Silverstone can be unforgiving at the best of times, which makes the fact Alfa Romeo set a new lap record with a driver unable to see where he was going all the more impressive.
The flagship Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio was driven by Ed Morris, the youngest ever British driver to compete at Le Mans and the brave soul tasked with controlling a car that had all its windows covered in black vinyl.
With no way to see where he was going, Morris was forced to rely on verbal instructions such as “trim” and “on line” from David Brise driving behind (in another Giulia, obviously) designed to keep him from veering into a wall or into the sand trap.
The Giulia Quadrifoglio develops 510hp and 600Nm from its bi-turbo V6 petrol so it is a handful in itself. Even with Alfa Romeo’s Chassis Domain Control (CDC), which helps send power evenly through the rear wheels via a spot of Torque Vectoring and Active Suspension.
The best lap came in at a record-breaking 1:44.3, narrowly losing out to the 1:44 set by F1 World Champion F1 driver Nino Farina when he drove the Alfa Romeo 159 around the same seven corners that make up the famous British circuit.
“I’ve driven hundreds of cars but never one with all the windows blacked out,” Morris commented. “As a racing driver it’s in your nature to push yourself and the car to its limits and knowing the Alfa Romeo Giulia is packed with so many high-performance technologies really allowed us to have complete trust in it and focus on setting a record.”
Preparing for the challenge involved taking the Quadrifoglio to Stowe Circuit before lapping 1.64 miles of Silverstone, where speeds beyond 100mph were achieved. Probably best to avoid trying this particular challenge at home, kids.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia starts from £29,180, while the Quadrifoglio will set you back £59,000 before extras.