Infiniti Red Bull Driver Sebastian Vettel became the youngest F1 Champion of all time, which he followed up by becoming the youngest double, triple and quadruple F1 World Champion of all time. It doesn't matter, we've been given the chance to best him at one of the world's best race tracks. Here's how we do it.
So this Vettel guy is pretty good at doing things at a young age? So what! At 16 I had a Porsche for a day and had this girl and... err nevermind… back to beating the "champ."
If you are bored enough to follow me on instagram or Twitter then you may have noticed I was recently in Hong Kong. This wasn't a vacation as I was sent there on a super secret mission handed to me by a man in a checkered dress shirt, skinny jeans and square black rimmed glasses (the official uniform of a Jalopnik writer).
My mission was to head to Hong Kong to take part in the first portion of a competition with Infiniti where I'll eventually race Sebastian Vettel at the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium. Also known as "Spa" for short.
The catch? I will need YOUR help! Yep, I'm talking to you Mr./ Mrs Keyboard Jockey. It's going to be up to YOU to help us win this competition.
So why was I in Hong Kong then? To be honest I'm trying to figure out that myself, as we filmed some videos that could have been filmed in my garage, asking you to participate in the contest. I stood on a bridge above a river, and sweat so much I ruined a lovely button down linen shirt. I drove a regular (right hand drive) Infiniti Q50 at 30MPH around the streets of Hong Kong while a producer asked me questions about how I felt about the car.
To which I responded with "uhh, I really like the seats." I know. Amazing analysis. Can you believe I contribute to an automotive blog? After a full day of filming I had a couple of days to hang out in Hong King but, sadly, I only remember three words from those two days: Lan Kwai Fong (Look it up).
The car we'll be racing in is not Sebastian's F1 race car (if only), nor will it be a regular Q50. It'll be a car that in its very name implies that it was destined to be hooned around Spa: The Q50 Eau Rouge, a Frankenstein of Infiniti and Nissan parts that ends with a Q50 with the engine from the Nissan GTR as its power lump. A 550 Horsepower four door sedan, with some pretty sexy accents, whose name is a ode to one of the greatest most daunting corners in all of motorsports.
The right-left uphill and blind corner known simply as "Eau Rouge" is a corner that for generations of F1 drivers has been a staple of the ultimate test of man and machine at the limit of adhesion who trying to do one simple thing: stay flat out.
Will it be flat in the Q50 Eau Rouge through Eau Rouge? I predict not. Will it be fun to try? ABSOLUTLEY!
So now that you understand what's at stake here how do we win it? Well its simple, starting on July 4th, 2014. Infiniti will make a series of Facebook posts with my ugly mug on it, and all you have to do is either "like", "share" or " comment" in the post (Yes, this is an obvious attempt by Infiniti to drive up their social interaction). For each one of these actions, we get a millisecond of track time.
The more track time we get, the farther I am allowed to drive on the track, hopefully in the end going farther then Vettel and at a faster rate. If you do your part I'll do my part and we'll best the four-time F1 champ together (and also a charming Chinese snooker player).
The result: Hopefully a victory for Jalopnik, for you, and for America. The reason is, without your help, my Q50 Eau Rouge might not even make it to Eau Rouge.
(Full Disclosure: Infiniti approached me and asked if I'd be interested in racing Sebastian Vettel around Eau Rouge in an Eau Rouge, which is like someone asking if you're a God. You say yes. Since I'm not that fast I tried to get Jason Torchinsky to do it, but he was busy, so we're sending Parker Kilgerman, our second fastest driver.
No money has changed hands and neither Parker nor Jalopnik/Gawker are involved in anything but an editorial role. Because marketing people can't help make everything seem like an advertisement there will probably be some glossy, too-slick web videos but it's the price you pay to race the champ. — M.H.)
Photos credit Getty, Shutterstock