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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tuesday, January 18, 2005 &#40

Tuesday, January 18, 2005 (Vatican City):

The Ferrari team met Pope John Paul II in a special Vatican audience on Monday.

Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello and around 90 other members of the all-conquering Ferrari team took time out from their preparations for the upcoming 2005 season to meet Pope John Paul II at a special audience in the frescoed Clementina Hall of the Vatican City's Apostolic Palace on Monday.

For seven times world champion Schumacher, this was not his first encounter with the Pope - the German met the pontiff when recovering from a broken leg back in 1999.

Ferrari chairman Luca Cordero Di Montezemolo introduced the drivers and executives before the Pope congratulated the team on their victory in the recent world championship.

The Pope also stressed the importance of team spirit and said Ferrari owed its impressive results to "an enthusiasm that comes from a community spirit."

The Ferrari team then presented the 84-year old with a model of their car in its unmistakable red livery.

Schumacher and Barrichello along with their general director Jean Todt were also brought up for an additional greeting with the Pope.

Afterwards both Schumacher said it had been a great experience for both himself and the team.

“It is something very special. It is something great for us to have been able to be here and hopefully to take all the emotions into the future for us and transmit it into motivation and obviously success. It is a very emotional day for us," said Schumacher.

For his teammate Rubens Barrichello this was something he had dreamt of as a boy.

"It was truly an honour. Once, in Brazil, watching TV, my dream was to come to the Vatican, to Rome. I have already been here as a tourist but today Ferrari has given me the joy to get so close, to kiss the hand of the Holy Father, I even had a picture of my little one with my wife that I showed him," said Barrichello.

When the drivers left the press centre they were besieged by a crowd of fans attempting to get their pictures using cell phones. Police made a tight cordon around them, and escorted them to their cars.

Schumacher though looked rather odd seated in the back seat holding a briefcase as the car sped away from the press centre and past the Vatican. (AP)

Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I saw that today on ESPN at a

I saw that today on ESPN at a local restaurant. I was the only one in there jumping up and down going "Ooooo Oooooo Oooooo" pointing at the screen. They thought I was weird or something.

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