I did not go to Brixworth at the end of last week to see the Mercedes engine facility and talk about 2014 engines, on the basis that it would have cost a fair bit and been another day away from home, and because most of the British press corps were there and so everyone would end up writing the same thing – which is what happened. Instead I stayed home in France and I am off this week to Italy for the annual Wrooom event, which gives a much smaller group of UK reporters the chance to catch up with the Ferrari folk, with the Ducati riders thrown in as well, in the convivial atmosphere of the ski resort of Madonna di Campiglio, 5095ft above sea level in the scenic Dolomiti di Brenta mountains, in the Italian Alps.
The event is organised by Philip Morris and the Trentino province in order to promote the region and the two major teams funded by the tobacco company, which owns Marlboro, and continues to be involved in the sport, despite the many and various laws which restrict tobacco advertising around the world.
This will be the 23rd year of Wrooom and it is now an established part of the F1 season for those lucky enough to be invited, with a week of public and private events, press conferences and entertainments, in addition to skiing for those who wish to do wrooom down the slopes. It may sound like a lot of fun (which it is), but it is a very busy programme and one seems to spend most of the time whizzing from one event to another. It also involves large amounts of Italian food and wine, and also the fun of watching the F1 drivers racing against the MotoGP stars in karts on the frozen lake in the middle of the village. There are torchlight ski runs on a couple of nights, which are spectacular and look like fun – if you don’t getting wax all over yourself!
Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa will be flying in from Brazil, where they spent the weekend playing about in karts (not very successfully) and they will be joined by MotoGP riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso, with the riders of the Pramac Ducati satellite team – Andrea Iannone and Ben Spies – joining the fun as well.