Time. In my job, you have to deal with time issues all too often. Just think, in a Formula One grand prix, a pole position or a time that puts you on the first or second row can make all the difference between a podium position or a less impressive result.
I like to keep my precious spare time to myself, especially when it comes to my family and I. But when I was asked to spend some of it driving the fantastic new Ferrari GTC4Lusso T, and star in a video that demonstrates its capabilities in a rather unusual way, I immediately said yes.
Every so often, it’s good to be “in a hurry”. It was the first time I had got behind the wheel of this car and, as always, my main aim was to have fun.
Of course, driving is my job and it’s an essential part of my life, but it’s still a pleasure. I wanted to try out different motorsport races, with challenges in F1, rallying and NASCAR. Also, when I get into a GT car, I like to experience the special features, the ones that make it unique and differentiate it from all the others. When it’s a Ferrari they always manage to amaze and excite me.
The first thing I noticed as soon as I got into the GTC4Lusso T, even before driving off, was the comfort. It’s a roomy, appealing car, with a very spacious boot. I’m also learning to see things as a family man and I think it would be very popular with my wife and son. Although Robin is just two years old, he already seems to have a liking for engines, whether on two or four wheels.
The car has a fantastic chassis and, when I started driving it, I was immediately impressed with both its agility and its sharp responses. It was fun trying it out on the winding roads in the Apennines and in different weather conditions: sun, rain and fog (and we had all three).
It reminded me of my sporting past in rally driving. The GTC4Lusso T thrusts forward powerfully out of corners, turns in very well and maintains its line with absolute precision. I think it’s the four-wheel steering system that makes it, as we say in the trade, so “short” to drive.
After what I’ve seen in this test I'd be curious to see what it’s like on the track too, to feel the same sensations on a circuit. I always enjoy track test drives with the GT Ferraris, more so when there are guests to share the thrill.
Sometimes I sneak a look at their rather worried expressions and it makes me laugh, but I want to reassure them that it’s just the same for me when I’m in the passenger seat. If you’re not holding on to the steering wheel, you always feel that the driver is going faster than he should. The golden rule is always to look after your passengers.
As far as the steering wheel is concerned, I would have liked to have kept my hands on the GTC4Lusso T’s a bit longer. In the end, as ever, the time came to switch off the engine.
My regret at having to leave the latest addition to the great Ferrari V8 family was eased by the prospect of the filming that was still to be done. Not something I’d normally say, but the script included a few moments focusing on a sport that every Finn loves and plays: ice hockey.
I played a few shots at the ice hockey stadium in Fanano with the guys from the local team. I’m fond of this place; I’d been here before, most notably in 2007, a special year for me when I won the world title with Ferrari, and I like to think that they brought me a little luck.
I played with them, celebrated a few goals and had a laugh at a few mistakes. So, I had fun there too. I stayed as long as I could. Until it was time to go back home, anyway. Time.