It changes depending on what car you’re driving and what its top speed is, but I always think 150 mph is a big number.

OK, so how do you prepare for that crazy amount of change? You’ve been a pro driver for 40 years, but this sounds next-level.

Yes, unfortunately, you don’t do 300 mph a lot of times [even as a race car driver]. We are always doing it in increments. All of our cars are limited to 261 mph, so first I drive a standard Bugatti with the limiter removed. The first time you do that, when you go a bit more than 261, it’s such a shock. Your [brain] can’t process [the raw speed].

How does that feel once you finally hit it?

Everything is coming toward you. And you’re steering, in control of the car, so it better do everything you ask it. And then once you’ve done that a few times, your brain gets a little bit used to it.

Where do you feel it most in your body?

Here, in your core. Acceleration is really felt in the torso. It moves around some of your internal organs, it scrambles them [pushing them back and compressing them inside the body]. Obviously the acceleration subsides as you get close to v-max [maximal velocity].

And it’s not like you’re just sitting there along for the ride.

There were so many things to do in the car—I wasn’t just sitting going along for the ride! You’re controlling the car, checking the speed, checking for danger. Trying to keep in the center of the three lanes. And that isn’t as easy as it sounds, because the road is very well used. It’s got a lot of ruts, and the car moves around because you’re going so fast.

The weight of the spinning wheels—the gyroscopic effect of those wheels turning—actually overpowers the steering. It’s a problem that has not been solved because it’s not necessary to solve it normally. But you then get a situation where there’s no self-centering on the steering anymore, so when you have to make an adjustment to stay straight, that adjustment pulls the car over and doesn’t stop, and then you need another one to come back. It’s very small movements, but you’re forever doing that to try to stay straight.