We recently published a written feature comparing the Ferrari 458 Speciale with the McLaren 650S and lots of you have been asking when the video was going to follow suit. The two of them together would make quite a spectacle on video, after all. The noises alone would be worth tuning in for.

Sadly, though, it’s not going to happen – because Ferrari asked us not to compare them, on film, on Castle Combe circuit we’d arranged for the day. Which, in the overall scheme of things, really is rather baffling.

You can imagine how disappointed we all were. The weather was set fair, the people at Castle Combe were itching to see the cars, drivers had been booked, video crew had been primed, and I’d written the outline for a script that would largely write itself on the day anyway.

The idea was simply to film them together, then get the stopwatches out and see which one could get round Castle Combe the fastest.

But when Ferrari got wind of what we were doing, they firmly but politely said no. We could film the cars together on the road, they said, but not on a track. And at that point we called a halt on the comparison video, chiefly because to make cars like these look and sound exciting, you need to drive them with a decent degree of enthusiasm. And to do that, you need to go to a track, not a public road.

Why? Because if you drive either of these cars with anything approaching the enthusiasm you need for good video on the public road, you break the speed limit – and break it in a fairly big way – almost instantly. And in the end it is our driving licences that will end up being removed if we try to film cars that are as rapid as these – and make them look exciting – purely on the public highway. Hence the reason we booked Castle Combe.

So there you go, we tried, and unfortunately we failed to persuade Ferrari to change its mind. Which is why you can now see a perfectly decent solo video on the 458 Speciale, but not a comparison. Which is a pity all things considered because, by all accounts, they really were neck and neck around Castle Combe. And they looked and sounded fantastic together. 

Not that we ever got the stopwatches out to see which was quickest, you understand.