7 October 2016
'Dream come true' - MotoGP's Lorenzo drives F1 Mercedes
“Today I experienced driving a Formula One car. It's been an amazing day" - Jorge Lorenzo.
Triple MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo drove a Mercedes F1 car at Silverstone on Thursday.
The Spaniard was at the wheel of the team's 2014-spec W05 Hybrid machine, one of the most dominant cars in F1 history courtesy of 16 wins (eleven for Lewis Hamilton, five for Nico Rosberg) en route to sealing both plus the drivers' and constructors' titles.
The drive was arranged by mutual sponsor Monster, with Yamaha appearing to know little about the event.
“First of all I want to say thank you to Monster Energy for giving me this opportunity. It has been a great experience, like a dream come true," Lorenzo said. “The past few days for me have been very special. I had the opportunity to work alongside some of the best engineers in this sport, drove the F2 car, had simulator test sessions and finally, I got to drive the real deal.
“Today I experienced driving a Formula One car. It's been an amazing day. I'm very satisfied with the lap time in the last run. From what the engineers were saying, my times were really competitive. The car is so smooth, I expected a more twitchy and difficult car but in the end everything was so good: the steering wheel, the engine, everything.
“It was quite easy to drive and the car in the corners is really, really fast and the grip of the car it's unreal. In the first lap you feel the power but when you get used to it, it's similar to a MotoGP bike but in the corners, you are in a different world, about 40kms faster in the middle of the corners.
"Also it surprised me how late you can brake and the amount of grip the car can support in full throttle in the fast corners is insane.”
Mercedes AMG Petronas track engineer Richard Lane added: “It's been great working with Jorge today. From the moment he arrived he's been full of enthusiasm and keen to get stuck in. Between each run he's been poring over the data, and looking to find areas for improvement. You can see why he's a multiple World Champion on two wheels.
"His interest in the detail of his performance has been impressive. He's taken feedback on board and improved with every run. It's been a great experience for us to work with Jorge and we wish him all the very best for the rest of the MotoGP season.”
Lorenzo's team-mate Valentino Rossi famously flirted with a switch to F1 in 2006, after several tests for Ferrari. Lorenzo, who is moving from Yamaha to Ducati next season, will be back in MotoGP action at next weekend's Japanese MotoGP.
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