Most people who can drive a car think they do so pretty well, and some even believe they could hold their own if pitched against a world-class professional on a race circuit. If you belong to the latter group, a Monaco-based startup called Apogee is offering the chance to prove it by staging what it calls a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to join Australian Formula One star Daniel Ricciardo for a three-hour meeting, during which he will race successful applicants on a professional Grand Prix simulator.
The price you’ll have to pay to eat the Red Bull Racing driver’s virtual dust – which you’ll almost certainly end up doing – is €40,000, for which Apogee will also supply one Formula One engineer to observe and monitor your technique, point out your mistakes and offer instruction.
Apogee was established last year by Michela Moratelli-Jackson, a Monaco resident of 25-plus years whose love of cycling and other outdoor pursuits has resulted in friendships with many of the elite sportsmen and women who live in or regularly visit the principality.
In addition to the racing simulator experience with Ricciardo (which is also available, depending on availability, with other motorsport stars including former F1 driver David Coulthard, endurance racing champion Allan McNish and motorcycle racer Eugene Laverty) Apogee can also organise cycling events with top riders such as Chris Froome, Lizzie Deignan and Mark Renshaw, tennis games with Swedish Grand Slam winner Thomas Johansson and golf with European Ryder Cup player Nicolas Colsaerts.
The F1 meetings with Ricciardo will take place in Monaco from September 5-9 between 9am-noon and will comprise time on the simulator and two hours in the driver’s company. Places will be sold strictly on a first come, first served basis and each participant will receive a bespoke, signed album detailing the event.