- “Francesco is familiar with this reaction to Francesco. Women respect a car that has-a nothing to hide.”
- Francesco Bernoulli 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.
Francesco was chosen as a character in the film because the team that develops the characters noticed that there could be more gestures from a Formula One car compared to a normal-shaped car that fenders. This was reflected by John Lasseter saying: "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.""
However, it took four months for the team to finish Francesco's model, as they were unsure where his mouth and eyes would be, as real-life Formula One cars have long bodywork and no windshield. Jay Shuster mentioned, "Formula cars have long snouts, so we had to really inflate his form to get the real estate we needed." Finally, they decided that a crash helmet shape would be added to the body and place the eyes there, while the nose was shortened with the mouth at the end of it, but not underneath.
Another problem was that Francesco's suspension was visible, since open-wheeled cars are meant to show their suspension, which was stated by Shuster to be difficult to make, and Dave Mullins stated: "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."
To make the character's final model, the developers had to do another version of the suspension so that it would suit Francesco's gestures, but also found they had major struggles which were also necessary, as stated by Shuste: "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."
Francesco's character was said by Nathan Stanton to be similar to a character in The Big Lebowski played by Francesco's voice actor John Turturro, as it was what the developers thought of when thinking about Francesco.
Francesco started out as being cocky, as he usually boasted about being the fastest racecar in the whole world. He was also arrogant, as shown when he believed that McQueen could not beat him in their races together, which also made Francesco self-centered. It also made him slightly similar to Chick Hicks, but the only difference to Chick is that Francesco did not cheat. He even felt confident that he would win in his home country, but he was proven wrong. However, he does sometimes show care for others, such as when he felt shocked about the other World Grand Prix racers having been involved in a huge crash. By the end of Cars 2, Francesco appeared to become nicer, since he was shown to not be as much boastful as before, and felt calmer racing McQueen in the Radiator Springs Grand Prix. Francesco also often refers to himself in third-person view, saying his name and the words "he", "his" and "him". However, he does sometimes refer to himself in first person, such as when he uses "I" and "my" while stating about being in his hometown Porto Corsa.
He has brown eyes, and is painted in the colors of Italy's flag. The red color is seen on his nose cone and across the middle of his bodywork, and the green and white colors are seen on his upper bodywork, sidepods and front wing endplates. The colors are also painted on each side of his rear wing. On his nose cone, he also has a picture of the flag with yellow borders, along with a white circle showing his racing number, 1, in black. These are additionally shown on an idol on his sidepods that shows the World Grand Prix logo and symbol. On his barge boards, he has the allinol logo, as well as the letters "FR", which stand for his racing league, "Formula Racer", and look similar to the Formula One logo. Additionally, he wears black tires and red rims. On his tires, there is text reading "Rotelli Tires Pasta Potenza". In Disney INFINITY, his tires just say "Rotelli Tires".
Going into the summer, Francesco is selected by oil billionaire Miles Axlerod to be one of the racecars to compete in the World Grand Prix, and is involved in an interview with Mel Dorado and Axlerod. Axlerod mentions that he also invited Piston Cup racer Lightning McQueen as a World Grand Prix competitor, but McQueen had been deciding to take a break after winning his fourth Piston Cup trophy. Boasting, Francesco assures Axlerod and Dorado that McQueen could not beat him anyway, because he has a higher top speed than McQueen. As Dorado receives several calls from the viewers of his show, tow truck Mater makes a call, telling them that Francesco is not to mess with McQueen, and then talks to Francesco to say that McQueen has surprises up his sleeve. At first, Francesco is impressed about Mater's saying that McQueen's break is so he could spend time with his friends, but eventually becomes annoyed when Mater assures him that he cannot be the unstoppable, as he demands for Dorado to skip to another caller. Moments later, McQueen cuts in, telling Francesco that he does not appreciate anyone making that much insults to Mater, as he is McQueen's best friend. Furthermore, McQueen insults Francesco himself by calling him a fragile car, causing Francesco to freak out and soon complain in Italian, before Dorado switches the audio to Axlerod, who asks McQueen if he shall compete in the World Grand Prix, and McQueen accepts, much to Francesco's dismay.
Not long after, Francesco and the rest of the World Grand Prix racers come to Tokyo, Japan for the opening ceremony and race. During the opening ceremony, Francesco is spending time with a couple of his fans, and soon meets McQueen and Mater. This meeting had been planned by Mater, since he wanted to help McQueen while on the tour. Honored, Francesco lets Mater pose with him, as Mater begins to mention about a huge fan of Francesco's, who is McQueen's girlfriend Sally. With glory, Francesco and McQueen propose a toast, declaring that whoever wins in the first race tomorrow will have their victory dedicated to Sally. In addition, Francesco shows to McQueen a tag on his rear wing that says "Ciao, McQueen", supposed to be seen whenever he would leave a scene. Unbeknownst to Francesco, McQueen threatens to beat him when the race occurs. Francesco is soon involved in Axlerod's introduction of all the World Grand Prix racers to the press, and stands with them in a different part of the building as McQueen is the last one to be introduced. As soon as Mater interferes with Axlerod and McQueen after consuming a big amount of wasabi, Francesco laughs as Mater cools himself down with water from the fountain.
