Features

What’s a hot lap with Kimi Raikkonen in a Ferrari F12 really like?

Our man buckles up for a super-sideways blast around Fiorano with F1 iceman Kimi Raikkonen. Watch the video…

Kimi Raikonnen meets Chris Ebbs and a Ferrari F12

A recent trip to the Fiorano circuit in Ferrari’s home town of Maranello, was made even more interesting when we were given the chance of a hot lap with Formula 1 legend Kimi Raikkonen. Watch the video below to get a feel for the action. 

As a novice track driver, I’d come along to get some expert tuition in how to handle a supercar from Ferrari’s instructors. The day of tuition had gone well, then, over a couple of laps, Kimi Raikkonen proceeded to show me how little I really knew. 

What is the fastest car in the world?

Sitting in the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta beside Kimi I was expecting a frosty welcome and few (if any) words as we hurtled around the track. But I was surprised when Kimi offered up a good line in small talk, asking me how my day had been on the circuit. I explained that I’d made a few errors during my driving but that things seemed to be improving.

As Kimi nonchalantly drifted and slid the 730bhp Ferrari around the track at speeds of up 150mph, I held on for grim death, tried not to look terrified and did the best I could to hold up my end of the conversation. We chatted about the track and his driving before I ended up sounding like a hairdresser enquiring as to where he was going on holiday.

Top 10 fastest road cars

Chris and Kimi lap Fiorano: second-by-second video breakdown

00:00:28 – Without even looking at the track and while chatting to me, Kimi shoots out of the pit area and hurtles towards the first corner.

00:00:56 – I get my first idea of what the next two laps is going to be like as we power-slide around a corner I’d been tip-toeing around all day in the F12. 

00:01:07 – As we approach the bridge, the crash barrier looms in to view and seems to be getting very close, but a quick flick of the steering wheel and we shoot past it.

00:01.19 – Battling the g-forces, I attempt to ask Kimi if he likes the technical Fiorano track. What comes out is, “Do you like it around here?” as if it’s some kind of holiday destination. 

00:01:51 – As we exit a corner at around 80mph, Kimi drifts the car one handed. Both my hands are firmly on my legs, gripping ever-tighter. 

00:02:03 – Heading down the long straight we reach the highest speed of around 150mph. In contrast, the fastest I managed here was 120mph.

00:02:24 – Kimi explains that his way around the track isn’t the fastest, but it is the most fun. I agree with him, but my nervous laughter tells a different story.

00:02:40 – I decide that it’s time to tell Kimi that he’s ”pretty light with the steering.” Considering he’s been a professional Formula One driver since 2001 – with two years off to do a bit of rallying – he probably already knows that. 

00:03:41 – A final nervous laugh as we pull back in to the pits, and it feels like my organs have rearranged inside my body. Despite that, it was a great experience. Thanks Kimi! 

Which F1 driver past or present would you most like to take a passenger ride with and why? Let us know in the comments section below... 

Recommended

New 2023 Ferrari hypercar spied for the first time
Ferrari hypercar - spyshot 1
News

New 2023 Ferrari hypercar spied for the first time

LaFerrari successor could feature mid-mounted electrified V12 engine and will form basis of new Le Mans racer
3 Mar 2021
New 2022 Ferrari Purosangue SUV spied for the first time
Ferrari SUV
Ferrari

New 2022 Ferrari Purosangue SUV spied for the first time

Ferrari Purosangue hits the track in Maserati Levante disguise
9 Feb 2021
The ultimate Ferrari toy car collection
Features

The ultimate Ferrari toy car collection

Meeting the UK's Ferrari merchandise king
1 Oct 2020
New one-off V12-powered Ferrari Omologata revealed
Ferrari

New one-off V12-powered Ferrari Omologata revealed

The Ferrari Omologata is a unique 812 Superfast-based coachbuilt special inspired by historic Ferrari racers
25 Sep 2020

Most Popular

New 2021 Volvo C40 joins brand’s electric car line-up
Volvo C40 - front
Volvo C40

New 2021 Volvo C40 joins brand’s electric car line-up

The new Volvo C40 Recharge will take on electric car rivals such as the Tesla Model 3 and forthcoming Audi Q4 e-tron
2 Mar 2021
'Genesis’s aim is to lure Jaguar Land Rover customers'
Genesis
Opinion

'Genesis’s aim is to lure Jaguar Land Rover customers'

Mike Rutherford thinks luxury brand Genesis could take sales away from Jaguar Land Rover when it lands in the UK
1 Mar 2021
Nissan Re-Leaf: the electric car with an emergency power bank
Nissan Re-Leaf - header
Nissan Leaf

Nissan Re-Leaf: the electric car with an emergency power bank

The Nissan Re-Leaf concept shows how a family EV could power disaster-relief operations
1 Mar 2021