THE Veyron never goes out alone. There is always a minder for the mega-money machine, and it is usually a man called PierreHenri Raphanel.
He is a dapper 47-year-old who is multi-lingual, can talk all day about the brilliant Bugatti and— perhaps most important of all— has the driving skill to show what the car can do.
Raphanel is a one-time Formula One driver who is known as the ‘‘pilote officiale’’ for the Veyron.
He never cracked the combination for F1 but was a winner in sports cars, finishing second at Le Mans in 1992.
He will discuss the people he has introduced to the Veyron, but says he has no time for people who claim they are too busy for more than a 10-minute run.
And then he is off— talking about everything from the materials in the cabin to the operation of the rear wing, the way the transmission works, how the car was tested in Death Valley and the Arctic, and on, and on, and on.
Raphanel is so confident, so polished and ever so slightly arrogant. But you get that.
And he has a point. He rams it home after he has finished his work and the Veyron is safety back in the pitlane at Sandown.
‘‘This is a very unusual car. Most times when driving fast it is the car that is giving up first,’’ he says.
‘‘With the Veyron, it is the driver who gives up first.
‘‘The car never gives up.’’