Deja vu PS2-style

I’m not a ‘petrolhead’, but I love the BBC’s Top Gear. The sheer passion and enthusiasm of Jeremy Clarkson and co is infectious, and you suddenly realise you’re tuning in week after week.
But an item on this week’s show, the last in the series, was familiar. Apparently F1 world champion Fernando Alonso credited his performance at this year’s inaugural Turkish Grand Prix to practising the circuit on the PlayStation. So they wondered, could Jeremy match his time around one of Gran Turismo’s simulated tracks in a simulated car, when driving for real around the same track in the same car? Simple answer – no. It’s understandable really; if you crash at full speed on the PlayStation, you get another try.
In fact, I tried a similar experiment myself, earlier this year. My wife and I visited Monaco – and emerged from the train station at a place which looked startlingly familiar to me: the foot of the hill just after the start of the Grand Prix circuit. I couldn’t believe it; I’d never been there in my life, but I knew the place like the back of my hand. We ended up walking the full circuit over a couple of hours, albeit stopping for some food and taking a detour to the ‘old city’. With each turn, I became more and more amazed at how good the PS2 version was. I knew exactly where I was, the whole time.

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