Ferrari Paint Nose Black for Pope

Formula One World Champions Ferrari confirmed on Sunday morning that they will mark the passing of Pope John Paul II by painting the noses of their two cars black for the Bahrain Grand Prix

Ferrari Paint Nose Black for Pope

Ferrari ran such nose-cones in the 2001 Italian Grand Prix, following the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center.

News of the Pope's death last night put the Italian team in sombre mood on Sunday morning and World Champion Schumacher spoke of the "strange and sad" atmosphere after the final qualifying session at Sakhir.

Top members of the Ferrari team had visited the Pope before the start of the season, before he became gravely ill, and they presented him with a model of their Championship-winning car from last year.

Italian television station, RAI, announced they will not show the Grand Prix race live and did not show final qualifying, as all stations focussed their attention on the Pope.

The CONI, the Italian National Olympic Committee, which manages sports in Italy invited all Italian sports federations to suspend all sport events in the country for the weekend in respect for the Pope.

But Formula One, currently residing in a Muslim country, will continue on as planned but with several other teams marking the passing of the Pope with their own signs of respect.

Minardi, the only other Italian team on the grid, cancelled their planned regular Sunday press conference with team principal Paul Stoddart as a mark of respect but have not yet decided what they will do for the race itself.

Italian Jarno Trulli, who will start the race in third place for Toyota, drove with a symbol on his helmet to give wishes to the Pope on Friday and Saturday.

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