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My adventure driving an F1 car!

Discussion in 'F1' started by Birdman, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. nopiston

    nopiston Formula Junior

    Apr 1, 2004
    273
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    Randy
    That was so awesome... What a rush that must have been!

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us, Birdman.
     
  2. James-NZ

    James-NZ F1 Veteran

    Jun 26, 2007
    5,760
    Hamilton, NewZealand
    Full Name:
    James
    Thank you for sharing this with us. AWESOME!!!
     
  3. glasser1

    glasser1 Formula Junior

    Sep 2, 2006
    510
    Oregon
    Wow! And I thought karting was fun. I should not have read this. Thank you for giving me something else to dream about!
     
  4. EHKim

    EHKim Karting

    Dec 17, 2003
    72
    Socal
    Birdman,

    I enjoyed reading your story very much.
    While I was reading it, my wife asked me what I was so interested in reading. I told her that it was a story about someone who drove an F1 racecar. She replied what is so interesting about someone else's life.
    I did not reply to her but the main reason is to find out how enjoyable you found the experience and whether I would think that it would be worth the price of admittance.

    Your story is a very fascinating read and really captivated me - I was disappointed that my reading speed could not keep up with my desire to take it all in as fast as I could.
    It seemed like you really enjoyed yourself in the process.
    But in the end, it ssems like the experience is quite similar to the Car and Driver/Road and Track racetrack experience in that the actual driving is great fun but too short. At the Road and Track racetrack event, we got to do 2 laps around the racetrack for each of the "exotic cars". Two laps is just not enough to enjoy the experience, let alone get familar with the car. I would imagine that with an F1 car, I would need many many laps to be able to truly enjoy the experience especially if I do not know the track.

    I guess if I do sign up for the F1 experience, I will have to save up enough for an additional 10+ laps.

    Thanks for the great story.
     
  5. dinogt4guy

    dinogt4guy F1 Rookie

    Oct 31, 2004
    3,196
    Hewitt, Tx.
    Full Name:
    Dino Tifosi
    Just Incredable!!!!! YOUR WIFE ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  6. Dilancer

    Dilancer F1 Rookie

    Jan 28, 2007
    3,344
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Dilan B.
    Wow, awesome writeup! Must of been some experience.
     
  7. menoy

    menoy F1 Rookie

    Mar 12, 2005
    2,644
    PL
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    MRodziewicz

    Yes, it was... funny, witty and an overall fantastic read/write up :) Just thought that sentence would bring in a torrent of 'comments' :p
     
  8. nunojcmaia

    nunojcmaia Formula Junior

    Dec 16, 2004
    388
    porto - portugal
    Full Name:
    nuno maia
    #58 nunojcmaia, Sep 3, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Birdman,

    I enjoyed very muvh reading your AGS F1 experience, because I've done the same thing, back in May/08.
    I also choose the manual gearbox car, but if it was today I should prefer the paddle shifted because it's not easy to drive such a powerfull car, on a unknown track, with so much people around, and all those breefings, that only puts you nervous and afraid on braking and cornering well, and then be concerned on that very tricky gear shifter...But it's has been the most exciting experience I've had on a car, ever !
    I think you didn´t mentioned that everybody was very friendly, and that the circuit is near St. Tropez, what's very important to convince the wife to agree on spending so much money on a few laps in a racing car....
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  9. Anthony_Ferrari

    Anthony_Ferrari Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2003
    2,187
    Sheffield, UK
    Full Name:
    Anthony Currie
    Fantastic story! I loved every bit of it. Sounds like you had an amazing time. You are part of an elite group:

    A large proportion of the world have heard of Ferrari
    Less than half have ever seen one
    Even less have sat in one
    Even less have driven one
    Even less have owned one
    And even less have driven an F1 car!

    I bet more people have climbed Mount Everest than driven an F1 car.

    Can you comment on this? Do you think the guys who paid big bucks for extra laps got value for money? Do you have to do them all in one go or is it possible to do 5, come in for a rest and some feedback from the instructor and then go out and do some more?
    I assume there was no pits to car radio?
    Apart from the heavy clutch was it hard work or easy?

    Sorry for all the questions - I'm a curious fella.
     
  10. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2003
    6,683
    North shore, MA
    Full Name:
    THE Birdman
    Yes. Seven of them, but none are automotive.

    I actually heel and toe pretty well in my own car, but at speeds twice as high as I'm used to, on an unfamiliar track with a different car and much higher brake pedal effort....it was one task too many for my brain. A guy has got to know his limitations!

    She just read this thread and her head is swelling. She thinks she is a legend on fchat now. :rolleyes:

    I was just going for a laugh with the paddle shifters for girlie men. :D

    Very good point! We stayed in Hyeres, right on the beach, just a short distance from St. Tropez. The south of France is warm, sunny, has lots of nice beaches, good food. And topless babes. :) Not that I was looking....

    Birdman
     
  11. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2003
    6,683
    North shore, MA
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    THE Birdman
    It wasn't hard WORK, per se. Just required careful attention to what you were doing...a lot of concentration. You don't hop in one of these things and drive it like you are going to work in the morning, thinking about something else. While you are speeding down the straight, you are thinking about the braking point for the next corner. While you are braking for the corner, you are watching the apex and downshifting. You are always thinking about the next action. You can't have surprises. Steering effort is impossible when still, but light and communicative when driving. Brake effort is high, and one of the reasons that heel/toe takes practice in this car.

