With the new F1 season just weeks away, sources in Italy say Ferrari is set to capitalise on the arrival of Fernando Alonso at the team with a brand new driving mode for its next generation of road cars. Sniff Petrol’s spies say the new setting will have an immediate effect on all aspects of the car, most notably making it instantly faster whilst at the same time more treacherous. And grumpy.
Ferrari insiders say that putting the car into Alonso mode will have other effects, such as increasingly hairy sunvisors and a sat-nav voice that suddenly develops an irritating lisp. However, it’s in the complex electronics of the suspension, engine and gearbox that Alonso mode really shows its stuff. Normally, these three entities work as one to the benefit of dynamics. However, in Alonso mode each area of the car ceases to be a team player and selfishly looks after itself.
Maranello engineers are said to be particularly excited about the Alonso mode’s stability control system which is understood to wait until you are in trouble and then just bugger off to another car. The same system is also said to feature a unique ability to wait until it detects that you are breaking the speed limit and then automatically call the authorities to grass you up. Ferrari insiders say that in early testing Alonso mode is already worth another five tenths of a lap around their Fiorano test track, although at the end of the lap the car then came into the pits in a massive sulk for no apparent reason.
The Alonso setting is likely to first appear on the forthcoming 599 GTO, due later this year. It is thought that the new mode will be engaged by turning Ferrari’s distinctive manettino control to the marking which depicts a duplicitous twat stabbing everyone in the back.