For the race the following day, Francesco has been put in eleventh place on the grid, one place behind McQueen. As they line up on the grid, Francesco is preparing himself, then begins to hear McQueen talking to himself about having the speed to win. Responding, Francesco makes fun of McQueen by claiming he has triple speed which would make himself win. When the race starts, Francesco and McQueen make their way through the field, and get into the front before the first turn, with Francesco in the lead. However, as they come onto the dirt roads, Francesco struggles for grip, enabling McQueen and the rest of the field to get past before coming back onto the asphalt. Francesco becomes determined, attempting to pass many of the racers along the way, but is stuck behind McQueen for most of the race. Meanwhile, a couple of the racers crash out with engine blowouts, all occurring behind Francesco. On the last lap, McQueen makes a sudden move to the outside of the loop up to the Rainbow Bridge, because he is hearing random things said by Mater while someone is directing him, and this gives Francesco the opportunity to snatch the lead and win the race.
The second race of the World Grand Prix is set to take place in Porto Corsa, Italy. It has been Francesco's favorite, since he had grown up living there, and is used to knowing the layout of the circuit. In addition, Francesco qualifies for pole position, while getting huge support from all the citizens, even from his mother, who has also come to watch him race. As the start lights go out, Francesco makes a good start to keep in front, and once again tries to make sure McQueen does not get past him. Ultimately, on the final lap, McQueen closes up to Francesco, and they go side-by-side as they head toward the finish line. To Francesco's dismay, McQueen wins the race just a couple of deciseconds ahead of him. Frustrated, Francesco begins to wonder how come he is beaten, but their argument is cut short as ambulances rush past. Wondering what has happened, Francesco and McQueen are both shocked to find that all the other racers have crashed, due to more engine blowouts. The public begins to assume that the blowouts have something to do with allinol, which is a fuel that Axlerod invented so to try and get the whole world to switch to renewable energy, and it also leaves Axlerod devastated, announcing that for the last race in London, the racers can use any fuel of their choice.
As one of them, Francesco chooses his fuel for the race, being one called "Benzina". Having qualified second, Francesco takes the lead as the race begins. However, as soon as they come through Admiralty Arch, McQueen is back in the lead, while Francesco falls back to second. Soon, Francesco is driving by himself, when a panicking Mater zooms past with rocket jets attached and McQueen holding onto him. Surprised, Francesco is worryingly beginning to wonder what is going on, just before Mater zooms off the racetrack with McQueen. Following, Francesco is still racing, when all of a sudden, secret agent Holley Shiftwell flies past with her afterburners and retractable wings, which makes Francesco alarmed and really wondering what is going on around him. It soon turns out that Mater was trying to save McQueen from a bomb, as some criminals, called lemons, were trying to kill McQueen and make the world dismiss alternative fuel, which Mater soon points out that the lemons' leader is no one other than Axlerod.
Ultimately, Francesco and the other World Grand Prix racers get invited to McQueen's hometown Radiator Springs to compete in an unofficial race taking place around Ornament Valley. Although it is just a normal race, with no press or trophy, Francesco is proud to take part. Before starting, McQueen lets him meet Sally, who is flattered by Francesco's words about McQueen being the "luckiest car in the world". Just as he is about to line up on the grid, Francesco notices that McQueen got him with using his own tag on his back bumper, saying "Ka-ciao, Francesco!" Francesco admits defeat, though believing his own was more amusing, but is not shy to suggest driving without fenders, as he feels that it would be enjoyable. As the race begins, Francesco and McQueen make it through the lead and are both calm and happy as they battle for the lead, with McQueen ultimately keeping it. Shortly, Mater joins in after his spy friends Finn McMissile and Holley allow him to have his rocket jets, and joins the field, leaving Francesco surprised once again as Mater zooms past him and challenges his best friend McQueen for the win.
In the video game, Francesco joins McQueen, Mater and all their friends at C.H.R.O.M.E. to complete spy missions and races run by the secret agents. In the "Unfriendly Competition" race, Carla Veloso and the car the player is racing as (Raoul ÇaRoule if the player is playing as him or Midnight Francesco) are challenged to a race by Francesco, who competes with a carbon fiber paint job which he calls "Midnight Francesco". Finally, everyone accomplishes every mission available, and even Francesco feels that they have all mastered the events. However, Holley is quick to say to him that he did not exactly complete the simulations, having that he would have to win every race. On the plus side, as said by Finn, he is allowed to run the simulations as much as he likes.
