Ideally, when learning a new track, you’d spend a quiet few laps memorising the various curves, cambers and quirks in something sedate, so you can figure out where it goes before your brain is suffused with information pertinent to not violently landscaping a gravel trap with your face. Dedicated F1 drivers circulate on pushbikes, or monotonously lap in the virtual, cocooned in a tediously precision-mapped simulator. Being neither a racing driver nor blessed with common sense, I chose the new McLaren 650S Spider in which to discover Castellolí. A car with 641bhp of ego-humbling mid-engined rear-wheel drive. “Go big or go home” as the saying goes. “Upside down and on fire, if necessary” being the less- often-quoted Top Gear subtext.
Photography: Rowan Horncastle