Supercar of the Year 2012: Ferrari F12
The fastest Ferrari ever is our supercar of the year
Posted: 07 Jan 2013
But first, Benuzzi's demonstration. The twisting vertiginous roads that cling - not always very securely - to the hillsides above Maranello and Benuzzi's nearby hometown of Vignola are the motherlode for Ferrari development. Sure they do high-speed aero work in the wind tunnel and increasingly by CFD, and check it at the big ovals. They have the tracks at Fiorano and Mugello. They can computer-model a car, predict its Fiorano time, then modify it and recalculate its lap, all before they've built a prototype. But a car is a true Ferrari, Benuzzi insists, only if it can both cope with these bucking ornery roads and inspire its driver as it goes.
From Levizzano Rangone, we ascend to Madonna di Puianello. On a track, his movements are smooth and liquid, rounding his lap time down by hundredths. But on the road, he's constantly jinking the wheel, in dialogue with the car. He works the paddles, often short-shifting to use the torque, other times searing out beyond 8,000. He's quick where he can see ahead, sensible otherwise.