26/01/2012 São Paulo Brasil
Pirelli Journalists invited to walk in a two-seater F1 (failed to invite me!) And this is WONDERFUL testimony of a friend of ours ... I thought Fabio Seixas WONDERFUL and I hope You guys enjoy ...
by Lionel de Campos Jorge email Jornalist firstname.lastname@example.org
I walked in a F-1
It's been five hours. But my neck hurts and my stomach is still trashed.
This Thursday in Abu Dhabi was special. A unique experience, exciting, didactic, shocking: I've been in F-1 car.
As a passenger, it is clear. It was a two-seater of the Yas Marina circuit, with Cosworth V10 engine and Pirelli tires demonstration, harder than normal.
"The engine is strong. It is much like a conventional F-1. The cockpit is only a little wider and the wheelbase is longer," said Di Grassi, a test driver for Pirelli, which sponsored the game, and my driver.
The cockpit is wider to fit the legs of the passenger, who embrace the front seat of Di Grassi _os elbows were more or less at the time of my knees.
But make no mistake. It's all very, very tight. Especially with the belt of five points, sticking you in the seat, and with the fairing that is fitted at the shoulders. There was a colleague who had claustrophobia crisis and asked to leave. And a detail: the higher the passenger, the less room left for the arms of the pilot.
Di Grassi know for years. I have written here that is the pilot with more technical knowledge with anyone who has talked. An engineer by birth, a point today to help Tilke circuits in drawings. "When you turn, says he wants to come with me. I accelerate," he promised.
Said and done.
We left the pit and then came the big straight. The car came close to 300 km / h. It feels like an endless fall into a roller coaster. The helmet almost leaves.
In silence, I hope that the line will end soon. A mistake, I find soon: as impressive as the speed on the line is the force of braking. All his organs were being pushed back to 300 km / h, suddenly are thrown forward. The stomach almost to the middle of the track.
Lucas let slip the car into two or three turns, attacks the zebras, and then opens the back cast. Comes the great line: now, packed with the car, crossed the 300 km / h. "We have reached a 305 km / h," he says, later.
Figured to be more prepared for my second time there. Impossible. "This is not done to normal people," was all I could think first of a brake, even stronger, while my left hand vainly tried to hold the helmet.
In the back of slowing down, new meeting with the line, with the brake, with zebras, with curves. The return to the pits.
With two certainties:
1. Everyone who thinks racing is not sport should be placed in a car for such a ride. Five hours later, his neck still hurts from physical exertion, the idea would be another. Not to mention that you stood idly by while the pilot did all the dirty work;
2. It takes years and years so that a driver gets to the point of driving a F-1. You can not do two or three seasons at the base and try to jump as high. Yes, Raikkonen did, which only reinforces the power of the guy and the risk of Sauber. "What you're feeling what I feel if someone came to me and told me to fly a plane. I could not get the business off the ground. All these are years of practice," says Di Grassi, gentle yet dazzled with journalist .
I know many people will say, "See? Is easy to criticize these guys, right? Now that's ass sat there, I see ..."
Bullshit. One thing is to recognize that what they do is not for everyone. I already knew, anyway. Another thing is to analyze, within the context of those 20 or so riders vying for a race, who was right, who was ill, who erred, who hit.
They, pilots are not ETs. These are people who spent their lives training with a purpose. If I asked any of them sit on the laptop and write a report, I am sure that most could not. As I could not extract a tooth, prepare a petition or control surgery.
But it was interesting to feel the skin rather than for them is routine.
The experience was filmed. I'll edit and put everything right the first pit stop of the year, in early February.
Until then have stopped the neck pain and my stomach must have gone back to the place. I hope.
Written by Fabio Seixas at 12h52