Lateral moves in motorsports are common: race drivers finish with one series (or get pushed out) and find another place to put their talent and skill to use. Despite that, it's not every day that a WRC driver whose name isn't Loeb gets to test an F1 car, but on August 5, Ken Block will get the chance at Monza.
No, Block's not set to test for a seat at Red Bull or Ferrari. In fact, he won't be driving any current team's car--instead he'll be taking the seat of the Pirelli F1 test car, used by the tire company to evaluate its compounds.
Block won't be dropped into the car cold, to learn the ropes in front of the weekend crowd of tifosi and others in the stands at Monza, however. He'll get two days of testing first, with the help of Pirelli driver Lucas di Grassi.
As for the setup of the test: Block will take to the track with the 700-horsepower Pirelli test car (Pirelli says it was a "regular podium finisher wo years ago) shod with the two softest compounds, the red-stripe and yellow-stripe compounds for the 2011 season. The use of two compounds indicates it will be more than a handful of laps, and that there will be at least on pit stop.
Block's attitude is about spot-on for what it should be and what you'd expect. He said in the press release, "These cars are so specialised that I need to be realistic about what I can do, but I know that it's going to be a lot of fun and take hooning to a whole new level..."
Indeed. Gymkhana F1, anyone?