“Ciao Palermo, Monza is calling!”

Stories > “Ciao Palermo, Monza is calling!”

Athlete: Max Verstappen
Sport: F1
Client: Red Bull Racing
Location: Palermo, Italy


Ciao Palermo, Monza is calling” is a tribute to Italy, and in particular to the city of Palermo. But it is also a special way to celebrate the next Sunday Monza Grand Prix. In the video, the F1 single-seater RB7 driven by Max Verstappen crosses the Sicilian capital, touching the most representative and iconic places of the city in an unusual and suggestive four-wheeled ride, really unique in its kind.

After the Spa and Zandvoort races, the Italian GP is around the corner. Before facing the chaotic but exciting challenge of Monza, Max lets himself be lulled by the evocative atmosphere of Palermo. However, a message from the Red Bull Racing Team Manager, Christian Horner, invites him to prepare for the next stage. So begins a race against time: in just 5 minutes he must reach the beach of Mondello and cross all of Palermo in a single-seater, along a complex path, but undoubtedly breathtaking. His team is waiting for him, waiting for him on a boat – yes, a boat – to leave for Monza. Between narrow streets and manual maneuvers, it seems an impossible feat… or almost.

The starting point is a very special box, located in the heart of the characteristic market of Ballarò, the oldest, lively and multi-ethnic market of the city. It is packed like every day, because it is here that the eccentric sellers, the putiàri, propose to the buyers, with seductive screams, the delights from the surrounding countryside and from the whole world. Despite the delicacies on the stalls, however, the eyes of the crowd this time are all on him, armed with the helmet and the iconic uniform. The evocative baroque dome of the Chiesa del Carmine stands out on the scene.

Time is passing and Max has to move through the city streets, guided by the directions of his team, aboard an F1 car that certainly does not go unnoticed. The first stop is the splendid Villa Bonanno, with its palm trees and monuments dedicated to the key figures in the history of Palermo. The next is the famous Piazza Quattro Canti, but to reach it Max chooses “u Cassaru”, or Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the two ancient axes of the city. The road is dear to the citizens also because it is the main stretch along which takes place the procession of Santa Rosalia, the beloved patron saint of Palermo and symbol of the entire region, whose festival is an event able to attract real crowds (we are talking about something like 500,000 people).

And the arrival at the Quattro Canti coincides with one of the most exciting moments of this journey. Verstappen, in fact, decides that this is the ideal place for what in jargon is called “donut” and turns the car on itself to give a 360 º view of the square, in a shower of roses in honor of Sanata Rosalia. These in fact recall the analogous homage to the patron saint of the city that takes place in this exact point during the procession to honor it.

Continuing in its run, the car arrives at Porta Felice, the window on the sea of the historic center, then whizzing at full speed along the Foro Italico, one of the most evocative seafront in Palermo, characterized by rows of palm trees, and then descend towards “la Cala” the oldest part of the port area.

Leaving the city center, Max Verstappen arrives at the Parco della Favorita, one of the largest urban parks in Europe, a true green lung of Palermo located at the foot of Mount Pellegrino. With its alternation of curves and straights, this part of “circuit” allows the single-seater to reach unthinkable speeds in a city context. Here the pilot can finally release all the power of his single-seater, until that moment held by the atypical path chosen, distracting from a deep meditation some girls who are doing yoga.

The last stop of this unprecedented race is the beautiful beach of Mondello, reached after walking Viale Margherita di Savoia, embellished by the typical architecture in Art Noveau style of its villas and especially the so called “Antico Stabilimento Balneare”.

It is right at the end of the promenade of Mondello, which reveals the last surprise of this journey towards the next GP of Italy. The Scuderia Red Bull Racing Honda team is approaching the pier with a very special boat. Max, without thinking twice, gets on board the boat directly with his F1 car, and they are now ready to sail together towards Monza and the next challenge of this exciting Formula One championship.


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Gabriele Seghizzi