A lap of Paul Ricard

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Past the start/finish line you’re in sixth gear and get up to 280kph before you brake hard for the very tight right-hander at the end of the straight. When you turn in you go over a hump which is also a camber change and is, I think, the only very tricky bit of the circ it. It’s too big even for the active to iron out! The road falls away, but when you put your foot down the traction control will make sure you just accelerate rather than sliding off

Then a very short burst, second gear, quick brake, and the road will drop down on you and you’re on to the Iong Mistral straight which is hard acceleration, though all the gears. My top speed was 300 kph. . .

Yes, I know the Signes kink should be flat, but it wasn’t for me. Jochen Mas was the only one of the testers who managed it; full credit to him. The corner comes up very, very fast and then you have to concentrate hard on your turn-in point because it is absolutely vital to get that right. Once you’ve done that, you’ve got a lot of space and the kerbs on the exit are very low so you are able to use them.

It’s a short burst to the horseshoe, the double right-hander. I turned in and braked at the same time actually, then down two gears to fourth, accelerate a little bit towards the second bit of the horseshoe, brake, go down to third. As soon as you turn in the car bites so you can just nail it and let the car do its work. You make sure you don’t hit the kerbs on the outside, because they’re fairly high and will spin you off as soon as you hit them.

The horseshoe was amazing. There you could really see what the car engine were capable of, because you’re braking, changing down, accelerating, braking, changing down, accelerating again, an yet all the time you’re going right. The stability was just amazing. It shouldn’t have been happening.

After that it’s through the wiggly bits, the chicane – still in third – left, short acceleration, down to second and another very tight left-hander. As soon as you turn in there its hard acceleration, up to fifth, going right at the same time. It’s a right-hander, but you’re accelerating all the time, up to about 260kph. Then it’s hard on the brakes, turning left, turning in to the corner on the brakes, down two gears, and quick acceleration for the very last right-hander where you avoid all the kerbs on the inside. Again it’s very important to get the turn-in right. As soon as you do that, you can unwind the lock, floor the throttle, avoiding the kerbs on the outside because the tyre wall is very close.

Then it’s into another glorious lap. . .