Being one of the characters available to play as at first, Francesco is in the medium weight class, having more speed and less power. Unlocking Midnight Francesco requires getting the "Master Tracker" crest, which the player gets by finding all twenty Spy Point Pick-ups located at different courses.
Francesco appears in the "Bomb Squad" level, where the player and Holley have to find a bomb someone had put around Tokyo. Shortly, they find out that this mysterious person has placed the bomb on Francesco, who is unaware about the danger as he rushes to a race. Eventually, the player's character gets close enough to deactivate the bomb, moments before Francesco asks what is going on. However, after Holley explains what had happened, Francesco believes that they are fooling him, and departs while saying there is no way they can fool him that easily.
Francesco is one of the characters playable in the first Disney INFINITY game, being able to use in the Cars Play Set and Toy Box, and is also compatible in the Toy Box of 2.0 and 3.0. Like the other Cars characters, Francesco has the ability to drift and perform air tricks, use a turbo boost, and the ability to tow another car or player with a tow chain. In the first game, his exclusive adventure is called "Francesco's Rush", where the player has to complete three laps as quickly as possible.
In the Cars Play Set, Francesco is invited to participate in Luigi's Radiator Springs International Race Invitational, where racers from around the world come to compete in races at Radiator Springs. Francesco occasionally appears as an opponent in the races unless the player is playing as him. As they prepare for the last race, there are reports about Fillmore's fuel having gone missing since the arrival of Chick Hicks, and after they all finish the race, Francesco and the others notice Chick has been responsible, and Francesco follows the others as they take Chick away.
In this game, he is the second-to-last character to unlock. Lightning also does a rematch against him at the last race of his track.
- Francesco Bernoulli: "Ah, Lightning McQueen! Buona sera."
Lightning McQueen: "Erm, nice to meet you, Francesco."
Francesco Bernoulli: "Nice to meet you, too. You are very good-looking. Not as good as I thought, but you're good."
- —Francesco and McQueen at their first meeting in person
Francesco began hearing about McQueen sometime around the announcement of the World Grand Prix, when they were both invited by Axlerod to participate. While Francesco accepted, McQueen gave a different answer, having made the decision to spend time with his friends at home. After this was mentioned, Francesco bragged on the Mel Dorado Show that McQueen would not match him because he goes up to speeds faster than McQueen's speed. Mater tried to defend McQueen, but McQueen himself soon got on the phone, and Francesco was surprised to hear him talking to the show. However, McQueen insulted Francesco by calling him fragile, causing him to overreact and tell McQueen that they have different speeds, only to lose his temper when McQueen jokingly took his comment as a motto. Still stressed, Francesco was shocked to hear McQueen accepting Axlerod's invitation.
Francesco met McQueen for the first time in person when Mater decided to introduce McQueen to him at the World Grand Prix opening ceremony, and was quick to say that he did not think McQueen was that much good-looking, but still complimented him. Soon, Francesco proposed a toast, saying that his win in the first World Grand Prix race the following day would be dedicated to McQueen's girlfriend Sally, though McQueen stated that he had already done the same. Before McQueen left, Francesco showed him a label that would say farewell whenever he himself departs, though it immediately sparked his and McQueen's rivalry.
The next day, Francesco overheard McQueen talking to himself as they were lining up on the grid, and decided to make fun of him by doing the same practice McQueen normally does before a race, now feeling that this helped him to prepare for the race, and he took the lead at the start of the race, defending his position until coming up to the dirt track section, where he skidded on the dirt and was angered to see McQueen and the rest of the field overtake him in the section. As soon as they got back on the tarmac, Francesco made his way back up, but could not find a way past McQueen, until a miscommunication from Mater made McQueen move to the side and enable Francesco to snatch the lead, contemptuously thanking McQueen, and stopping him from beating him to the finish line.
Francesco was more proud to have qualified ahead of McQueen at his home track, though he did notice that McQueen was depressed about Mater having gone back home. Francesco decided to point out that it was hard for both of them, since they would both be far away from their homes. McQueen was already starting to think that Francesco was insulting him, but Francesco declined that it was an insult, declaring that he would miss his mother when away from his hometown. However, to make McQueen still believe it was an insult, Francesco became cheery as he pointed out that he was actually at home and that his mother was watching him in the crowd. At that point, he vowed that he would finish ahead of McQueen in the second race, but he turned out wrong, as McQueen gained speed on the last lap and overtook him just before they crossed the finish line. Francesco became furious, not thinking it would have been possible to be beaten, but his argument was immediately cut short when ambulances rushed past him and McQueen, and they were both stunned to hear about the pileup involving the rest of the racers.
