I forced myself to look down for the first time, at the power gauge, which was wound all the way round to the right, indicating that the eight-litre, sixteen-cylinder engine behind me was producing all 1001bhp. When I looked up again we were already at the bend. We were doing maybe 180 or 190mph, as fast as the fastest corner in F1. I’ve never turned the wheel of a car at this speed before. I had to force myself to keep my foot flat on the floor; the Veyron just turned in, gripped and catapulted us out onto another short straight. But my nerve didn’t last much longer. We were passing Golfs doing 70mph in the slow lane; our closing speed alone was twice the UK motorway limit. So I looked down again. The needle was still climbing fast and approaching 340kph. Pierre-Henri would give me the precise, satellite-tracked figure later; 337kph, or 209.4mph. Well over a quarter the speed of sound. A mile every 17 seconds, or three and a half miles in a minute. That, I decided, was quite fast enough. If I’d wanted to go much faster I’d have had to stop and insert a special second key that alters the Veyron’s aerodynamics to allow it to hit its top speed of 253mph. Pierre-Henri keeps that key in his pocket.