Do you have to be a hero to drive a Ferrari fast. - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 15 Old 06-12-2013, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
 
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Do you have to be a hero to drive a Ferrari fast.

Ever since I was young I have been reading about Ferraris. Up until the 430 was introduced, every writer would comment on how hard it is to drive a Ferrari fast. I believe Jeremy Clarkson once said something similar to, "a good Italian sports car will give you pleasure till you cross the line, then it will kill you to death." Or something like that. So are Ferraris really that vicious?

Also do you feel that all the electronic aids kill the true driving experience?
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post #2 of 15 Old 06-12-2013, 06:36 PM
 
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I don't think hero is the correct word to use here. There is nothing heroic about driving fast. I think the word you are looking for is pro and no I don't think you need to be a professional driver to go fast in a Ferrari or pretty much any car for that matter. You just need balls to go fast, you need skills to survive in some older cars.

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post #3 of 15 Old 06-12-2013, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
 
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Well said sir.
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post #4 of 15 Old 06-12-2013, 06:51 PM
 
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Autoholic has the correct attitude.

Modern Ferraris will frighten you because they are so easy to drive fast. All cars have their limit. The most frightening car I ever drove was the 750 Monza in 1957. The sweetest car was/is a 430 Scuderia (No, I don't own one)
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post #5 of 15 Old 06-12-2013, 09:44 PM
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Anyone can drive fast. The secret is not to stop unexpectedly.

Don't mix up driving well with driving fast. Driving well means that you take into account everything all the time - hazards, road bends, cambers, bumps, revs, throttle opening, steering angle, the way your car will respond to your inputs BEFORE you apply your inputs, laws (speed limits, no overtaking etc) how you are feeling (tired, anxious etc), and most importantly of all the limit of YOUR talent.

If you take all this in (continuously), and push so that you sit at a level where you feel still well in control and can still act if something unexpected happens, you will be a fast driver for your car and your talents. If you drive like that I will guarantee that you will keep learning and honing your skills.

I disagree with Autoholic. Balls is not what you need to drive fast. It is intelligence.

There are many people I see that do not understand their talents, nor the talents of their car. They don't listen to what the car is telling them. These people are ticking time bombs. It happens often that I think a guy will have an incident on a track day and that they prove me right.

There are also people that don't listen to the car but know that they don't have the talent to explore it. These people are fine, until they drive under extraordinary circumstances such as very cold asphalt, snow, very heavy rain, or a greasy track.

I've driven the Nürburgring in around 9 mins in my 458. Knowing the track better, I could maybe make that 8:30. The car can do it in 7:30. Does that make me a fast driver? Not in the eyes of Fernando Alonso or even a slow circuit racer. But it will be plenty fast for most passengers.

People, for some reason, always want to compare themselves to the very best, and often are delusional about what they can do with a car. Nobody in their right mind would think they can play tennis like Roger Federer. And yet when they look at Formula 1, they think "I could do that".

Above all, stay safe. Be more aware than other people. Try to act instead of react. Try to avoid sliding your car but know ow to correct a slide. And you will be a competent, safe, and fast driver.

Track days help a lot, and so do driving courses.


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post #6 of 15 Old 06-12-2013, 11:30 PM
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I agree fully with Onno. A great post.

I would say you are a hero if you only drive a Ferrari below your own limits (at least on the road), as that way you should be safe for yourself and others.

I think the issue with older Ferraris (and just older sportscars in general) is not that they are difficult to drive fast (and safely) but rather they didn't have the electronic safety net that cars today have. That meant you really had to plan ahead and be much more careful e.g. making sure all your inputs (braking, turning, accelerating) are smooth, ensuring that braking is done in a straight line and before a corner so as not to upset the balance of the car. Similarly, accelerating should be progressive until all four wheels are pointing in the same direction. Today you can often ignore all those rules as the stability and traction controls will sort it out for you. No doubt that makes the ham-fisted look like better drivers from the outside but it takes away some of the difficulty (and hence some of the pleasure) of driving for me.
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post #7 of 15 Old 06-13-2013, 12:30 AM
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NO.

driving a Ferrari at any speed is fun and you'll always feel special

Oh forgot to mention, I agree with Onno above too...great post

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post #8 of 15 Old 06-13-2013, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schnellmann View Post
I agree fully with Onno. A great post..
Agree, as well. +1
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post #9 of 15 Old 06-13-2013, 12:31 PM
 
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Onno, maybe I should clarify because I know that I am correct (not trying to sound like smartass or anything). You only need balls to go fast (as in speed). Anyone can go fast but it takes experience and skill to drive fast, perform with the very best and most importantly, stay a live. If we are talking about fast in terms of time, then balls won't help you a whole lot if you don't have any skills on a track. The recent accident involving a 22 y.o, an 11 y.o. and a F355 Berlinetta should be more than enough proof that you only need balls (or stupidity) to go fast.

