Chris Harris drives the Porsche 919 Hybrid

Now, as you may know, Porsche canned its LMP1 programme at the end of 2017. It had achieved most of what the company wanted to win – multiple WEC titles and those Le Mans wins – 
but as a technology showcase, Porsche felt the 919’s potential had been smothered by regulations, so it felt that perhaps the world should see what the car was really capable of. And that’s how 2018 became 919 tribute year, with the aim of breaking track records, public displays and having a peek under the skin of this remarkable and, until now, very secretive machine. Oh, the other part of that tribute process was inviting a few people to drive last year’s Bahrain-winning 919 racecar.

That’s the bit I’m interested in. With its bodywork removed, the 919 is catnip for the engineering enthusiast, on an unparalleled scale. The lateral thinking and packaging owes more to aeronautical skills than anything automotive I’ve seen outside of Formula One. But in terms of powertrain complexity, the 919 makes an F1 car look like a MkIII Escort.