Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Schumacher to recreate Nuvolari challenge 07 Nov 2003

Michael Schumacher (GER), Ferrari F2003-GA, finished seventh after a late race puncture forced him to pit.
German Grand Prix, Rd12, Hockenheim, Germany., 3 August 2003

Ferrari have confirmed media reports that Michael Schumacher and an F2003-GA will take on a Eurofighter military jet plane in a straight-line speed contest later this year. Not only that, the six-times world champion will also recreate a similar challenge carried out by legendary driver Tazio Nuvolari back in 1931.

Schumacher's F2003-GA and the Eurofighter 2000 will line up on parallel runways at the Grosseto airport in Italy and compete in three brief races over a distance of around a kilometre, designed to test the relative acceleration of the two machines (on the ground). Schumacher will be given a slight advantage in the first, the plane in the second, with the pair starting level in the third.

The outcome of the contest will be hard to call. The F2003-GA will be set up for minimum drag, allowing it to reach a maximum speed of 350 kph. The hi-tech Eurofighter, the result of a recent collaboration between European Union member nations, can reach almost 2450 kph. In the cockpit will be Italian astronaut and test pilot Maurizio Cheli.

And in a nod to the past, prior to the modern-day challenge Schumacher will take the wheel of an Alfa Romeo 2300 and race an antique biplane, replicating the contest between Nuvolari and a Caprioni 100 aircraft that took place at the Littoria track in December of 1931.

The event, which will be open to the public, will take place on December 11 and will also include a display by the Frecce Tricolori, the Italian Air Force's aerobatic display team.