Ferrari: We compare the movie to the real-life story

Ferrari, the critically praised race car drama starring Adam Driver, Penélope Cruz and Patrick Dempsey, is available to stream from today so we took a look at the facts and fiction.

The full-throttle biopic follows Italian entrepreneur Enzo Ferrari as he prepares his racing team for the 1957 Mille Miglia; a one-thousand-mile endurance-based race across Italy. The film tracks Enzo as he grapples with personal and professional struggles, in an action-packed drama based on true events.

But how close is the film to the true story? Let’s investigate…

  1. Enzo really did have a mistress.

The film puts a strong focus on Ferrari’s personal life, from his failing marriage with Lauren Ferrari (Penélope Cruz) to his secret affair with Lina Lardi (Shailene Woodley). This plotline holds true in accounts of Enzo’s real life.

Enzo fathered a love child with Lardi during their decades-long affair, Piero. This remained secret for many years, due to strict Italian laws around divorce at the time. It was only after Lauren’s death in 1978 that Piero assumed the Ferrari name.

  1. Ferrari’s financial situation.

In the film, facing a precarious financial situation, Enzo Ferrari’s accountant gives him an ultimatum; win the Mille Miglia or sell the company. But the reality may have been a little less dramatic.

While Ferrari was not the powerhouse it is today, the business was in good shape around the time the movie is set. A Ferrari car had won the Formula 1 championship a year prior, and Italy was in the midst of an economic boom in 1957.

  1. Enzo’s son did tragically pass away in 1956.

In the biopic, we meet Enzo and Lauren Ferrari as they are grieving the loss of their only son, Dino. These tragic circumstances are based in fact, as Dino did in fact pass away at the age of 24 in 1956, just a year before the film is set.

This loss is said to have hit Enzo hard. He’s on record as saying, “the only perfect love in this world is that of a father for his son”, and it was widely expected that Dino would become Enzo’s successor.

  1. Enzo Ferrari couldn’t speak English.

While Adam Driver’s depiction of the motor mogul speaks English with an Italian accent, the real Enzo Ferrari couldn’t speak English.

  1. The Mille Miglia crash really did happen.

As the film depicts, the twenty-fourth and final Mille Miglia really did come to a disastrous end in 1957. The race ended when a Ferrari, driven by Alfonso de Portago (Gabriel Leone) collided with a telephone pole, landing in a crowd of spectators. Several people were killed, including Alfonso himself and his co-pilot, Edmund Nelson. As a result, the Italian government immediately banned the Mille Miglia, and Enzo Ferrari faced manslaughter charges.

You can stream Ferrari on NOW.