You don’t mess with Ferrari, especially if you’re an automotive journalist, because the Prancing Pony means something. At least, that’s the message that’s being sent to the German automotive magazine Sport-Auto. The journalists at the publication reportedly uploaded a video of them driving a new LaFerrari on the Italian automaker’s Fiorano test track as well as on some country roadways. Now Ferrari might be fining the publication for $70,000 for the slip-up.
It’s all part of a review embargo on the highly anticipated LaFerrari, which is a common practice in the automotive industry. Various publications and websites sign contracts stating that they will not reveal certain aspects of a car until a certain date, and in return they are privy to special information on the model as well as perhaps the ability to drive the car before anyone else. Apparently, Sport-Auto posted the video about an hour before the embargo was lifted.
So an hour is not big deal, right? Maybe, but maybe not. Ferrari has built up a reputation among automotive journalists that is not always positive. Allegedly, they have told different automotive websites that have looked deep into issues like certain models spontaneously combusting that they will no longer be eligible to receive any loaner Ferraris for the purpose of reviews.
What is not such a common practice is to punish anyone who violates an embargo for a vehicle with a stiff fine. Of course, with big publications $70,000 hurts little, but Sport-Auto isn’t exactly Top Gear. Whether Ferrari decides to go by the letter of the law or not remains to be seen.