When the lights turn green, you drive off looking for some confidence in the car. You finish your outlap and approach the start/finish-line. Brake, turn for apex, throttle. Maintain throttle through the quick uphill combination onto the long straight. Brake for the chicane and ninety degree corner downhill to the long and slow right-hander. Turn left, throttle, lift for the long left-leaning follow through.
Except, when you steer in you feel the rear end of the car breaking loose. You try to correct the slide, but at 250km/h you never had a chance as the car is sent into a spin. You complete three full spins, after each of which you can see the barrier coming closer and closer.
After what felt like ages, the car dives head first into the barrier. The momentum you had on impact ensures the car bounces back a little, neatly parking the car parallel to the barrier.
“I crashed,” you state blankly to the team once your heartbeat has caught up with your breath.
You take out the steering wheel and climb out of the car. You make sure to put back the steering wheel so the marshalls can take your car away and to avoid the fine. At first glance, the damage looks bad as the entire front of the car looks mangled. You lean over the barrier for a while, allowing the adrenalin from the crash to subside. You feel your ankles, shins, knees, but everything seems to be in order. “Thank god” you whisper.
After the debrief, you make your way through the hospitality section behind the garages looking for a bite to eat. The caterer has the usual healthy stuff. Begrudgingly, you shove the organic salad down your throat. You wonder whether the mechanics will be able to repair your car in time for qualifying.