‘It’s madly extravagant but be wary; once you’ve tried it, nothing else is like it’
The Ferrari did something to me, cognitively. I don’t know whether it was the alarm going off in my head, screaming “£200,000”, or the bright yellow brakes visible through the wheels, ramming home how much sheer metal work it takes to stop a machine such as this, once it gets moving. Perhaps it was because it arrived not with a driver so much as a minder and I felt the obscure urge to reassure him, as if I’d taken possession of an evacuee.
Immediately, basic skills like observation and decision-making were shot: from the inside, I couldn’t figure out how to open the door, only the window. In a perverse bid to protect the roof from my own fingernails, I opened the fold-down roof to take my jumper off (this takes 14 seconds and is like watching an acrobat climb into a tiny box). I was never not surprised by the roar of the ignition, nor anything but astonished by the acceleration. As the fresh acts of folly piled up, I couldn’t even reassure myself that nobody was watching; in a Ferrari, someone is always watching. The cliche is that it makes you feel like a film star, which is true. That film star was Mr Bean.