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Celebrity spotting in the Imola paddock 24 Apr 2006

Max Biaggi (ITA) on the grid. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, San Marino Grand Prix, Race Day, Imola, Italy, 23 April 2006

The prospect of a home win brought out plenty of famous support for Ferrari at Imola. We caught up with three Italian celebrities in the San Marino pit lane, though we were surprised to find that not all were supporting the scarlet cars…

Max Biaggi, the grand old man of MotoGP motorcycling, makes no secret of his hunger for Formula One racing, as illustrated by his recent test outing with Midland. Hence it was no shock to find the smiling Italian on the grid at Imola. “Having driven an F1 car I know what it takes to stay cool when the speed is on,” he said. “I love the atmosphere - for me it’s the greatest sports show on earth - every two weeks. And the audience never gets enough of it.”

With Michael Schumacher winning the San Marino Grand Prix on the race track that bears the name of Enzo and Dino Ferrari - bringing a long-awaited end to the team’s victory drought - Fiat president Luca di Montezemolo must have been very pleased. “It was a wonderful race, it was brilliant for the audience and it was a perfect weekend for Ferrari,” he said. “So I am indeed very satisfied and congratulate the team for the great performance.”

If you live in Italy and you like football, then chances are you adore Simona Ventura. The Italian television icon with her personality show about soccer and the life around it, paid a visit to the Imola paddock to support the Renault team. “I am a friend of Flavio (Briatore) for 20 years so Formula One is always on my agenda when they are in Italy. And for the past years I also never missed the GP of Monaco, as it is the capital of motorsport for that weekend. I am a professional in sports so I am always fascinated when I see how professional the coverage is - on a global basis.”