British Chef, Gordon Ramsay, received a VIP welcome recently when he visited Ferrari’s Maranello home. Ramsay is a big fan of the Italian sports car maker and had the chance to drive a 458 Italia around Fiorano as well as being driven in the new F12berlinetta.

Ramsay has been a Ferrari owner for many years, but this was his first chance to visit the Ferrari plant in Maranello. It was a special day for Ramsay, who got to see how the cars were made and talk to the workers in Ferrari’s factory and restaurant.

“You can feel the passion of the people working here” said Ramsay, “it’s incredible, I couldn’t imagine such a place: bellissimo”.

Ferrari’s employees could not believe their eyes either, but the first test of their welcome came at 12.30pm when Ramsay tested the food in Ferrari’s company restaurant, il Podio.

After tasting the day’s entrees and the classic bolognese tagliatelle, il Podio’s Chefs endured a moment of silence before Chef Ramsay pronounced his verdict: “delicious!”. One suspects that was the ‘only’ right answer if Ramsay still wanted to venture out on Fiorano’s hallowed tarmac later in the afternoon.

A visit was then paid to Tailor Made and the Atelier, where Ramsay met Amedeo Felisa, Ferrari’s CEO. Then it was out onto Fiorano circuit in the new 12-cylinder 729bhp F12berlinetta, before getting a chance behind the wheel of a 458 Italia under the guidance of test driver Raffaele de Simone.

Unsurprisingly Ramsay loved both experiences, describing the berlinetta as “a fantastic sexy car”.

Ramsay has owned several Ferrari’s in recent years – including a 550 Maranello, 575 Maranello and Ferrari 612 Scaglietti. The F430 Scuderia which he owned for six months was replaced by a 599 GTB, and this in turn was replaced by his sixth Ferrari, a 458 Italia.

Ramsay was interviewed afterwards for a feature that will be published in the forthcoming issue of the official Ferrari Magazine.

Q:   “What impressed you the most today?”
A:   “The perfection. I work for perfection every day and winning 3 Michelin stars was a dream, but my second biggest dream was having my first Ferrari. From the minute you step inside to the minute you get out of the car and of the Factory you have one word in mind: perfection. I mean perfection 100%, absolutely incredible. And the passion, you can feel the passion in every corner of Ferrari from all the staff: from the stitching, to putting the engine together and to these amazing test drivers. Great day: I’ve had the thrill of a lifetime…Grazie mille…Thank you”.