You are minutes away from fulfilling the ultimate boyhood dream, driving a Formula 1 car. Should you be excited? Nervous? Petrified?
Having stood in the Hungaroring pitlane waiting to get my chance during one of the Renault F1 team's 'Feel It' days, I can tell you two things: It's something that everybody deals with differently, but the chances are you will experience all three of those emotions within a very short space of time when your turn draws closer.
Also, it doesn't help when you're second in the queue and you run out of fingers to count how many times the first person heading out stalls when trying to leave the pits.
When my time came to be called forward shortly after, it was a strange feeling. The fear and nerves go away. After all, like most of you reading this, I'd spent years hoping that a day like this would come, ever since I stood (that's right, stood) in the cockpit of a Leyton House March that was on display at Brands Hatch when I was little more than a toddler.
Getting to drive a Formula 1 car is such a privileged experience that it's not the time for nerves, it's the time to soak it up. And who can't get excited when the mechanics back away from your car and you hear the 3-litre V10 engine (this was a 2001 Prost, if you're asking) fire up. For what might be the only time in my life, that noise is for me.
And it just keeps getting better. Earlier in the day we were all told of the importance of blipping the thottle three times once the engine has fired just to make sure the exhausts are clear. And what a sound that is! Why on earth did they ditch these glorious V10s for the V8 engines used today?
The excitement is almost unbearable, but there is still the small matter of getting underway. The car is fitted with a foot clutch rather than the complex hand clutch systems modern F1 cars feature, but that doesn't make it any easier. Unlike my predecessor, my attempts don't make double figures.
There's just the one stall, and even that was only because I mistakenly thought I'd built up enough speed to fully let the clutch out. Biting point? It takes so long it's more like a chewing point.
With that conquered, we are now on track at the Hungaroring. The car feels horrible as I tentatively negotiate the tight first corner having just left the pits. It's a hint from my machine that there's no point pussy footing around. As we all know, these things are designed to go fast, and they don't appreciate somebody jumping in and then barely tickling the performance that a Formula 1 car is capable of.
A big topic of discussion among the 24 people in attendance on the same day as me was "How long did it take you to go full throttle?" Well, seeing as we only had two laps each, there was hardly time to work up to it. Get the car straightened up coming out of the first corner and - whack! - full throttle and all of the amazing sensations that come with it. The sound, the G-forces, the blurred scenery, the shift lights flashing, it's all just brilliant.
Every corner of the Hungaroring - which has never been a favourite track of mine on computer games - is a joy to tackle in this car. And even by the second lap, the car is so good and easy to drive (remembering that I'm obviously nowhere near the limit) that you just can't help but hurl yourself into every corner a considerable amount faster than you did on the previous lap.
The best example of this is Turn 10, the fast left hander in the middle of the left-right-left-right sequence that follows the chicane mid-lap. At just the second time of asking, my confidence is brimming to the point that I decide I'm going to take it flat.
The old grooved tyres clearly aren't happy as the steering wheel squirms in my hands, but by this point downforce is king, and the car is rooted. To push a Formula 1 car to the point where you an really feel the downforce pressing you into the ground is one of the most rewarding feelings I've ever had in a cockpit.
As we always hear, the brakes on a Formula 1 car are indeed phenomenal. And the pedal has a surprising amount of feel, which inspires confidence. However, on a run as short as this, you're never going to get confident enough, so everytime I hit the pedal I'm disappointed to see how far away from the corner I still am by the time the speed is scrubbed off. Oh well, another blast of the more enjoyable pedal on the right then...
But the run is almost to an end. It's a very short taste of the dream that manifested itself on those early trips to Brands Hatch, but a truly unforgettable one.
And there's so much more to the 'Feel It' day than the short run in the F1 car that caps it off. Renault tries to give its paying customers (that's right, you can actually buy this package) a range of experiences that are normally reserved only for a select few.
On the driving side, the day starts with a few laps of the track with an instructor in a road car. Once that is out of the way, there's a safety briefing on how to get to grips with a Formula Renault 2.0 car, which is your training vehicle for the morning.
After a session spent following a pace car, it's time to be let loose in the Formula Renaults. This 20-minute session is a great time to get used to gradually pushing a single-seater to the limit, and it was here that my 'flat out through Turn 10' idea for the F1 car first sprung to mind.
But there's plenty more to do before heading back out on track. Some time spent with the physios gives a glimpse of the physical demands put on an F1 driver as they push and pull your body and limbs about in a series of resistance tests. Even just a couple of minutes of that is tiring.
Next up is a debrief with the data engineers, who ruthlessly point out where and when you're going wrong. There really is no hiding from your errors, but as one of the Renault instructors comfortingly points out: "The data guys never drive the car, so they don't know how it feels. They think computers have the answer to everything!"
An interesting addition to the data section is a baseline lap from Renault F1 driver Vitaly Petrov in the same car. Interestingly, I achieved full throttle more times on a lap than the Russian.
But on the flipside of that, I also spent more time on zero per cent throttle, as in between some of the corners Petrov was working the middle range of the throttle pedal to keep the car balanced and stable on the limit.
It was an illuminating insight in to the qualities that separate proper racing drivers from the rest of us. A Formula 1 car is so good, that anyone with a bit of talent will quickly get the hang of braking late, accelerating hard and early, and hanging on to the car in the straightforward quick stuff where the downforce does most of the hard work for you.
But as Petrov's data showed, there's still a lot more to this than meets the eye. These guys really earn their money in extracting every last ounce of performance from these cars, and the tough bit of that is the commitment on the entry of the corner, and then dealing with the car dancing underneath you in the middle of the corner without simply slowing it down.
Passenger rides in a three-seater F1 car and a Megane Trophy car illuminate just how much goes in to keeping a high-performance racing car just on the right side of the limit. It's a blur of activity to keep the thing pointing in the right direction, and it's fair to say that onboard cameras have never done justice to how many small inputs are required by a driver, even when his car is performing well.
Unlike most activities you go through at school, the 'Feel It' programme was straddled that line of being enjoyable and educational. If you can afford the €5500, you won't regret a penny.
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