By the end of Cars 2, Francesco appeared to be more friendly with McQueen, although they still sometimes had arguments, as shown in the video games.
- Mater: "Excuse me. Can I get a picture with you?"
Francesco Bernoulli: "Ah, anything for McQueen's friend."
- —Francesco letting Mater pose with him in front of the cameras
Although hearing about McQueen at first, Francesco had not known about any of McQueen's friends, especially Mater. However, without knowing that, Francesco heard Mater's voice while he was on the Mel Dorado Show, as Mater was trying to pay him back for the comments he said about McQueen. Mater was explaining that McQueen would be spending time with others in his life while having a rest from racing, a statement Francesco saw impressing. However, Mater kept going on, causing Francesco to beg Mel Dorado to end Mater's call and find someone whom he would hope to describe having a "little more intellectual stimulation". Mel, however, was unable to respond, due to Mater replying to Francesco's comment. Moments after McQueen took over, Francesco realized that Mater was McQueen's best friend, and acknowledged that tow trucks like Mater would not need to confirm his behavior.
The first time Francesco met Mater in person was in Tokyo, when Mater was introducing McQueen to him at the opening ceremony. Francesco even accepted Mater's request to stand with him for the pictures the press were taking, and it was also at this point that he heard from Mater about McQueen's girlfriend Sally. The next day, Mater's comments to Holley while he was wearing the headset used to talk to McQueen during the race helped Francesco to win the race.
Francesco had no other interactions with Mater in Cars 2, although it is implied that he became more friendly to him like with McQueen. However, he did get surprised as Mater joined in the Radiator Springs Grand Prix, having been given permission from Finn and Holley to keep his rocket jets.
- Lightning McQueen: "Francesco, I'd like you to meet..."
Francesco Bernoulli: "Signorina Sally. It is official. Lightning McQueen is the luckiest car in the world."
Sally Carrera: "Why, thank you." (chuckles)
- —McQueen introducing Sally to Francesco
Sally is McQueen's girlfriend, although she is also a big fan of Francesco. When McQueen and Mater met Francesco in Tokyo, Mater was eager to mention to him about Sally, which he remarked that it is impressive how she would be McQueen's girlfriend and one of Francesco's huge fans. He later decided to propose a toast with McQueen, saying his win in the first race would be dedicated to Sally, although McQueen confessed that he already did his own dedication. Nevertheless, Francesco won the race, thanks to a mishap by McQueen.
Before they started the Radiator Springs Grand Prix, McQueen had Francesco meet Sally, who was delighted as Francesco mentioned to her that McQueen is one of the luckiest people in the world.
Francesco came across Chick at the Radiator Springs International Race Invitational in Disney INFINITY, in which they were a couple of the racers who were invited to take part. Before the race, Chick declared that everyone would be eating his dust, but Francesco had the courage to tell The King that he did not think Chick was that bad. In the Toy Box of the first game, when the player moves Francesco near Chick, he would say different things about him, being that he wondered who would choose a name like Chick's, giving him pleasure, and saying that he has no knowledge of him.
In Cars: Fast as Lightning, Francesco came to say that he would be hoping to win a race against McQueen, but was surprised to hear Chick say he himself would beat McQueen. Chick then added that he would be better than the others and leave them in the dust, which made Francesco tell him to stop while laughing so hard, and admit that he himself would have nothing to worry about with the huge number of fans he has compared to Chick.
- Francesco has the same surname as the Dutch/Swiss mathematican Daniel Bernoulli.
- From the text on Francesco's tires, "Potenza" refers to the tires made by Bridgestone, a tire company that used to supply tires for all Formula One teams from 2007 to 2010. "Pasta Potenza" is literally Italian for "the power of pasta". "Rotelli" is a combination of the pasta named rotini, and Pirelli, a tire company which currently supplies tires to all Formula One teams. It could also be a reference to the name "Pasta Rockets", which is used to refer to Italian sports cars.
- In Disney INFINITY 2.0, his lines are absent, including the one he says when the player goes to the Toy Box after starting the game. While some of his lines are added back in 3.0, the line "Now I look down on you from above!" is still absent.
- Francesco Bernoulli's top speed is 220 miles per hour, making him faster than Jackson Storm.
- On Francesco Bernoulli'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 Bernoulli's prefers to speak about himself in third person.
- ↑ Official Disney UK website
- ↑ In 'Cars 2,' John Lasseter Says Big Oil is the 'Uber Bad Guy'
- ↑ Behind the Scenes of Cars 2
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Cars 2 production notes
- ↑ How to build a talking car ? Says 'Cars 2' Art Director Jay Shuster, it starts with Google.
- ↑ Story Supervisor Nathan Stanton CARS 2 Exclusive Interview