Emerson Fittipaldi, the 1972 and 1974 Formula 1 world champion, got a chance to try out contemporary F1 power when he got behind the wheel of the Lotus F1 Team demo car powered by the Renault RS27 engine at Le Castellet, France, as part of a programme organized by Renault Brazil.
‘Emmo’, who last raced in F1 in 1980, tried his hand with last year’s E20, under the guidance of Lotus F1 Team third driver Davide Valsecchi. ‘It was just awesome,’ he said after the run. ‘So different to the cars I drove in F1. You really feel how the technology has moved on in all areas – the braking power is so much more impressive, the downforce too. The sensitivity of the engine is also very different and you have to be incredibly smooth and precise on the throttle. The level of expertise, data and input in all areas is on a completely different level.’
Emerson was at Castellet with a group of Brazilian journalists invited by Renault Brazil to visit Renault Sport F1’s engine facility in Viry-Châtillon and then participate in the Lotus F1 Team iRace, a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the power, performance and technology of a real Formula 1 car. The journalists tried their hand at a Formula Renault car before a short session in the F1 machine, aided all the while by Renault Sport F1 track support leader and fellow Brazilian, Ricardo Penteado. An unforgettable trip!