I climb into the cherry road cockpit of the Ferrari, nervous.
“I haven’t been behind the wheel of a car in months,” I explain to my instructor, clad in a jumpsuit the same bright red color as the car, the Ferrari emblem on his chest.
He smiles and then leans over the car, showing me the various gadgets in front of me. I’d tell you what they were, but it’s car talk, and I don’t speak car talk. The only thing I remember is the switch to hit when I want to go fast (I don’t) and to kick it into manual (which I have never driven before).
“OK,” he says after his how-to-drive-a-Ferrari tutorial. “Ready?”
I cringe, smile, and then I’m off.
Or, the simulation of the Monza track starts. ‘Cause yeah, I’m in a simulator surrounded by enormous screens in front of me.
“You need to hit the gas,” he says as I sit idle at the starting line of the F-1 race.
I push my foot down on the pedal and accelerate, causing my car to lurch forward and bump a bit.
Slowly, I start, navigating turns haphazardly.
“Go faster,” he suggests, so I push my foot harder onto the pedal.
I go fast, but I cannot control the car. Instead of trying to maneuver the turns, I burst into giggles as I run off the road and onto the grass, causing the car to shake.
“Here, I’ll help,” he says, grabbing the wheel since my giggles have taken over my body. I mean, me? Driving a Ferrari? Even simulated, it reminds me I was not born to race cars.
We move forward a bit, far more steadily and expertly than just my hands controlling the wheel. For a few minutes, I relax and navigate the race course, albeit it slowly.
When he lets go and leaves me to it again, I start to feel anxious. Like, I just want the drive to be over and get out of the tiny mock race car. I bump. I run off the road. I probably flip my car, but there’s no way to simulate that without injury.
When it’s over, I climb out, smile on my face knowing one thing: Ferrari (or any other race car) drive, I am certainly not.
Take the wheel
Interested in seeing how you pan out as a Ferrari driver? Head to the Ferrari Museum Maranello in the Emiligia Romagna region of Italy to give it a go. For € 25.00 for seven minutes, experience the thrill of being a race car driver, safely.
Explore the museum
There’s more than just learning how to drive a race car at this museum. There’s an entire collection of race cars to get up-close to here.
Currently, the museum is exhibiting “California Dreaming,” which spread over five different rooms and covers racing, cars used in Hollywood, a red carpet area with the 250 California, the technology of the cars and more.
See the region
From April 4 until the end of October 2015, you can visit this museum, as well as the Ferrari Museum Modeno, along with experiencing other highlights of the region, including Pavoratti’s house, wineries and more with Discover Ferrari & Pavaoritt Land.