Formula One has announced a new Pirelli Hot Laps programme which will take place at 10 rounds on the 2018 F1 calendar.
Fans, celebrities and guests will have the chance to be driven around the circuit by a current race driver during the race weekend, beginning with the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Aston Martin and McLaren have been confirmed as the first two manufacturers to supply cars, with “more leading automotive brands” to be announced within the coming weeks.
Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, whose Red Bull team has a technical partnership with Aston Martin, will drive an Aston Martin Vantage at most of the Hot Lap events. The Aston Martin Valkyrie, designed in conjunction with the F1 team, will also make an appearance in the programme during the year.
McLaren drivers Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne plus two-times champion Mika Hakkinen and reserve driver Lando Norris will use a McLaren 720S.
The event will be presented by Pirelli, whose tyres will be used for the demonstration runs. The cars will be displayed in a Pirelli garage within the paddock.
Pirelli’s head of car racing Mario Isola described the programme as “the first ongoing experience designed specifically for fans to sample the speed and emotion of on-the-limit driving from the inside, on actual circuits used during each grand prix weekend.”
F1’s managing director of commercial operations Sean Bratches said the new addition to race weekends “represents a new opportunity to allow Formula One fans to get closer to a real track experience.”
2018 F1 season
- Honda’s jet division helped F1 engineers solve power unit problem
- McLaren Racing losses rise after Honda split
- Ricciardo: Baku “s***show” was Red Bull’s fault
- “Drive to Survive Episode 1: All to Play For” reviewed
- F1’s television and social media audiences rose last year