Watch Top Gear‘s Stig Manhandle a Ferrari 488 Pista Around Dunsfold Aerodrome
Even with his infinite skill and lengthy racing experience, the feisty stallion proved to be a handful and demanded the utmost precision.
Reliability and user-friendliness are just two of the many characteristics that separate modern-day Ferraris from their often unreliable and difficult predecessors. However, just because Maranello's new creations feature programmable driving modes and a plethora of adjustable settings, it doesn't mean they're actually easy to drive—especially at their limit—and especially one as hardcore as the Ferrari 488 Pista.
Further proving my point is Top Gear's tame racing driver, the Stig, who recently took a Pista around the British TV show's test track, and by the looks of it, it wasn't exactly a Sunday drive. The BBC show uploaded onboard footage of the Stig's drive to its YouTube channel and we were surprised to see just how hard he/she struggled to keep the 710-horsepower, lightweight supercar on the racing line at all times.
The steering inputs made during the 1.75-mile lap must range in the hundreds, and at times the Stig had to countersteer rather abruptly to make sure the rear end of the Pista didn't go buck-wild and send the collectible Italian into the grass. Furthermore, if you pay close attention to the upshifts and downshifts, you'll notice that the Stig upshifts early mid-corner about three or four times during the lap, rather than riding the powerband through the entire corner and upshifting at the exit. This leads us to believe that the Pista is a tail-happy monster, which isn't a bad thing at all, but it's also surprising considering Ferrari's special track creations like the Pista are famous for their near-perfect balance and composure.
As the lap comes to a close, the Stig can be seen aggressively manhandling the Pista through the last few corners while feathering the throttle to keep it facing the right direction. For a driver that's typically cool, calm, and very, very smooth, this is quite alarming. Is the Pista really this difficult to handle, or could it be that tires were cold or the track green?
Watch the video and judge for yourself.