If Ferrari wanted press, it’s sure getting it. The famed Italian automaker is coming under heat after a video showing a Ferrari 458 Italia doing doughnuts and burning out on an ancient wall in China has surfaced on the internet. The wall is located in Nanjing, China, and dates back 600 years to the Ming Dynasty. One user on Weibo, a popular social media site in China, described the act as a “rude insult.” Now even the word “Ferrari” has even been blocked on the microblogging site as a way to stop criticism of the Chinese officials in the online furor surrounding the debacle.
How did this happen? Reports emerged suggesting officials accepted a payment of $12,000 in exchange for use of the wall, an allegation the Nanjing Cultural Relics Bureau denies. Ferrari, for its part, has said the incident was not a press stunt, and has since apologized. Ferrari also has said the negligent driver—whose burnout left tire skid marks on the ancient site—was not a Ferrari employee and works at a dealership.
The near million dollar Ferrari was hoisted onto the wall as part of an event to celebrate the Italian sports car maker’s twentieth anniversary in China. Ferrari was quick to cancel the celebration afterwards. Ferrari has agreed to work with local authorities and officials to “repair any damage caused by the negligence of this individual.”