Francesco Bernoulli is a major character in Cars 2. He is not an antagonist, but is rude to Lightning McQueen at certain points. Towards the end of the movie, they are not completely friends, but acknowledge each other's abilities and are simply competitive against one another. He was beaten by Guido in the World Grand Prix
Francesco Bernoulli is a former rival of Lightning McQueen and grew up in the shadow of the famous Monza race course in Italy where he and his friends would sneak onto the track and race the famous Pista di Alta Velocita bank turn.
He was an instant winner on the amateur circuit and soon became an international Formula Racer champion. The ladies love Francesco’s open wheels, youngsters look up to his winning spirit and fellow racers envy his speed. But Francesco’s biggest fan is Francesco himself, as evidenced by his racing number.
As the most famous race car in Europe, #1 Francesco is a favorite to win the World Grand Prix, which also makes him Lightning McQueen’s chief rival.
He won the first race in the World Grand Prix. But, due to several crashes, he came in second to Lightning in the second race. In the unofficial fourth race at Radiator Springs, it is unknown who won.
Mater can't seem to say his name correct, as he calls him, "Mr. San Francisco."
He appears in the second Cars level as part of the main goal. He tells the player and Holley Shiftwell to keep off the Tokyo race course as he has a race to prepare for, only that the player and Holley were searching for a bomb that somebody planted on the course of the Tokyo Grand Prix. They see that the bomb is on Francesco, who doesn't even know about the bomb. The player has to catch Francesco and use a device to disarm the bomb before it explodes. In the ending cutscene, the player deactivates the bomb, only that when the player and Holley investigate the bomb, Francesco asks them what did they want with him. Holley explains that someone sabotaged him with the bomb, only that he's safe now, but he doesn't believe it, saying that it is ridiculous and that he is not easily fooled, before driving away saying to the player and Holley that they are just trying to get into his head, but it will never work.
- Hometown: Porto Corsa, Italy
- Top Speed: 220 mph
- Zero – 60 mph: 2.5 seconds
- Engine Type: 2.4-liter V-8, 18,500 rpm redline (Formerly) V-6, turbocharged, 15,000 RPM limited with ERS (Currently)
- Horsepower: 750
While developing a Formula One character for the film, the developing team realized that a such open-wheeled car could make much more gesture than normal cars with fenders. Director John Lasseter said: "We don’t typically lift the tires off, partly because of the fender. But I thought, “Wow. To have an open wheel car, like Francesco, it gives us a lot more gestures.”. And so we thought, “Well this guy’s going to be gesturing like crazy. Let’s make him Italian, an Italian Formula 1 car. This will be perfect.”"
Bernoulli’s design took four months to be finalized. as the team worked out where to put the mouth and how to give an F1 car a “windshield” for the eyes. Indeed, F1 cars do not have a windshield. Additionally, they are very long. As says Character Art Director Jay Shuster, "Formula cars have long snouts, so we had to really inflate his form to get the real estate we needed.". Ultimately, the eyes were placed on a sort of helmet that is integrated with the body. The mouth is at the end of a foreshortened nose, and not underneath it as originally envisioned.
The fact that Francesco, as an open-wheeled car, has his suspension visible, posed some unusual problems to the animators. According to Shuster: “Francesco was the hardest design to complete because of his exposed suspension”. As supervising animator Dave Mullins said: "We always have fenders covering the wheels. So we can hide our dirty little secrets underneath the hood, because the chassis is moving around and stretching around. All you really see is the hard body of the car, and the wheels acting. With Francesco, we can see the connection between the wheels and the body. It was one of the big challenges trying to figure out how to support everything that’s going on with the body."
The original suspension had to be reinvented in order to support all the stretchings that Francesco's gestures would cause, and the team had important struggles to achieve a believable suspension. Jay Shuster said: "We realized that when he takes off his front wheels, he's stretched like a rubber band and it's really ugly. Something like that took about two months to figure out what was going on—we developed a whole telescoping arm that had a pivot point." “The kind of physical expression we were able to get from Francesco’s movement took a lot of work but really looked great in the end. He was able to achieve these really extreme poses.”
According to Story Supervisor Nathan Stanton, Francesco's character constantly reminded the development team of the character John Turturro played in The Big Lebowski. Consequently, John Turturro was chosen to voice Francesco.
- Francesco’s last name, Bernoulli, is a reference to Daniel Bernoulli, a Dutch/Swiss mathematician who published ground-breaking theories on fluid dynamics and the conservation of energy.
- Francesco's design seems like a typical modern Formula One design.
- Francesco's tires are Pasta Potenza: Rotelli Tires. Potenza makes allusions to Bridgestone's Potenza tires, which were used by all Formula One teams from 2007 to 2010. Note that "Pasta Potenza" would literally mean "the power of pasta". "Rotelli" is a play between Rotini, a type of pasta, and Pirelli, which is now the official F1 tire supplier. It is possibly also a reference to Italian sports cars being called "Pasta Rockets".
- He is the third Italian character to appear in the film, after Guido and Luigi.
- Francesco's pit crew chief is Giuseppe Motorosi.
- On Francesco's side is a logo presenting the letters FR in a design similar to the F1 logo. It is the abbreviation of "Formula racer", his racing league.
- Francesco often refers to himself in the third person.
- Concept Art depicts him with a sponsor called"NIOTE".
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