"I felt a special atmosphere, right from the start of the morning when I left my home in Bologna," he told the assembled crowd of journalists at the Ferrari headquarters, having already said how much he'd liked the launch event itself. "We had not seen fog here for a long time and it reminded me of the 1997 presentation, the year when Ferrari began its winning cycle."
Di Montezemolo also explained that keeping Ferrari close to its patriotic roots was still very important to him, and he worried that the addition of new test driver de la Rosa along with the retention for another year of long-time test and development driver Marc Gene was in danger of giving the Italian team a distinctly Spanish flavour.
"Our team was becoming Spanish with Gene and de la Rosa, and we want to increase the presence of the Italian flag at Ferrari to show how important is our country and our roots to us," he said, although the team had missed out on picking up GP2 champion Davide Valsecchi this week after the Italian was instead revealed as a test driver at Lotus on Monday.
Overall, di Montezemolo gave every indication of rededicating himself to Ferrari's motorsport endeavours, after being distracted in 2012 by rumours of a possible switch for him into Italian national politics.
"Apart from my family, Ferrari is the most important thing in my life," he insisted this week. "Every time I walk into the factory, even after all these years, it puts me in a good mood and I continue to get new stimuli and ideas."