x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

True to the Tifosi

Jasjeev Kandhari, a businessman in Dubai, uses his Ferrari for his daily commute to work.

Jasjeev Kandhari proudly shows off his Ferrari F430.
Jasjeev Kandhari proudly shows off his Ferrari F430.

Almost two years ago, Dubai businessman Jasjeev Kandhari experienced two life-changing events. First, he purchased his Ferrari, the stunning F430. Then, a few months later, his wife announced that she was expecting twins. "The Ferrari is, to my mind, the ultimate performance car," says Jasjeev, 36. He was talking to us at the Dubai Autodrome where the UAE Ferrari Owners' Club had gathered for a day of socialising and taking their dream machines for laps of the track.

"I wanted one for many years and I was never old enough to own one, but at the same time I didn't want to be too old for one, either." The arrival of twin sons seven months ago meant Jasjeev needed to invest in a sensible family car, but it doesn't stop him from using the Ferrari for his daily commute to his Jebel Ali office. "My wife doesn't really like the Ferrari, but for me it's a passion," he says. "I've had a Mercedes SL and a BMW, but this is my first Ferrari and I am very happy with it, very happy indeed."

"In a Ferrari, you can really feel the drive, feel the engine and feel the car - some cars are smooth to drive, but they're not exciting." While he may need to convince his wife to go for a spin in the Ferrari with him, his 18-year-old niece and his uncle have both been allowed behind the wheel of his pride and joy. "But nobody else in my family is really passionate about cars," says Jasjeev. This is despite his family being in the automotive business, as distributors of Pirelli and Hankook tyres as well as batteries in Middle Eastern and African countries.

"Basically, whenever anyone in my family wants a car, they just ask me and I tell them what to buy. I end up choosing cars for the whole family," Jasjeev says with a laugh. "Nobody else wants to drive the Ferrari in case something goes wrong.I plan to keep the Ferrari for at least another couple of years and then I'll figure out if I want another. I might have to sell it when it becomes too much of an expensive passion," he says.

"Passion" is a word Jasjeev uses repeatedly to describe his love of the powerful sports car and he says that without this emotion, getting behind the wheel of a Ferrari is a waste of time. "If you're going to buy an amazing car, there's no point if you haven't got the passion for it." Jasjeev is in two minds about passing on his love of the Italian marque to his twin sons. "On one hand, I hope they don't get obsessed with fast cars, but at the same time, I don't think they'll be able to help it," he says.

Like all true Ferrari obsessives, Jasjeev also follows the Ferrari Formula One team. "Formula One is mostly about the personalities rather than the teams, but the Ferrari team usually has the best personalities anyway, although Ayrton Senna was one of the best." It's a given that in between enjoying his car on his daily commute and at gatherings for the owners' club, Jasjeev will be cheering on the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen when they begin their campaigns to win the F1 world championship next year.

* The National