Ferrari boss to become Italian Prime Minister?
When you're the boss of the world's most iconic, recognisable and universally lusted after car company (and that's despite all the baseball caps and beach towels), where do you go from there?
There's only really one job left: being boss of your country. Yes, that's the step Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo is about to make, reportedly.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Ferrari boss will run as a candidate to replace Silvio Berlusconi as Italian Prime Minister when the elections are held in 2013.
In a letter to the Italian Futura think tank that he himself formed in 2009, the 64-year-old wrote that "the next elections will be of historic importance," and so "the first thing that we are going to propose is the sale of the State's assets and a reduction of the public debut."
"There is no way that the Italians want to see the same old faces, the politicians who have allowed the situation to become the way it is. That is why the next elections will not be a matter of routine," he continued.
"In 2012, Italia Futura will work hard to achieve this by promoting the new ideas and new faces that Italy deserves. We will start working even harder at a grassroots level to create a strong, united network throughout Italy by June," Montezemolo added.
The open letter is being taken as a signal of the Ferrari boss's intent to put himself forward, although he's not yet announced candidacy officially.
But if and when he does decide to run, he certainly has the influence and resources to mount a proper campaign, plus the kudos of being in charge of Ferrari - one of Italy's most revered exports, second only to the online leak of Silvio Berlusconi's little black book.*
Montezemolo is a lawyer by trade, and was chairman of the group that organised a little football kickabout back in 1990 that happened in Italy.
The left-leaning Italia Futura group only has 40,000 members currently, but is thought to be on its way to becoming a fully fledged political party shortly, with enough clout to put Montezemolo in a chair once used by Berlusconi while he made, ahem, 'policies'.