Laop & John ElkannThe Elkann brothers are moving in, ladies and gentlemen. First, Luca di Montezemolo handed over the chairmanship of the Fiat group to John Elkann. Now, reports from Italy are indicating that the affable Marquis di Montezemolo could be preparing to abdicate the Ferrari throne in favor of John's rakish younger brother Lapo. (That's Lapo in the picture at right, wearing the blue suit and sneakers, next to his brother John at the Alfa Romeo press conference in Geneva this year.)

Montezemolo had assumed the Fiat chairmanship after the passing of Gianni Agnelli, as the controlling family waited for its scions to become ready to take control. Once they were, the Marquis gave up the group chair to John as reports proliferated of Montezemolo's political aspirations. These were followed by public calls from within Italy's political echelon for Montezemolo to lead a coalition to eject the troubled Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is currently under trial for alleged relations with underage prostitutes.

If Montezemolo does make the long-anticipated move from business and sports into politics and statesmanship, reports indicate that Lapo Elkann could be at the top of the list to take over, instead of promoting someone like CEO Amadeo Felisa, Vice-Chairman Piero Ferrari (son of company founder Enzo) or Stefano Domenicali, director of the Scuderia (a position from which both Montezemolo and Jean Todt ascended to overall control), from within Ferrari's own management.

Lapo himself has had a colorful past, driving a denim-clad 599, reportedly overdosing on cocaine with a group of transsexuals, lending a hand at a Lakers game, working for Henry Kissinger, and perhaps most pertinently, directing Fiat's marketing department.

[Source: OmniAuto.it (translated) | Image: © Noah Joseph/AOL]