Our friends at Williams F1 and Philips were generous enough to let a member of Fun F1 visit their factory recently. More on that later, but for now make sure you visit this Philips / AT&T Williams F1 site and register for your chance to drive a Williams F1 car at Silverstone. You’ll have to prove you’re quick first and answer some Williams-related questions, but don’t worry, I guarantee you’ll be faster than Luca Badoer…
I’ll let our man ‘JS’ give you some more details:
Drive a Formula 1 car
Yes, that’s true. Read on to get the inside line on this fantastic opportunity. Philips is teaming up with AT&T Williams to provide one lucky, no, scratch that, skilful person the opportunity to drive the Williams FW29 at the Silverstone Circuit in England, UK.
The bottom line is, you head over to http://www.philips.com/attwilliams/, register, answer a few questions and you set a hot lap in the online racing game.
If you’re amongst the 10 fastest you’re already on the winners list. You get an invite to compete in the assessment day and a visit to Williams HQ in Oxfordshire – an experience in its own. At the end of the assessment day three persons will be picked. All three will get to drive a sports car with instructions from Kazuki Nakajima. The two best will get to drive an F2 car for five laps and the best one will then get to drive the Williams FW29 with a one-to-one briefing from Kazuki before hitting the track.
The winner will have a total of five laps of awesomeness on Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire in UK.
But, that’s not all. All these steps include various things to assess your skills and your attitude. One of the steps is time on the F1 simulator – think a super expensive and above all accurate version of Gran Turismo on the Playstation and you might get close.
This simulator has got hydraulic pumps to give you feedback that’s as realistic as a huge bunch of cash will allow, it can load any of the tracks, it can simulate any material changes or set-up on car, and so forth and so forth. (By the way, Nico gets a bit car sick in the simulator, whilst Kazuki will carry on all day like a Ninja at a training camp).
Here’s the inside line
This isn’t just a lottery game that’s governed by Lady Luck. No no! Sir Skills is what will take you there, along with Mr Maturity, but enough clichés.
Practice your hot lap, a lot. Get to be fastest. Really. Simply the 10 fastest will be chosen. It doesn’t matter who you are, as long as you’re amongst the 10 fastest. Get racing!
If you’re fast enough to be in the top ten, here’s what the guys at Williams will be looking for, we know, because they told us:
- They’re looking for maturity, not the next Schumacher. Keep that in mind at all times. They’re not going to stick this hyper expensive car in your hands if the first thing you’re going to do is to charge, with the rev limiter bouncing, out of the pits into the first gravel trap.
- They’re also looking for people who can listen, and take directions and tips on board. There’s going to be a lot of information provided, and these guys know what they say, so you better listen to them.
- The third thing you’ll need to master is to be able to know what every button, knob, lever and gizmo does in the cars. Get the inside line on this by reading up, like a proper F1 geek, on all the material you can find ab out the environment of race cars.
There it is. Set a lap that’s in the top ten, then act maturely, listen to what they have to say, and easy peasy you’ll be piloting that FW29 down Hanger Straight at Silverstone.
How Philips have managed to convince Frank Williams and Patrick Head to let one of their amazing Formula One cars into the hands of a Joe or Joanne Public is beyond my comprehension, but it is amazing nevertheless.