The Inside Line: Nick Longhi
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Longhi looks right at home in the Ferrari F1 car at Monza.
Interview by David Haueter

Nick Longhi is best known to Grand Am fans as a pro racing driver, but he also has a great deal of involvement in the racing and automotive industry outside of driving. Nick is highly respected as a coach for up-and-coming drivers in both pro racing and series such as the Ferrari Challenge, and is also the Chief Instructor at the Ferrari Driving Experience, which is held in North America at Mont Tremblant. His involvement with owners and customers in the world of historic racing has also led him to some interesting places where he has driven some very cool cars. Most recently, he found himself in the seat of a modern Ferrari F1 car at the hallowed Monza race track. The car was the chassis that Rubens Barrichello drove for the Ferrari factory team in 2003 and the occasion was the Ferrari World Final. We caught up with Nick to talk about what it was like to pilot an F1 car, his involvement with Ferrari and what he is driving this year.


TheRaceSite How did you end up driving a 2003 Ferrari F1 car at Monza back in November?

Longhi: I had the opportunity to drive the Ferrari at the World Final with one of my customers, who owns the car. It was also able to happen because of my involvement with Ferrari, through Corse Clienti and the FXX and Ferrari Challenge programs.


TheRaceSite What was that like, driving the Ferrari F1 car?

Longhi: The best way to describe it is that it feels like a hundred-million dollars. The level of development of every single bit of the car is unbelievable. Everything you touch and feel is absolutely perfect and you notice all these little things on the car with the way it is designed. I've driven a lot of fast cars, but if you've never driven anything really fast, the power of an F1 car will just blow your mind. Aerodynamically, the car is so stable that it's pretty easy to drive when you're going fast. A GT car with low downforce still moves around quite a bit when you're going fast, but the F1 car has so much downforce that at really high speeds, you could drive it with one hand on the wheel if you wanted to. It was on another order of magnitude from anything else I've driven. It was also really interesting just being around the crew of an F1 car and seeing how everything works - the Ferrari crew that works in the Corse Clienti program is the same crew that works in the F1 program.
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