    I think they would allow you do to a few laps then go back out if you set that up in advance. There was one guy in our group who bought 10 laps and after about 5, the engine died. They brought the car back, couldn't quickly find the problem, so they put him in another car and sent him back out.

    I think there is value in the extra laps. I wish we had gone with about 8. I went all the way to france, another 4 laps wasn't that much more $$. Unfortunately, they wouldn't let anyone add laps on the spur of the moment, because they were running late. Often they will allow people to add laps if they get inspired, but the day I did it, they only allowed you to do the number of laps you paid for in advance, since they were behind schedule.

    Birdman
     
  12. ProCoach

    ProCoach F1 Veteran
    Owner

    Sep 15, 2004
    5,439
    VIR Raceway
    Full Name:
    Peter
    She IS! :D
     
  13. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2003
    6,683
    North shore, MA
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    THE Birdman
    Nuno knows what I'm talking about!!! For a guy like me, the manual gearbox F1 car is a serious handful the first time!
     
  14. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2003
    6,683
    North shore, MA
    Full Name:
    THE Birdman
    You aren't kidding Peter! I have been dreaming of open wheel race cars for a week. Very addictive! I came home and had to re-watch the Valencia GP just to get my fix!

    Birdman
     
  15. dstacy

    dstacy F1 World Champ
    Owner

    Jan 23, 2006
    10,214
    GMT -6
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    Dave
    BRAVO! BRAVO!
     
  16. menoy

    menoy F1 Rookie

    Mar 12, 2005
    2,644
    PL
    Full Name:
    MRodziewicz
    Hahaa.... I knew something smelt fishy about that write up of yours.. :)



    Sure, I knew all along.... ;)
     
  17. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ
    BANNED

    Aug 3, 2002
    40,647
    California
    Full Name:
    Carbon McCoy
    Ha...! Those were my exact words when I finished reading. You literally took them right out of my mouth.


    Birdman, congratulations on an amazing experience. And your writeup was nothing short of magnificent. Thank you for sharing such an incredible adventure with us - and in such an eloquent manner!
     
  18. kraftwerk

    kraftwerk Two Time F1 World Champ

    May 12, 2007
    26,664
    England North West
    Full Name:
    Steve
    Just re-read it and it's still a great read..;) and it made me think whilst sat here posting about how good or bad we think F1 drivers are it just reinforces how hard it really is, sure it must get easier with practise, but then add the increasing pressure to get results.
     
  19. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2003
    6,683
    North shore, MA
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    THE Birdman
    That was one of the key points I took away from the experience. Driving a Formula 1 car is very very hard. It takes skill. Driving it really fast takes a lot of skill. The worst F1 driver on the grid is still 1000x better than me, so it's hard to criticise guys like Massa or Hamilton when they goof.

    But the paddle shifters still make them girlie men. ;)

    Birdman
     
  20. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Oct 3, 2002
    45,375
    @ the wheel
    Full Name:
    Andreas
    I disagree. I didn't find it all that hard. Neither times. Driving it really fast, yes, that takes a lot of skill.

    In fact I found it easier to drive than a bunch of lesser racing cars I drove simply because the F1 is so supreme in its engineering: Everything is bang-on precise: The steering, the brakes, the shifter. There is no guessing game. You're on it or you're not.
     
  21. kraftwerk

    kraftwerk Two Time F1 World Champ

    May 12, 2007
    26,664
    England North West
    Full Name:
    Steve
    I think your under estimating your talent..;)

    Driving tanks..
     
  22. EHKim

    EHKim Karting

    Dec 17, 2003
    72
    Socal
    You should do a 3 day race school with Skip Barber at Laguna Seca. I highly recommend it.
     
  23. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Lifetime Rossa

    Oct 3, 2002
    45,375
    @ the wheel
    Full Name:
    Andreas
    #73 tifosi12, Sep 3, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2008
    LOL

    Well I did my Army :) and Skip Barber gig before I went to Le Luc. Brought my suit and helmet with me, which made me a bit of an outcast right from the start (I remember getting up at like 6am and going to the hotel's breakfast room in my suit since I didn't want to change again. There was a guy also going to the program looking at me funny). So I had some experience, but not much and I would make a big question mark around my "talent". There really wasn't much to it, other than not screwing up the lurching out of the pit lane. I was proud that I didn't stall the engine, but that wasn't such a big deal since we started in 2nd.

    The Arrows I drove last year was actually harder to control: The grooved tires made it very nervous. It also had to do with the fact, that the AGS fit me a lot better: They have several cars depending on people's size. At the Arrows experience we only had one car that had to fit all and in hindsight I should have brought some stuff to position myself better in the cockpit.

    PS: After I came home, I wrote "Le Luc" for Grand Prix 3 on the PC. Wasn't easy as the track is shorter than the minimum length supported in the game, so I had to stretch some straights. Use fotos I took during the event for the scenery.

    PPS: Our AGS experience was timed right around the Monaco GP. So the next day we drove to Monaco and I did a couple of laps on the public streets while the armco and banners were still in place. Ended up in the pitlane (the old one), on board camera still rolling when an angry gendarm arrived and shooed me away. :)
     
  24. kraftwerk

    kraftwerk Two Time F1 World Champ

    May 12, 2007
    26,664
    England North West
    Full Name:
    Steve
    All good stuff mate, I still haven't driven round Monaco, on my list of thing's to do. Bet your glad you drove in the pitlane with the camera rolling now though brillant .;)
     
  25. Birdman

    Birdman F1 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2003
    6,683
    North shore, MA
    Full Name:
    THE Birdman
    I'm already planning it for next summer! (Except here in the northeast).
     

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