Caterham Formula One drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov teamed up with Queens Park Rangers footballers Djibril Cisse and Clint Hill behind the wheel of a Caterham 7 sports car on Wednesday afternoon, as the countdown this weekend’s British Grand Prix began to gather pace.
The F1 drivers gave the players a taste of the legendary British sports car maker’s Caterham Drive Experience before performing a stunt that involved sliding the rear of the car to send a football into the back of the net as if taking a penalty.
The event was the first between Caterham F1, Caterham Cars and QPR since Tony Fernandes acquired both the British sports car maker and Premier League team in summer 2011. The Caterham Drive Experience is held at several venues across the UK, on a variety of dates. Not everyone is as naturally talented as Heikki or Vitaly, but anyone with a driving licence can learn how to perform stunts such as drifting and donuts in one of Caterham’s sports cars.
Former French international Cisse – sporting the new QPR home shirt – told qpr.co.uk: “It was a great experience. I’m a big fan of cars, so it was great to get behind the wheel with Heikki. The ability these drivers have is incredible and it was great to see the way they handle the cars.”
Hill, QPR’s player of the year for the 2011-12 season, added: “Wow, what an experience. You see these guys throwing an F1 car around on the TV but it’s only when you’re sitting next to them that it becomes real. They have unbelievable control behind the wheel and the ability both Heikki and Vitaly had to flip the front end to send the ball into the net was just incredible.”
Graham Macdonald, Chief Executive Officer of Caterham Cars, said: “It’s always fantastic to let the F1 drivers loose behind the wheel of a Seven; as ever they were clearly having a lot of fun and their talent is spectacular. Judging by their faces the players absolutely loved it too.”