. I think that Chris has done more harm to himself than Ferrari."

Somehow, Ferrari, I don't think so.

For starters, and based completely on anecdotal evidence, Harris' piece for us has elevated his stature as an independent journalist higher than it was pre-rant. Just as an example, Dan Neil, the Pulitzer Prize-winning auto critic for the Wall Street Journal called Harris' piece "important and highly revealing."

At this month's Geneva Motor Show, Harris and I were both besieged with questions about the story. I've also now heard dozens of stories from other journalists who've experienced similar nonsense to that highlighted by Harris when engaging in instrumented tests with Ferrari press cars.

Illustration for article titled How Ferrari responds

Ray Wert and Chris Harris in front of the Ferrari stand at the Geneva Motor Show.

Judging by the emails I've received from numerous Ferrari owners — three considered by Ferrari to be on the hundred-or-so-person A-list offered a chance to purchase any new supercar the Italian automaker produces, no matter how exclusive — that our Harris piece makes them question whether or not to purchase a new Ferrari.


The common theme expressed by them — and the dozens of non-A-list owners — is that while every tenth of a second does matter, it's equally important for Ferrari to be honest about how it gets those extra tenths in the press cars that supposedly reflect what customer vehicles will achieve.

Is that too much to ask for out of an automaker? We think not.


Jonathan Harper

Harris has gained much xp from this debacle, in my book.