Alonso and Massa visit area hit by earthquake
Yesterday has been a special day for Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. This morning the two Scuderia Ferrari drivers paid a surprise visit to the area of Bassa Modenese that was hit by this May’s earthquake. There were two destinations during the visit: the ‘Campo Abruzzo’ in Cavezzo and the red zone in Mirandola.
“It’s very important for us to be here so that we can show the affection that we have for you,” said Felipe Massa as he greeted the people in the tent city. “I’m sure things will improve and get back to normal.”
Fernando Alonso added words along the same lines: “We felt the need to come to see you in such a difficult time for you because, even if we are physically nearby, we are also with you in our thoughts. We want to make you feel the support of the drivers and everyone at Ferrari because we are with you and you shouldn’t forget that.”
There was plenty of enthusiasm from the people present, especially the children who affectionately surrounded the two Ferrari drivers: for one morning Ferrari red, made up of caps, flags and banners, lit up the tent city with joy. “You have really given us a wonderful surprise,” said one young man, “and you’ve given us great emotion.” One Italian volunteer who lives in Switzerland was moved to add: “You don’t know how much good you have done with this gesture: they really needed it in a moment like this in which they still don’t know if and when they will be able to return to live in their house or even in any real house.”
A different red, much sadder, was the focus of the second stop of the journey in the Bassa region. Mirandola was one of the most hard-hit centres where the wounds inflicted by the earthquake are still very obvious. Fernando and Felipe visisted the red zone of the historic centre, which is still off limits for its inhabitants and for its workers, to see up close the devasation that hit the small town and this industrious region. The two drivers paid particular attention to the two most symbolic monuments of Mirandola: the cathedral and the church of St Francis.
“To see what has happened with our own eyes is very moving,” said Felipe. “Here time has stood still but it must get back going again as soon as possible.” Fernando was also struck by the desolation of the squares and the deserted streets, commenting: “We wanted to visit Mirandola as a symbol of all the areas hit by the earthquake, hoping to win back attention to the fact that there is not a moment to lose when it comes to the reconstruction. The people from here are strong, they have the same character as the people at Ferrari, people who never give up. I’m sure they will manage it.”