Reigning four-time FIA World Rally champion Sébastien Ogier saw his dreams come true last month, when he was given the opportunity to test the Red Bull Racing RB7 in Austria.
The Frenchman admitted it had been his dream since a small child to drive one of the fastest cars in the world, and emulate his hero Ayrton Senna.
Though Ogier never progressed thought to the heights of F1, he did become a world-class Rally driver, taking the Junior World Rally Championship title initially, before going on to take four senior titles from 2013 – 2016.
This year he is again gunning for glory and currently leads the way in the championship by eleven points. Contracts with previous teams had always stopped Ogier from being able to get behind the wheel of a F1 car, but now driving for the Red Bull sponsored privateer team M-Sport, the Frenchman was finally able to tick this wish off his bucket list.
Ogier travelled to the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg to take part in the test, and was thrilled to finally get to experience the speed of a F1 machine.
“As a kid I was watching (Ayrton) Senna, he was my idol, and of course I was dreaming one day to try this kind of car.
“For a racing driver to have fun you need to be fast and a Formula One car is the fastest car you can drive, so of course every racing driver wants to feel that one day.”
Despite his many successes in rallying, which include 40 WRC rally victories and 493 stage wins, driving a F1 car would be an altogether different challenge for Ogier, and he did take some advice from former Red Bull F1 driver David Coulthard during the day.
The Scotsman explained how it would not be an easy task for Ogier, who is used to much more room in the car than he would be getting.
“When you are used to rally, you have a lot more cockpit space but with a Grand Prix car it is a much more compact and hostile environment.”
The only set-up changes Ogier made, were to the traction control, which he reduced the more confident he became.
“I turned it down gradually, and then removed it completely to finish without any”.