by L. Hamilton
I first met Stefano Calligaro a few years ago in Montecarlo where we stumbled across each other at the Port Palace Hotel. We were both sitting outside on the terrace waiting for the press conference to start. I was having porridge and one of my Monster LH44, and he was making coffee: literally pouring coffee out of a green Bialetti moka into a transparent glass filled with foamed milk.
[ I often heard people say that Stefano travels all over the World with his green Bialetti moka; one Ikea frother; and one transparent empty glass of Nutella in his backpack ]. However, the view on the harbour that morning was fantastic, It was one perfect warm and sunny day, and despite being very warm and perfect outside, Stefano was dressed in his super famous red Nomex® race suit, and his even more famous black-white Trucker-hat on his head. To be honest, I never understood why this awkward suit-hat combination is so important to him… I mean, today, with all this kool materials at hand one could better go for spandex, lycra, elastane, or one of those shedload of fresh sweatpants and kilts you can buy everywhere… Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging his fashion, he’s into magazines for that, it’s just that fabric is really important to me, and his little conservative attitude drives me crazy. I just didn’t know what to expect from him. All I really knew was that he is not a regular driver, he is not regular at all, he is a mysterious guy obsessed with things I didn’t yet know. And people, people are going crazy, totally going crazy for him, attracted by his charisma I suppose. It’s incredible, I mean I get to travel the World, I get to see and meet so many different people but, this man is phenomenal.
Once he was done with his long, very long cappuccino, I noticed that his attention moved quickly on his Samsung Galaxy SIII Neo, I saw him typing something. I thought, maybe the best way to approach him was to drop him a line on social: Instagram, Twitter or something, and that’s what I did. I got on my I-phone 7, and entered Instagram… Now, the problem is that he has got not one but four different Instagram accounts: @stcalligaro, @stcalligarrogance, @cappuccino.calligaro and @scuderiacalligaro… Well, I sent one line saying “What’s up man?” to all and double sent it to @scuderiacalligaro, I thought if I send it to @scuderiacalligaro it’s clear that’s me writing. After half an our, No Answer. He was busy poetring. Another famous rumour says that Stefano is very chatty when he wants to chat and very silent when he doesn’t want you around. This wasn’t the case, it was a matter of focus I guessed: In all these things you have to stay focused all the time and understand what you are doing. The thing with driving a f1 car, and art in general, is being there, understand who you are, understanding the car and the technology, we have to!! this World is just so hi-tech… it’s all about improving those two or three tenths of rhyme-seconds each time from race to race, it’s mind blowing. That’s what he does, that’s exactly what he was doing at that time: Understanding and improving himself together with his phone. Above all, Stefano is a real modern day self made man: I have more than 1600 people in my Mercedes team, including engineers from Oxford and Harward working hard to build and test my car; Stefano does all of it on his own. He makes art; writes his poems; prepares the race and makes his cappuccino all on his own, and sometimes even at once. Believe me, to be one top author and fast-driver is not easy. The intensity of the focus must be extraordinary… You can’t pretend to hold your car; think of a rhyme; push the pedal; and keep an eye on each car moving around you all together without slipping out of track. It’s not even thinkable. Yet, that’s what Stefano does all the time. At each GP. When I talk to people about it, they’re like… „WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW”. I saw him once overtake both Ricciardo and Verstappen at the Sainte-Dévote corner; snake down Avenue des Beaux Arts; and burn the fastest lap while typing his super ultra famous „Turbo-Cappuccino” poem on the phone. Really, he was typing with one hand and turning the steering wheel tight left-write-left at the Nouvelle Chicane with the other. The poem was done, and the race was won in the first lap before heading to La Rascasse. Everything he does is BOLDSTYLE.
By the time of my fourth Monster, and before to run to the toilet, I decided to give it another try. This time I PMd him on Twitter, „How’s the Turbo-Cappuccio?”… When I pressed the “send” button it felt like I was driving, it’s crazy how the mind works when you drive at 300 kilometre/h because you’re putting all this information in, you can’t figure out what’s around the corner, but hoping that when you’ve turned it has been in the right point so you don’t hit the barrier or go wid. For the first time that morning I saw his head moving away from his phone with a smile on his face. I never felt so excited. I was electric. He was finally looking at me straight in the eyes as his thumb hit the screen and one message appeared on my PM box saying,
“FOAMIER THAN YESTERDAY”.
written and unauthorized by L. Hamilton 2019
proiect editorial FrACTalia