A few minutes earlier I'd been driven around Fiorano at Mach 6 in the new Ferrari 458 Speciale, first by Ferrari's unfeasibly talented test driver, Raffa De Simone, and then just for good measure by ex F1 driver-cum-Maranello ambassador of speed, Marc Gene. So my mind had already been suitably blown.

And then the helicopter landed, and out of it climbed one Luca di Montezemolo, who wandered over casually and said: "Hi Steve, how are you today, what do you think of our new car?"

I was completely taken aback, having only met the great man briefly on a coupe of occasions, for the briefest of moments, both of which I'm fairly certain that I remembered far more than he.

But this time it was different. This time it was just me and my new mate Luca, plus a few more senior members of Ferrari's mighty PR machine, and Marc Gene and Raffa De Simone

After a couple of minutes chatting in the pit lane about the new Speciale, Luca di Montezemolo then suggested that we should all go inside the little office next to the pits at Fiorano and have a chat about things over an espresso.

So we did, and for half an hour we sat there and talked. I asked him questions about Ferrari and he answered them straight - with plenty of style and panache, yes, but none of the marketing fluff you might expect.