Track run in Ferrari F8 Tributo: Oh, what a feeling!

By RIZAL JOHAN | 1 January 2020


You instinctively know you're in for something special when — just by looking at the Ferrari F8 Tributo all primed and ready for the track sets — your heart racing. I had anxiously put on the balaclava and helmet so I could get to the car quicker.

Soon enough, I was at the pit lane and was introduced to my instructor who would be riding shotgun with me.

First lap was with the instructor driving first and showing me the ropes. I needed the refresher course anyway since I don't hit the Sepang track as much as I would like to.

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That first lap inside what Ferrari calls its most powerful V8 in Prancing Horse history, already signalled just how powerful and capable this mid-rear-mounted two-seater is.

Just to be clear, the engine behind the two seats is a 3.9 litre V8 turbo, which produces 710hp at 8,000rpm and 770Nm of torque at 3,250rpm. It does 0-100kph in 2.9 seconds with a top speed of 340kph.

Back at the pit lane after the initial lap, the instructor and I switched places.

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As I was getting ready behind the wheel, I realised just how welcoming and comfortable the cockpit was with its smooth tanned leather upholstery, the wonderful touches of the carbon fibre trim, the exquisite layout of the dash, the super-sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel and beyond that on the instrument cluster, the cycloptic rpm dial staring right back at me.

Everything I touched was just so satisfying and the haptic feedback formed an immediate bond between driver and machine. On top of it, the sense of smell is titillated with the aroma the leather lets off.

I finally got a real dopamine hit of the day as I exited the pit onto the track, opened up the throttle, braked hard and turned left into turn 15 and opened up the throttle again for that exhilarating straight before heading back into turn one.

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That's the advantage of starting off from the South Paddock in Sepang. You run right into turn 15, which allows you to floor it for the long straight.

The acceleration the F8 Tributo was laying down was simply breathtaking; it quickly hit the redline and before you know it, you're doing north of 270kph.

Coupled with the glorious, operatic sound of the engine right behind you is about as close to a religious experience as you can get.

And you better have the fear of God when you're at the 200-metre mark and brake like your life depended on it, otherwise you won't make it into turn one.

From here to turn 14, you're weaving in and out of the circuit negotiating slow and fast corners at various elevations, which easily showcased the handling of the F8 Tributo.

Words cannot describe how impressive this supercar is with its precision, and how confidently it hugs the turns. Look where you want to go and it takes you there with ease.

The confidence the F8 Tributo exudes is more than you can ask of a track car.

For instance, I went too fast into a turn and had to brake really late. While I was sweating it, the F8 wasn't jittery at all.

Two hot laps in and I was entering the final cool-down lap, cruising my way back to the pit and realising this was the most fun I've had on the track for awhile now.

The F8 Tributo has so much charm, style, power and pedigree and it can be yours for RM1,068,000 (excluding duty and customisation options).

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