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Tue 11 Dec 2018 10:54 AM

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Formula E driver Felipe Massa squares off against falcon in race

The race took place ahead of the Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix taking place later this week

Formula E driver Felipe Massa squares off against falcon in race
Formula E driver Felipe Massa has found a new opponent: one of the world’s fastest animals, a peregrine falcon.

Formula E driver Felipe Massa has found a new opponent: one of the world’s fastest animals, a peregrine falcon.

The race between Massa and his Gen2 car and the falcon is the second time a Formula E driver has taken on animal, following a race in which reigning champion Jean-Eric Vergne narrowly beat a cheetah in South Africa last year.

In response to social media feedback from fans calling for another Formula E-animal race, organisers decided to use the falcon, which is capable of reaching speeds of up to 350 kilometres per hour.

Massa was in Saudi Arabia ahead of the Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix taking place between December 13 and 15.

“It was an incredible experience for me to race against the fastest member of the animal kingdom — it’s not something I will forget in a hurry. I like the fact that this idea came from the fans, and Formula E listened and accepted the challenge,” Massa said.

Ultimately, Massa emerged victorious over his winged opponent.

The footage from the drive is very special and it was a privilege to take part. I’m looking forward to returning to Ad Diriyah and to start racing. It’ll be my first race in Formula E and I’m eager to get behind the wheel again,” he added. “I’ve missed racing and this series has shown to be one of the most competitive out there.”

The upcoming Formula E event, which runs until Saturday, December 15, also includes a number of concerts including One Republic, The Black Eyed Peas, Enrique Iglesias and David Guetta. Other plans for the event include a pop-up store from Harvey Nichols, a laser show and a number of F&B options such as from the London-based Japanese restaurant Nozomi.