Watch F1 Drivers Learn To Drift

Watch F1 Drivers Learn To Drift

Formula 1 is all about precise car control, mastering the most minute movements to shave thousandths of a second off every lap. Drifting, by contrast, is all about big, flashy moves and tire smoke. So how does an expert in one discipline do when challenged to the other?

Pretty damn well, as it turns out. Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu were challenged to learn drifting down in Australia, and it seems that mastery of car control transfers right over from high-dollar race cars to hoodless utes.


CAN F1 DRIVERS DRIFT? | Valtteri Bottas & Zhou Guanyu Learn to Drift

Of course, it’s no surprise Bottas and Guanyu would take to drifting like fish to water. For all its flashy angles and big transitions, drifting is still a matter of incredibly precise car control — the timing and pressure of every throttle press, every handbrake, every clutch kick can make or break a slide.

Bottas and Guanyu aren’t the first F1 drivers to try getting slideways on a track. Last year, champion Max Verstappen got the keys to Mad Mike Whiddett’s Madbul RX7 for a few lessons in sliding. Verstappen’s training looked a bit less sucecssful than Bottas and Guanyu’s, but I’m willing to chalk that up to the peakier power of the Madbul’s rotary engine. It’s hard to beat high-displacement torque.


Max Verstappen Learns How to Drift | Feat Mad Mike

Even drivers at the apex of motorsport, the highest peak of racing, can’t help but grin and laugh when given the opportunity to get sideways in a high-horsepower car with an angle kit. I, for one, can’t wait to see a Formula 1 versus Formula Drift invitational. Red Bull’s got the money to put that together, right?

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