A Nobleman
The Latest of The Italian Drivers

Portrait of the Sole Survivor of the Italian Squad who, thanks to his good nature is the idol of racing fans
Excerpt from «Il Giornale» Friday 6 September 1996:

I never saw a nobleman who is so admired by the public. A piece of advice for royalists : propose him as a candidate. He is a Count, a Formula 1 Race Car Driver, and despite the efforts of the First and Second Republic, is the only Italian at Monza. He’s the only Italian driver remaining in the rainbow circus, in which, among other things, even got a late start. In comparison, Schumacher sprung into Formula 1 racing when he was just 20 years old. Count Lavaggi was 36. Today, he is 38 and notwithstanding the few months he has been racing in Formula 1, the last of which has been spent at the wheel of the viable, yet not competitive Minardi, he has conquered the masses. Young racing fans adore him.

«They know I’m one of them - says quietly, the blond Sicilian with blue eyes - they know that they too, if they want, and put forth the effort, can get where I am now». But you’re a Formula 1 driver, an alien who is one in a thousands, you’re a nobleman, what the devil are you saying? I’m saying that I’m just like them. My family is rich in tradition, but personal wealth has not trickled down. In fact, my father always told me that one must acquire whatever he wants by his own means. He told me as a child, because, you know, even as a child, I had the crazy idea to race motor cars. He kept telling me years later. But, without money, you don’t get anywhere in this world.

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In fact, so how did the Count find the money to race?
Easy, I studied and worked.
Sure, then, along comes Santa Claus...
I registered to study mechanical engineering.
Sure in Tunisia.
No, at the Milan Polytechnical Institute.
But, you didn’t take your final exams.
I took them and I graduated.
Then Dad gave you a billion liras as a graduation present.
No, my advisor for my thesis submitted my name to a consulting firm where I was hired.
That was In 1988.

All that is true, certified, and documented. Lavaggi is to the ranks of Formula 1 racing as Cinderella is to fairy tales. It’s impossible not to support him. He is even good at it! The real fans, the ones in the grandstands, not the ones in the box or paddock - the ones the security forces keep out like the plague, are the fans that love him and wait for him ... because «he’s one of us».