F1 track day vs Corso Pilota Ferrari

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by ddemet, Apr 8, 2004.

  1. ddemet

    ddemet Karting

    Dec 11, 2003
    Switzerland (VD)
    Given the choice between doing a track day at MagnyCours culminating with 7 laps in a 1998 Benetton F1 single seater (you start off in a hot hatch then an F3000 before driving the actual F1) and doing the Corso Pilota Ferrari at Mugelo, which one would you do?

    FYI: I had done 20-30 trackdays in my 996C4 and just got a Modena which I haven't taken to a track yet but planning to.

    Thanks for your opinions!
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  3. sherpa23

    sherpa23 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    May 28, 2003
    Full Name:

    Benetton F1. I don't know about you but I can drive my Ferrari on the track any time I want. It's not every day that I take an F1 car around the track.

    Although there is something to be said about taking someone else's F car on the track.
  4. Brian C. Stradale

    Brian C. Stradale F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 17, 2002
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Uhh, BOTH of course!! And I plan to do both... probably.

    Seriously... I wouldn't think of it as which to do... I'd think of it as which to do first... or which can I wait on. If it was just about the cars, I'd choose the F1. But if I conceded I'd do both, I might go for the Pilota course now and the F1 later. Why?

    Given you're just ready to take your own 360 to the track, why not go get some practice and training on someone else's. After a couple years of tracking your own, the Pilota course will be much less appealing (less novelty). Further, with the Pilota course, I assume you'll do some touring around Italy. That alone is almost a deal-maker.

    Where's the F1 you're considering? Canada?

    Hope that helps, Brian
  5. ddemet

    ddemet Karting

    Dec 11, 2003
    Switzerland (VD)
    F1 takes place in MagnyCours which has been hosting the Franch F1 GP for the last 10 years (have never driven on that track). The 'problem' with the F1 day is that you only end up doing 7 laps in the Benneton (or Prost they don't guarantee which F1 car you get), the rest of the day is familiarisation with driving on racetracks in general and that track in particular.

    As for the Pilota, it is not a trackday (which indeed one can do anytime and on tracks more interesting than Mugello), it is a proper 2-day driving course given by world class racing pilots. Which expalins why it costs 10 times as much as a trackday and slightly more than the F1 thing.

    The 'Italian touring' element it is not really relevant as I live in Switzerland, an hour's drive away from the Italian border and I drive there a few times a year. Last time was in January when I drove to Maranello for the factory visit.

    I only have the time to do one or the other this year which makes it an 'either or' situation for the near future.

    Thanks again for the feedback!
  6. Brian C. Stradale

    Brian C. Stradale F1 Rookie
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 17, 2002
    Dallas, TX, USA
    Ooops... missed the MagnyCours part (d'oh) and that you're from Switzerland. (Very cool... and just an hour's drive from Italy... really really cool.) Okay, to the question...

    I am very familiar with the sales pitch for Ferrari's series of Pilota courses... I really want to do the two courses at Fiorano... and, of course, the one at Mugello is a prerequisite. I've heard very positive things about the courses from people with little to moderate track experience. Some felt it might not be quite so good for someone with lots of track experience. However, based on your description of the Magny Cours F1 thing, that too is probably going to be a bit slow for someone with even moderate track experience.

    Sooo... given your plan to get your 360 out to the track more in the future... I strongly vote for the Pilota course. You'll probably learn a bit, but more importantly gain a lot of comfort in a 360 on track. Further, I suspect you'll get a feel from the instructors of just what a 360 can do on the track... and that'll pay off big in the coming track days with your own 360.

    In contrast to the Pilota course which will pay dividends in the future, the F1 thing sounds like an "experience" to be had, but no real on-going payback. I'd put that on the list of things to do someday in the future.

