It's 6.55am and a queue is forming outside the paddock gates as the clock counts down to the end of the FIA-mandated curfew. It's like the opening day of Glastonbury, but with added artificial fabrics: uniformed team crews gather in knots to rush through like water from behind a bursting dam at 7am.
Force India have slotted into the queue behind polesitters Ferrari. Behind them, Red Bull and McLaren cluster in anticipation. But as I join my new team-mates for the day, it's clear there's a problem.
Two-dozen eyes swivel in my direction and contemplate the spectacle: team-issue shirt and shorts, Puma belt and black-and-orange trainers, and... white ankle-length Nike socks, the only element of the ensemble from my own wardrobe. The latter is clearly a sartorial error too ghastly to contemplate.