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Maranello get-together for Ferrari stars Surtees and Alonso 30 Jun 2011

John Surtees and Fernando Alonso John Surtees alongside his helmet from the 1964 season John Surtees meets former mechanic Giulio Borsari John Surtees during his tour of Ferrari's Maranello factory

The past and present collided in Maranello earlier this week when former Ferrari driver John Surtees made the journey to the Italian team’s factory to meet their current star Fernando Alonso. Surtees, who was fondly called the ‘figlio del vento’ or ‘son of the wind’ when he was driving, won the title at Ferrari in 1964.

“Looking into Fernando’s eyes, I could see the same determination I had when I was racing,” said the Briton, who remains the only man to have won the Formula One title and its motorcycling equivalent. “Time passes, but passion for racing is something that never changes across the centuries and if you have it in you, you see it in others.”

Alonso was just as pleased to meet Surtees. “He was very interesting to talk to, comparing our experiences as drivers and, above all, talking about our lives with a special team like Ferrari,” the Spaniard told Ferrari’s official website. “It’s nice to meet people who can give you a first hand account of what Formula One was like back then!”

As part of the event, which was organised by Ferrari sponsor Shell, 77 year-old Surtees also met Ferrari vice president Piero Ferrari and team principal Stefano Domenicali. He was then taken on a tour of the company, where he chatted to Giulio Borsari, a former mechanic and now a consultant, who had worked closely with Surtees when he drove for the Scuderia.

Over his two-day visit, Surtees also had the chance to visit the team’s assembly line and the Ferrari Museum, where he posed alongside his old helmet from his championship-winning season.

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