fascination with Formula One started at a very early age, with family
living not far from Imola. As a boy he would run and climb the fences to
stare in awe at the F1 cars that he would later go on to work with in
his professional life.
graduating with an engineering degree in Electronics, Luca went on to
join the Ferrari F1 team in 1989 where he worked first as a development
engineer for the gearbox, then as an electronics engineer.
In 1995 he became the race engineer to Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger, a
role he would later go on to fulfill for both Eddie Irvine and more
famously 7 time World Champion Michael Schumacher. An extremely loyal
individual Luca believed it was very important in his role as race
engineer to be friends as well as colleagues with the driver he
supported in order to be able to do the best job he possibly could.
In 2000 he became Michael Schumacher’s Race Engineer and helped guide
Michael to Ferrari’s first joint WDC and WCC in over 20 years. Redeeming
a bet he made to Michael at the beginning of that year, Luca famously
had all his hair shaved off to celebrate!
After three successive world driver and constructor championships and a
few cigars along the way….Luca felt it was time for a new challenge and
in 2003 briefly became the technical co-ordinator between the factory
and the track.
However due to changes in F1, strategy was becoming an ever more
important and difficult role to fulfill and Ross Brawn was struggling on
his own to analyse all the hundred of different parameters involved in
understanding a car in race conditions. Recognising Luca was a gifted
statistician and keen strategist, Ross personally asked for him to
become his assistant on the pitwall to help him prepare the race
strategy for each race.
As chief race engineer / strategist between 2003 and 2006 it was Luca’s
job with his team to take the data from testing and qualifying and
prepare race strategies for both of the drivers. For each race weekend
Luca’s job was to prepare a selection of feasible race strategies, from
which Ross could work with on the pitwall. The role also involved
overseeing race set up for both of the F1 cars to minimise the risk of
any issues out on track.
At the end of 2006 with the departure of Technical Director Ross Brawn
who has taken a sabbatical, and the departure of some other key staff
members, Ferrari re-organised their management and technical structure.
Luca was promoted to Head of Track Operations working to Technical
Director Mario Almondo, this role took on many of the trackside
responsibilities that previously fell to Ross to complete. After 3 years
as Ross’s trackside protege Luca was well placed and experienced to
carry on where Ross left off.
For 2008 Luca has been promoted to the role of Team Manager/Sporting
Director for the Scuderia Ferrari F1 team, this role will focus on the
rules and regulations set out by the FIA ensuring that the team are
adhering to them. It remains to be seen who will take over the reigns
concerning the trackside strategy planning and other trackside tasks
Luca used to complete.
Away from the pitwall Luca is a private, quiet and modest individual,
but his passion for motor racing and his nice personality have made him
very popular with the tifosi. He is also one of only a very few Ferrari
Engineers to have ever had a book written about him. The Book entitled
‘Ingegnere Delle Rosse - Il Baldo Luca…Da Zero a Quaranta’ (Ferrari
Engineer - Baldo from Zero to Forty) by Simonetta Cavligieri charts the
key moments of Luca’s life including photos, testiments from his family,
friends and even from Michael Schumacher!
Profile thanks to - MrsBaldo and