On August 14th Johnny Herbert tested for what may become a new career, swapping 4 wheels for no wheels. The test was in a P1 Powerboat, and was held on Lake Como in Italy.
The 43-year-old took to the driver’s seat of the 11.3-litre, Evolution Class front-runner Wettpunkt.com, alongside throttleman and team owner, Hannes Bohinc and navigator Ed Williams-Hawkes. Herbert was took his place as the boat driver in place of regular driver Miles Jennings.
Herbert commented afterwards: “I’ve always liked doing things that are challenging. In a straight line it’s not over-powerful – it doesn’t just suddenly shoot off like a Formula 1 car does – but what’s nice about it and very similar to F1 is when you go into the corners that’s where you start to get the grip on the turn. Trying to get that right is always the exciting part.”
“I didn’t know where I was going at first, but once you’ve done a couple of turns you know where you’re aiming for. It’s a little bit like being a rally driver and having a co-driver in the car alongside you. The relationship has to be very close and you have to gel, whereas driving an F1 car you’re on your own. It’s completely different to anything I’ve ever done before.”
Herbert enjoyed his ride enough to want to experience the boat in full racing conditions, and was a starter for the UIM Powerboat P1 World Championship event to be held at Cowes August 24-26, however at the last minute Herbert has pulled out to support his daughter at a clashing Olympic equestrian trial, but has said he would like to make his debut on water later in the year.