‘How far is it to the test track from here?’ asked my driving companion for the day, as we pulled over on a remote Italian mountainside in Ferrari’s latest supercar, the 488 Pista.
‘About an hour,’ I ventured, looking at the time and distance details on the sat-nav.
‘How long have we got if we’re to make our slot?’ ventured my wingman.
‘About an hour. If we get a move on. Now. Right now. And miss lunch,’ I intoned looking at my watch.
Some wag with a sense of humour at Ferrari had clearly thought it would be a wheeze to pair up yours truly – not exactly the fastest performance car driver in the parish – with ‘Captain Slow’, aka James May, formerly of BBC’s Top Gear and now the Grand Tour for Amazon Prime.
A run with a Ferrari test driver in full track mode was the automotive equivalent of a virtuoso violinist playing a Stradivarius, says Ray Massey
A masterclass by Raffaele behind the wheel with me strapped into the passenger seat was awesome and awe-inspiring.
In full track mode with all the safety key settings off, it was the automotive equivalent of a virtuoso violinist playing a Stradivarius.
My faffy racing harness came into its own and kept me wedded firmly to my seat during a roller-coaster ride. Few if any drivers will be able to take this car to the limit in the manner of the man who fine-tuned its performance handling.
It’s a far better car than I am a driver and I couldn’t scratch the surface of its capabilities – though Raffaela’s full-blooded no-prisoners circuits did give me a seat-of-the pants insight.
But it’s easy enough to drive for yourself if you don’t feel compelled to push it to the limit
I wonder if James May will buy one?