Three-time Moto GP world champion Jorge Lorenzo was given the opportunity to drive a Formula 1 car courtesy of Mercedes setting up a test day at Silverstone in October.
The Spanish rider tested Lewis Hamilton’s title-winning Mercedes W05 and offered his impressions to Motorsport.com when visiting the final round of the championship in Abu Dhabi last weekend.
“The power of the engine was amazing, but especially the grip in the corners, the way you can brake so late because there is so much grip in the car, but the fast corners, the downforce of the car and the grip of the car in the fast corners is amazing.
“The first corner in Formula 1, we take it in third gear with the MotoGP. In the Formula 1 it was almost flat out in seventh gear, so the difference is huge.”
Lorenzo had come well-prepared to the test, having spent time in Mercedes’ simulator at Brackley as well as at Snetterton where he lapped in an F2 car. He acquitted himself well around the fast sweeps of the British GP venue.
“At the beginning I started calm and quiet because I didn’t want to make a mess or any disasters. Then in the final run I could push to the maximum and make quite a good laptime.”
The man who will be switching from Yamaha to Ducati in 2017 said he had no intention of swapping his two-wheel ride for a four-wheeler, but admitted that MotoGP riders were still a bit braver than Grand Prix drivers in this day and age.
“The safety of a Formula 1 car is at a very high level with all the cockpit and all this. They have improved so much.
“Bikes have also improved but still when you crash your body is the chassis. You hit the ground with your body.
“So it’s easier to injure yourself in a bike than in a car. Normally in Formula 1 is very difficult to get seriously injured. In that aspect we have a little bit bigger balls.”
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