VIDEO: Ferrari Formula 1 Drivers Ride the World’s Fastest Roller Coaster
Fun fact: One of the first roller coasters – Coney Island’s Switchback Railway, which opened in 1884 – had a top speed of 6 mph and passengers sat on outward facing benches. Suffice to say, thrill rides have only gotten faster and more sophisticated (not to mention safer) in the intervening century-and-a-quarter. And the new benchmark for roller coaster speed can be found in the Middle Eastern emirate that’s growing like lichen on a log, Abu Dhabi, specifically the new Ferrari World Abu Dhabi theme park on Yas Island.
Last week, the Formula 1 circus was in town for the season-capping, driver’s-title-deciding Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at the circuit across the street, so it was only natural that Ferrari’s grand prix drivers – Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa – would pay a visit to the newly-opened wonderland dedicated to everything Prancing Horse. They even took a ride on the aforementioned roller coaster (officially named Formula Rossa), a ride that someone was kind enough to document for us citizens of teh interwebs in the video after the jump.
If the riding experience looks intense, that’s probably because it is. Dig: The hydraulic launch mechanism blasts you forward so hard you experience 4.8 g, and it hits 150 mph (no, that’s not a typo) from a standstill in just 4.9 seconds. All together now: Damn, son! Also, if you watch the video closely at about 25 seconds in, you’ll also notice that this ride is quite handy emptying your pockets, no doubt to the severe chagrin of Alonso or whoever was sitting behind him. If it was the Spaniard, his weekend only got worse from here, what with losing the World Championship and all. But as Cubs fans like(?) to say, “Wait ‘til next year.”