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  8. bjc138

    bjc138 Karting

    Sep 2, 2002
    Full Name:
    I'd do the pilota course if you're interested in some formal training. The instructors are some of the best drivers in Europe. The one downside to the Mugello course is that you only get two laps at a time, then it's back to the pits for the next part of the course. It's great fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it, with the highlight being the final laps in my own F550 behind a German touring car champion in an F360...we seemed to forget the rules for that part!

    Regarding Magny-Cours, it's a stunning track but very, very fast and takes a lot of learning to get it right. There's a club circuit at Magny-Cours too, it's shorter and safer but the F1 track is tooo coool! I'll be in Magny-Cours on April 19th in the Stradale and will do a session in a Renault Formula 2000. This event (along with 5 others over the summer) is organised by Sports Promotions in Geneva, a first class, informal, crew that offer instruction and Ferrari trackday insurance, if you choose. PM me if you'd like to join us over the summer for a 'play' (we'll be in Dijon, Lurcy-Levis, Anneau-du-Rhin, Varano and Magny-Cours).

    -- Brian
  9. tifosi69

    tifosi69 Formula 3

    Dec 23, 2003
    Atlanta, Ga.
    Full Name:
    Al-Al Cool J
    F1 without a doubt!! I can only imagine how awesome that would be.
  10. ddemet

    ddemet Karting

    Dec 11, 2003
    Switzerland (VD)
    Brian, TX:

    Living in Switzerland is quite cool, I am on the shores of lake Geneva and have some very nice hill roads with stunning vistas a few minutes drive away.
    [check I have posted half a dozen photos in the threads]

    Brian, ZH:

    Pilota is more 'sensible' but have also heard mixed reviews from people with some track experiance. How much did you have when you did it?

    I'd rate my experiance as moderate (have been to Spa, Imola, Hockenheim (short track), Brands, Silverstone etc) but with a 300BHP 4wd Porsche, not in a 400BHP rear wheel drive Ferrari! So the course could make sense and anyway I wouldn't go there for the trackday fun.

    That I can have anytime. BTW my dealer (Garage Zenith, Sion VS) is also going to the April19th event in Magny Cours but I couldn't make it. They'll also be there in mid October which is more feasable for me.

    Taking the Adelaide hairpin 'correctly' with an F1 must be quite something!
  11. maranelloman

    maranelloman Guest

    I'd have to agree with Brian: do both, if possible!!

    If not....well, I'd do the Magny Cours get to drive an F1 car, of course!!!
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  13. ferraridriver

    ferraridriver F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed

    Aug 8, 2002
    Bay Area Calif.
    Full Name:
    The F1 for sure. Absolutely nothing compares to the razor sharp precision of a proper single seat race car, and F1 is the pinnacle.

    Hopefully I will get a few laps in ex Andretti Parnelli F1 car next month. I am looking forward to it.
  14. ze_shark

    ze_shark Formula 3

    Jul 13, 2003
    Switzerland (NW)
    Maybe the answer is neither or both, depending on your budget or free time :)
    Or perhaps depending on your goal. If you're looking for thrills, I'd bet that the F1 event must be more dramatic, although I bet that you'll have more fun in the F3000 than in 7 F1 laps. Not sure you can really enjoy such a car with such short time to adapt.

    I wrote my opinions about the Pilota course in
    I'd been at trackdays before, but I learnt valuable things. Value for money is questionable, and Brian is right about the short lap series. Somehow, everything is designed so that you don't get carried away and have too much fun. Drive clean, but don't drive too fast, and certainly don't race the other guys.
    The advanced course is so ridiculously overpriced that it's tough to see the Pilota course as the step towards a blast at the advanced course.

    I agree about Magny-Cours, I went once for a bike track day, beautiful but damn fast.
  15. ddemet

    ddemet Karting

    Dec 11, 2003
    Switzerland (VD)
    Thank you all for the useful feedback!

    I just booked the Corso Pilota Ferrari for September 28-29, 2004 and decided to postpone the F1 trackday for 2005.

    I will be posting any interesting pics and comments after I do the course!

    Thanks again,

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