In the passenger seat of a Mercedes-AMG GT R, we take a quick trip around the Nürburgring.

The question with any sit-next-to-an-expert experience is just how hard the hired hand is trying.

Mercedes-AMG GT R smashes rear-wheel drive Nürburgring record

The GT R I got to passenger around the ‘Ring was in completely standard form, without a roll cage or seat harnesses, and before setting off DTM veteran – and Nordschleife specialist - Thomas Jaeger said our two laps of the circuit were intended to show off the aptitude of the car’s various dynamic systems.

He certainly wasn’t hanging around – braking seemingly impossibly late, working the car hard in corners and carrying huge speed over some of the Nordschleife's stomach-dropping crests.

Timing from the bridge on the long Döttinger Höhe straight rather than the official start produced a flying lap time of 7:46, comfortably the fastest I’ve travelled around the ‘Ring and not bad for a demonstration lap carrying a sizeable chunk of ballast in the passenger seat.

“I could've gone harder under braking, but you always leave something on a run like this,” Jaeger confirmed after we’d returned to the pitlane, before singling the adjustable nine-stage traction control out for particular praise, insisting the car is quicker with it on.

“We were in 6 for most of the lap, but if I was trying to set the best possible time then I would go to 7 or maybe 8, but not off. It allows you to be more aggressive with the car without wondering what it’s going to do.”

Read more: Mercedes-AMG GT R prepares for Nurbürgring lap record