Fiat’s Agnelli prevented Ferrari from going bust in 1969 then, after founder Enzo Ferrari died, he owned 90 percent of the famous manufacturer.

Agnelli fell in love with the F1 team and oversaw some legendary drivers claim their championships.

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“His favourite driver was the one who won,” Agnelli’s grandson Lapo Elkann told Oggi magazine. 

“I think that’s why he loved Michael Schumacher. 

“Then he liked Gilles Villeneuve, his way of driving. 

“And Ayrton Senna, who, had he not died so tragically, would have come to Ferrari the following year. 

“He loved talent and courage and also recognised them in his opponents. He was a true sportsman.”

Agnelli, who died in 2003, was remembered: “He saved the Prancing Horse, preventing it from being sold to the Americans. Then he chose the right people: [former Ferrari chairman] Luca di Montezemolo and Jean Todt.

“He loved Ferrari cars and he loved all the beautiful things in life. It’s not enough to be rich to appreciate beauty. Taste cannot be bought.”

Heading into the 2023 season Ferrari, under new team principal Frederic Vasseur, hope to win a first drivers’ title since 2007 through Charles Leclerc or Carlos Sainz.