My day with an F12 TDF PART2
My day with an F12 TDF PART2 [PART 1 HERE] – It was about 1PM and everyone was starting to be a bit hungry. I don’t usually have breakfast in the morning, but it’s hard to think about eating when you’re in the presence of such cars, especially when they’re red Ferrari. You just sort of forget about hunger. Eventually, we all left, with the Ferrari F12 TDF and the F40. It was quite something. Having the closest things to race cars on amazing roads in a very peaceful countryside. After a while, we stopped by one of those random small-village restaurant with these two shiny beasts: it was a souvenir for everyone there that day, I’ll bet. The local food was delicious and very copious (changes from Paris lol). It was the perfect alliance of fine food and fine cars, a genuine mix of the famous french “joie de vivre” (aka joy of living), the kind of moments you never forget and deeply cherish.
The return road was even cooler, because I was lucky enough to get in the passenger seat of the Ferrari F12 TDF. I mean, it *was* my day with an F12 TDF haha! Once you’re in, you know you’re not in a ordinary car. Everything feels special, from the floor your feet rest, to the little “F12 TDF” in the dashboard right in front of you, reminding you were you are. The owner had opted for “racing belts”, which are much harder to put than “normal belts”, but it gives you a sort of procedure to follow, like a ceremony before firing-up the spaceship. You feel like an astronaut preparing & waiting for take-off.
Without surprise, the car drives insanely well. That might sound pretentious, but I didn’t expect any other feedback, to be honest. The gear-shifts were faster than with the F12, and they apparently improved the steering wheel and how the car turned, more fluently (let us not forget the F12 is quite a “big” and long car). The car handles SO well, even in “auto” mode it knows everything you would do. As a passenger, having some core information displayed in the dashboard in front of me really made me feel like the co-captain of the ship. I absolutely LOVE technology in a car, though the “infotainment” wasn’t as developped as in the new Ferrari GTC4 Lusso, where the passenger really becomes an independent co-pilot (for example, he can control music). It was a chill drive, though we had a few opportunities to unleash the horses a little bit, but it was always for a brief moment: we didn’t need to force the car to get insane results. Overtaking other cars felt like child’s play. At every acceleration, my smile got bigger, and my cheeks started to hurt from all the smiling. Bear in mind that the point wasn’t to test the car or push it to the limit and unleash all 780bhp: we just drove “back home” calmly. Like 90% of car owners drive on a day-to-day basis, Ferrari or not. However, the sheer pleasure of driving on country roads, and being behind the wheel of a Ferrari (or in the passenger seat) makes all the difference! As I often say, whenever I’m out on the streets or in a car and I see a red form, a red shape, I instantly get excited and wish for a prancing horse. More often than not, I’m disappointed because it’s not, but that’s also the whole point: when it actually IS, the excitement is that much bigger.
So we got back, kept taking some photos and videos to relate the experience. When you’re living moments like these you’re sort of confused, because you never know what to do, if you should take more pictures, more videos, if you’re actually going to use them in the end, if you should just sit and enjoy. One of the things I like the most in the world is to just “hang around” next to cars, and discuss with friends. And it was the perfect afternoon for that: the sun was shining bright and gave a much-needed warmth to everyone there. And come on, I was surrounded by Ferraris, how could I not enjoy myself!
The Modena Sport Ferrari dealership also joined us up that day by bringing the brand new Ferrari 488 GTB spider. Again, my first one! I had seen a few 488 GTB in Paris, but no 488 spider! It’s funny how cars eventually grow on you. When the 488 first came out, to me it looked like a restyling of the 458 (they probably thought the same back then with the 430 & 360 Modena). But after seeing it so many times, I finally understand the car’s identity. As I always say “the car has grown on me”. When you see the amount of work that has gone in redesigning the back, with the body on the flanks covering the tail-lights from the side, it’s almost “LaFerrari-ish”. The air intakes near the door are really impressive to say the least. It looks much more agressive than a 458 italia, yet the 458 Speciale remains the king in this domain for me. If we’re not counting the F12 TDF & LaFerrari, obviously.
The day eventually ended, it was dusk, the sun was slowly beginning to disappear in the horizon, leaving a wonerful reddish / pinkish sky. It was time to leave the lovely horses and let them rest, for we had played with them all day. Hence started a ballet to put the cars back to their sleeping parts, and bid farewell to my friends for the day. All the “team” had a last chat around the cars (and to think I didn’t even pay too much attention to the 458 speciale or the 328 GTS, shame on me) and then we really had to leave to make it back to Paris not too late. I can’t thank enough the owner for his kindness, patience and for being so available, giving us access to his cars in such a way ; my friend Laurent for organizing all of this and coping with my coughing, and the Modena Sport Ferrari & Maserati dealership for helping out as well.
It was an unforgettable day.
Thus ends my day with an F12 TDF PART2