2022 AM Wings_Mono Negative

The thrill of the senses

Laser-focused and more alive than at any other moment. Driving an F1 car is an assault on the senses. Aston Martin F1 Team Ambassador and racing veteran Pedro de la Rosa puts you behind the wheel with his breathless account of a race start.

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You can sense the energy. It's a special place. The grids are places where there's so much energy accumulated from the cars, from the engines. There's so much energy from the people, so many dreams, so many special moments that we've all lived.

Now, it's just you and the car.

Earpieces on, helmet on and you close your visor. There's absolute silence. Only the vibrations are telling you that there's a huge energy behind. The reassuring kick when you select first gear. You wait for the lights…

One light. Pull the revs to target. 11,000 rpm. Two lights. Three lights. Stay focused on the lights. The only thing that exists is those red lights, and then…

They're gone.

Drop the clutch, no hesitation, to 70, 80 per cent. The car kicks. You can feel the g-force. The difficulty is holding the throttle pedal consistent. Two-and-a-half times the force of gravity pushing you back, ripping your foot from the pedal.

Don't lose control.

Those first 10 metres of launch, keep the throttle position completely consistent. You can feel the car taking off – a slight vibration on the rear axle, the tyres just slipping enough. Wait between two and three seconds, and then fully drop the clutch.

Feed the throttle.

First, second… Racing, up through the gears, clipping the limiter, you hear the beep but upshift on instinct. Cars around you. Left, right. Gaps opening, gaps closing. Where do you go? What line do you take? The decisions cascade and they make or break you.

Brake. Brake as late as you dare, and thread the eye of a needle.

Every sense is alive. A flicker of movement at the corner of your vision, the tiniest vibration through the wheel or seat, the right or wrong note from the engine, the smell of tyre smoke in your nostrils. Everything is telling you what you need to do, but only a few will make the right decisions and all you can do is hope to be one of them. There is no plan. You let your instinct take over.

It's just you and the car, and you are one.

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You. Us. Together.

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