The last I heard, Rory Byrne had retired and was enjoying life after masterminding 11 F1 world championships for Ferrari.

It appears not. Instead he has spent the past two years consulting on the design and build of the next Ferrari hypercar, or next Enzo as even the Italian company refers to it.

Chiefly, his role has centred on applying the latest F1 carbonfibre technology to Ferrari's latest small volume masterpiece. The result, Byrne believes, is the closest car to F1 construction standards ever. And, yes, the unspoken assertion is that he includes the McLaren P1 in that assessment.

But Byrne is big enough to admit that working on the road car project has been a two-way learning process. "Road car design is fascinating and has presented me with new challenges," he says. "I've worked to crash legislation in racing before, but this is different again. 

"And I must consider the effects of what I do on things like cabin noise or vibration levels, which is not something I ever gave thought to in racing. It has been an enjoyable learning experience for me."

It can be easy to assume that F1 is the pinnacle of everything automotive, but it's nice to know that there's plenty road cars can teach even the best racing engineers.