From Enzo’s Shadow to a Ferrari Legacy: The Life of Piero Ferrari


Piero Ferrari, the son of the legendary automotive icon Enzo Ferrari, has carved his own path within the famed Ferrari empire. Often overshadowed by his father’s larger-than-life persona, Piero has nonetheless played a pivotal role in shaping the Ferrari brand into the global powerhouse it is today. This article delves into Piero’s remarkable journey, exploring his upbringing, career trajectory, and enduring influence on the Ferrari legacy.

A Son of Modena: Early Life and Family

Born Piero Lardi in 1945, Piero’s early life was marked by a complex family dynamic. His father, Enzo, was already a successful racing engine designer and entrepreneur when Piero entered the world. However, Piero’s mother, Lina Lardi, was not Enzo’s wife. Enzo was married to Laura Garello at the time, and Piero was not officially recognized as part of the Ferrari family until after Laura’s death in 1978.

Despite the unconventional circumstances, Piero developed a passion for mechanics from a young age, likely influenced by his father’s world. He obtained a high school diploma in mechanics in 1964, showcasing his early aptitude for the technical aspects that fueled his family’s business.

Tragedy struck the family in 1956 with the passing of Piero’s elder half-brother, Dino Ferrari. Diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Dino died at the young age of 24. This loss deeply affected Enzo and likely fostered a closer bond between him and Piero, who became Enzo’s sole heir.

Entering the Ferrari Fold: A Career Steeped in the Prancing Horse

Piero’s official entry into the Ferrari world began in 1969. He started modestly, taking on the role of an English translator for the company. This seemingly mundane position proved to be a strategic first step, allowing Piero to gain valuable insights into the international workings of Ferrari.

His dedication and burgeoning knowledge of the company soon led to a promotion. In the early 1970s, Piero transitioned to a technical supervisor role, immersing himself in the technical intricacies of Ferrari’s race cars. This experience proved invaluable as he climbed the ranks within the organization.

By the mid-1970s, Piero’s expertise extended beyond technical supervision. He found himself co-organizing Ferrari’s Formula One team, a position that placed him at the heart of the company’s most prestigious and competitive racing division. This role honed his leadership skills and solidified his understanding of the competitive spirit that defined the Ferrari brand.

Piero’s career continued to progress, and by the mid-1980s, he found himself overseeing the production of Ferrari’s illustrious road cars. This period marked a significant shift in his focus, moving from the racetrack to the creation of the very vehicles that embodied the Ferrari legend for everyday enthusiasts.

Stepping Out of the Shadow: Inheritance and Leadership

In 1988, the automotive world mourned the passing of Enzo Ferrari. Piero, now Enzo’s sole surviving son, inherited his father’s 10% share of Ferrari, along with the iconic Fiorano Circuit, a private test track used to develop and refine Ferrari’s racing machines.

The following year, Piero was appointed as the vice chairman of Ferrari, officially taking on a leadership role within the company. However, his initial years were marked by a certain caution. Understandably, Piero navigated the complexities of leading a company so deeply associated with his father’s legacy.

Despite the initial trepidation, Piero’s leadership proved to be successful. He recognized the importance of preserving Ferrari’s heritage while embracing innovation and expansion. Under his guidance, Ferrari continued to dominate the world of Formula One racing while simultaneously establishing itself as a leader in the luxury car market.

A Legacy Beyond Ferrari: Philanthropy and Diversification

Piero’s influence extends beyond the walls of Ferrari. He actively supports the Centro Dino Ferrari, a research center dedicated to muscular and neurodegenerative diseases. This initiative carries a significant personal connection, honoring the memory of his late brother Dino.

Furthermore, Piero has diversified his business interests. He is a major shareholder in the Ferretti Group, a leading Italian manufacturer of luxury yachts. This venture demonstrates Piero’s entrepreneurial spirit and his keen eye for luxury brands.

A Life Dedicated to the Prancing Horse

Piero Ferrari’s story is one of perseverance and dedication. From his unconventional beginnings to his rise within the Ferrari empire, he has consistently demonstrated a deep understanding of the brand’s core values.

While often overshadowed by his father’s larger-than-life persona, Piero has emerged as a crucial figure in his own right.


Q: How is Piero Ferrari related to Enzo Ferrari?

A: Piero is the son of Enzo Ferrari, founder of the Ferrari company, and Lina Lardi, Enzo’s mistress. He never met his older half-brother, Dino Ferrari, who died young from Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Q: When was Piero Ferrari born, and where did he grow up?

A: Piero was born Piero Lardi in Modena, Italy, on May 22nd, 1945. He grew up in his father’s shadow, but was not legally recognized as part of the Ferrari family until after Enzo’s wife, Laura, passed away in 1978.

Q: Did Piero inherit his father’s passion for cars?

A: While Piero appreciates the company’s legacy, his passion seems to lie more in technology and engineering. He founded his own engineering company, HPE-COXA, and has expressed interest in areas like NASCAR engineering.

Q: What is Piero Ferrari’s current role at Ferrari?

A: Piero has served as Ferrari’s Vice Chairman since 1988. He inherited a 10% stake in the company from his father and remains a key figure in its direction.

Q: Did Piero start at the top in Ferrari?

A: No. Following his education in mechanics, Piero joined Ferrari in 1965 and worked his way up through various departments. He started as an English translator, then transitioned to technical supervisor and later the Formula One team.

Q: What are some of Piero Ferrari’s key contributions to the company?

A: Piero’s contributions are more behind-the-scenes, but crucial nonetheless. His involvement in GT car production and the management of the Scuderia Ferrari racing team have undoubtedly shaped the company’s trajectory.

Q: Does Piero Ferrari have any other business ventures?

A: Yes. He co-founded Piaggio Aero Engineering, a company specializing in business jets, and owns a stake in the Italian luxury yacht builder Ferretti Group. His interests extend beyond automobiles.

Q: What is Piero Ferrari’s net worth?

A: Piero is a billionaire, with his wealth primarily stemming from his Ferrari shares. The company’s public listing in 2015 significantly increased his net worth.

Q: Is Piero Ferrari married?

A: Yes. He is currently married to Romina Gingasu; he has a daughter, Antonella, from a previous marriage. He also has two grandsons, Enzo and Piero.

Q: I saw a YouTube video comparing Piero and Enzo Ferrari. How are they similar and different?

A: Both father and son are fiercely passionate about excellence and pushing boundaries. However, Enzo was a charismatic leader with an almost mystical aura, while Piero is more reserved and business-oriented.

Q: Does Piero Ferrari ever speak at car shows or events?

A: While not as flamboyant as his father, Piero has participated in interviews and events. Searching for “Piero Ferrari interview” on YouTube might yield results, although Enzo’s larger-than-life persona might overshadow Piero’s presence.

Q: Does Piero Ferrari plan on selling his Ferrari shares?

A: There have been no public announcements about Piero selling his shares. He seems committed to preserving his father’s legacy and ensuring Ferrari’s future success.

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