Somewhere deep down, I’m still clinging onto the hope that there may still be a career for me in Formula One.

When I heard Michael Schumacher wasn’t going to be coming back anymore, I was ready by my phone to answer the call from Luca di Montezemolo, but sadly it never came.

But today I, along with seven other Autocar team members, got a chance to show Ferrari and co what they were missing by having a go in the Mobil One Formula One simulator.

Of course the simulator can never be a substitute for real Formula One, but it was still a mightily impressive piece of kit. The simulator is a real F1 chassis sitting on top of some hydraulic trickery which throws you forwards, backwards and sideways depending on how you drive.

I wasn’t the only one to feel a bit sick after coming off the simulator; such is the force in which you are thrown around. Crashes are certainly best to be avoided, and the feeling under braking leaves you feeling weightless but just stops shy of you coming into contact with your lunch again.

The force in the wheel is fantastic, and it becomes harder to steer the faster you go. The paddle shifts are responsive, and you become so engrossed in the action on the three screens it's possible to imagine you’re on a real qualifying run.

The best feeling is when you get the back out. You feel the car move sideways and you have to fight to get it back on line. Initially it’s quite scary, but in the end it’s thoroughly satisfying.

The results of the Autocar Grand Prix? Well, I ended up being the quickest with a time of 1:13.980 on a bespoke track, but this was probably down to the fact I sneaked in two turns and have a fair bit of Playstation experience.

Deputy news editor Ollie Stallwood was on the pace too, as were features editor Matt Saunders and assistant picture editor Nic Cackett.

Ollie’s final time of 1:14.901 was all the more impressive considering he managed to get so badly stuck in the gravel they had to restart the game at one point.

So if you read this Ferrari, and think Luca Badoer may not be up to the job for the rest of the season, then I’m sure I could spare every other weekend if required. How hard can it be?

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