Vijay Pattni13 June 2011

Ken Block to make Formula 1 debut

Gymkhana star to get one-off drive in Pirelli car at Monza. A good idea?

Ken Block is set to make his Formula One debut in August this year when he'll get the opportunity to drive Pirelli's Toyota test car. Oh dear.

Pirelli, as you're well aware, was charged with instigating much hullabaloo and many excitements as official tyre supplier. They did so by making tyres out of paper mache and Kleenex. Big box ticked there, you'd agree.

Now its giving Mr Block the chance to have a one-off spin in the 700bhp 2009 Toyota F1 car - used to test the tyres worn by Mssrs Vettel and Hamilton and co - at the famous Monza circuit in Italy on August 5.

Gallery: TopGear goes in car with Ken Block at Battersea power station

Why the ‘oh dear'? If you own an Internet or a rectangular device used to watch moving pictures, you'll be well aware of Mr Block's tempestuous on-off relationship with tyres. He doesn't like them. They don't like him. And we're not entirely sure Pirelli owns enough tyres to sate the ‘Hoonigan's' appetite for sliding.

"I can't wait to discover Formula One for myself," says our Block. "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." Even Pirelli admits that Ken's test of the PZero hard and medium compound have less performance than softs, but have increased durability to "gymkhana-style doughnuts". Like we said, oh dear.

Ken Block totals his WRC Fiesta: pics

Will Pirelli have enough tyres left over to supply the rest of the F1 grid? Will Ken Block ever learn to drive properly? Nobody knows. Until we find out, sit back, grab a cup of tea and a cucumber sandwich and enjoy a spot of light drifting. With an astonished James May in the passenger seat.

 

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