Have you noticed a Mexican flag on the front of the Ferrari roaring around the Buddh International Circuit this weekend? Well no, it’s not a calling card for Sergio Perez, It’s not even a Mexican flag! On closer inspection, it’s an Italian Military Symbol.
The team announced on Wednesday that it would be showing support for two Italian navy personnel who are being detained in India. They were jailed back in March, and later bailed after the shooting of two Indian fisherman who they mistook for pirates trying to attack an oil tanker that they were protecting.
On their website, Ferrari said “Scuderia Ferrari will carry the flag of the Italian Navy on the cars driven by Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa in this weekend’s Indian Grand Prix. In doing so, Ferrari pays tribute to one of the outstanding entities of our country, also in the hope that the Indian and Italian authorities will soon find a solution to the situation currently involving two sailors from the Italian Navy.”
Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone shot the fishermen off India’s southwestern coast on February 15th.
The marines maintain that they fishermen behaved suspiciously, ignoring warning shots while approaching the oil tanker. Both men denied murder charges and were granted bail but are still awaiting the outcome of their fate.
The incident caused a diplomatic row as Rome called for their return and the regional Kerala government ruled out any out-of-court settlement. Rome says the marines should be prosecuted in their home country because the shootings occurred on an Italian-flagged vessel in international waters, but India says they took place in waters under its jurisdiction.
By Ben Sweeney