What you need to go fast and what you need to go fast and live to tell about it are two different things. That was the whole point behind my first post. Modern cars are very easy to go stupid fast in and not need much experience to do so. Anyone in the world could take a 458 Italia and do 150 mph on the freeway for extended periods of time without any problems. It's done regularly on the Gumball 3000, a bunch of idiots without a whole lot of driving skills go really fast and constantly live to tell about it. Every now and then one of these idiots ends up in an accident. Rarely do any of them die from their stupidity, thanks to engineers making the cars very safe.

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Last edited by Autoholic; 06-13-2013 at 12:44 PM.
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-13-2013, 01:41 PM
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Fast pace driving

Im absolutely guilty of fast pace driving and fast pace motorcycle riding. I do agree with the above said posts. I would just like to say that I believe natural talent is the most important factor . If your natural skills are absent, your most likely to be unsuccessful at taking an automobile and putting it through its paces, for lack of a better word. I agree that the newer cars coming off the line with all the driver aids, does help the driver , but without natural talent, well you know. I also want to re affirm what the other guys talked about, being able process all the feedback that the car is giving you ,and adjust accordingly. I myself am really addicted to driving my 328 , Ive always said that its a pure driving machine, it doesnt have nearly the HP of newer cars, but the driving experience is second to none, and If you can master driving this mid engine machine, you definetely have raw natural talent, Im not saying F1 talent, but just a natural ability to drive a Ferrari properly,thanks Brett .
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post #11 of 15 Old 06-13-2013, 02:15 PM
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Ferrari or any high performance car, it's not about how fast a car is, but rather about exceding the capabilities of the driver... a newbie driver to high performance car like a Ferrari is responding to the reputation of speed and ignoring his short comings of driving with large amounts of power and speed, that quickly find out they are over their heads... relying on reputation of the car as a substitue for experience, that gets them in trouble... allowing for writers to admit their inability to manage the car at speed as being viciuos

U-tube has many posts of drivers new to their Ferrari and other high performance cars, some only an hour or two from delivery, where things have gone wrong for the driver in managing his new ride...
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post #12 of 15 Old 06-13-2013, 06:54 PM
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To answer your question, I have driven a lot of Ferrari's on the track and have raced and instructed for many years. Ferrari's are fast cars and maybe you go faster than you should because they are stable but I've driven other cars like the Porche GT3 that had some pretty scary traits or some of the Lambo's with bad visability problems.

It's always surprised me the differences in the different model F cars. The 512 BBI pushed really bad and the TR has oversteer? The 308/328 are very well behaved and easy to drive. The 348 can get away from you under certain bump situations. I think the biggest problem is people just don't realize how fast they are really going.

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post #13 of 15 Old 06-14-2013, 02:22 PM
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Autoholic, thanks for the clarification and I think we are very much on the same page.


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post #14 of 15 Old 06-14-2013, 05:34 PM
 
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Great. How often do you track either of your Ferrari's Onno? I get the impression that you visit a track frequently from reading your post. I completely agree with feeling what your car is doing, that's partly why I could never be happy with flappy paddles. When you can feel the traction threshold of your vehicle though, you can learn how to drive to that limit and even beyond it. I don't think many people would believe how easy it is to do a 180 in a van. It was an accident that it happened in the first place but damn did I learn my lesson to not drive angry at 1 AM on deserted streets back when I was in HS.

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post #15 of 15 Old 06-14-2013, 08:58 PM
 
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The only thing I'm add is that a car - any car; even the best Ferrari - can't defy the laws of physics. Once the traction limit of the tires is exceeded, nothing can help. Older cars warn you more and scare you more before they let loose. In contrast, modern cars, with their sophisticated electronics, can be closer to the limit without many clues.

Ferraris generally are better and more managable near the limit than other lesser cars. You just have to know what you are doing, as several others have mentioned already. The danger is that a good car can instill a false feeling of infallibility.

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