Our test will reveal only a taste of what the world’s best racers do to drive quickly. But even after just two dozen laps, we learn that the commitment required to drive at this level is almost other-worldly. Chandhok helps to explain why…
When a racing driver hits the brakes of a single-seater at the end of a straight, they hit them hard. In the F3 car, Chandhok applies 93kg of pedal pressure as he flies towards Pembrey’s tight first corner. “You use the downforce [to help slow you] at first, but as speed decreases the air density is less, so you need to bleed off the brakes,” he says. This is a real workout – our attempt peak brake pedal pressure never surpasses 63kg.
Single-seater racing cars have steering so responsive that even the fast rack of a Ferrari 488 GTB feels sluggish in comparison. “A novice will normally turn in [to a corner] too early, so they end up on the wrong line,” says Chandhok. A pro, on the other hand, will have perfected the link between brake application and steering lock, so will be bleeding off the brakes and winding on steering lock at the same time. Doing this at race pace, without locking the front wheels, we learn, is phenomenally difficult to master.