Video: Former Formula 1 star Felipe Massa chased down by a peregrine falcon
There are PR stunts aplenty in the world of motorsports; but few can match races pitting cars against animals.
Last year just prior to the season opener, Formula E driver Jean-Eric Vergne raced a live cheetah on the Western Cape of South Africa barely edging out the fastest land animal in the world.
Fast forward to the week prior to the start of the new season of Formula E and this time it’s former Formula 1 star turned Formula E driver Felipe Massa’s turn. Recently Massa went up against a peregrine falcon behind the wheel of the Gen2 car in a straight fight to outrun the fastest animal on the planet.
A peregrine falcon by the way is capable of reaching speeds in excess of 350 km/h (217 mph) when diving through the skies.
With a lure attached to the roll hoop of the advanced new-look Gen2 car, the falcon Massa took his first high sped run in Formula E machinery 90-kilometres south-west of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Ad Diriyah.
“It was an incredible experience for me to race against the fastest member of the animal kingdom,” Massa said. “It’s not something I will forget in a hurry. I like the fact that this idea came from the fans, and Formula E listened and accepted the challenge. The footage from the drive is very special and it was a privilege to take part. “
Massa will be racing in his first season in Formula E which kicks of this weekend in Saudi Arabia.
“I’m looking forward to returning to Ad Diriyah and to start racing,” Massa said. “It’ll be my first race in Formula E and I’m eager to get behind the wheel again. I’ve missed racing and this series has shown to be one of the most competitive out there.”