Ten years ago emergency crews cut me from a mangled car, a friend dead in the front seat and the rest of us lucky to escape with multiple fractures. Two months in hospital, fours months in rehabilitation and it's no wonder I'm the world's worst passenger, especially in a Hong Kong cab. The thought of climbing into a car that has just hit 300km/h down the back straight of the new Shanghai Grand Prix track should scare the living daylights out of me. Strangely, I'm excited by the prospect, intoxicated even. The sight, smell, sound and speed of more than 60 Ferraris and one in particular - an Enzo Ferrari - are seductive. A distinctive red blur screeches to a halt beside me and, in typical James Bond fantasy, out of the Enzo emerges Michelle Yeoh Choo Kheng. You half expect Pierce Brosnan to emerge from the driver's seat as if Tomorrow Never Dies II is being shot at the Shanghai circuit, but it's Yeoh's good friend from Hong Kong, Patrick Ma, the owner of this exclusive expression of extreme sportiness. Yeoh is renowned for performing dangerous stunts, but she has been somewhere she hasn't been before. 'How fast did you go, Patrick?' she asks excitedly. 'Three hundred kilometres per hour,' he says. 'Were you scared? Did you scream?' I ask unashamedly of the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon star. 'No, I kept my cool,' she says. 'I wasn't scared. Patrick really stepped it up down the back straight. I know him very well and I am very confident of his driving. 'I wouldn't get into a car if I wasn't sure of the driver. If you have such a powerful car and you are on a track like this, you just want to step on the gas. Just let it go,' says Yeoh, who was in Shanghai for the film festival, where Tomorrow Never Dies is being shown in a cinema in China for the first time. Yeoh makes a few strange sounds, reliving the sensation of negotiating one corner and then describes the whole experience as being on a rollercoaster. 'It was fun. I was worried there would be drivers out there who hadn't driven on the track before and might go a little crazy,' she said of the 60 owners who took part in a Ferrari festival celebrating the opening of the Grand Prix circuit. There are two Enzo Ferraris on parade - only 399 were built and bear the name of the company founder. They epitomise the most advanced concepts of Formula One racing technology. They are virtually a Formula One car on the road - 0-100km/h in a mind-blowing 3.65 seconds. What better way to conquer your demons of a fatal car accident? But suddenly the warning system sounds like a space station shutting down and all the cars come into the pits. One driver has missed a corner and out goes a rescue team. The cars need to cool off and the drivers take a break for lunch. Just what I need - a stomach full of pasta to decorate Patrick's car. Then up pulls Marchy Lee Kin-yin, the top Hong Kong driver with the confidence to go all the way to F1. His confidence is infectious. 'Hop in,' he gestures. The light goes green again and we burn some rubber leaving the pits in a Maserati Spyder. I'm remarkably calm, even when he goes into a slide at only the third bend. You can tell he's in control and there's nothing to crash into anyway, such are the wide open spaces of this new complex, which is preparing for Schumacher and company on September 26. We duck and dive past a few amateur drivers and then hit 240km/h down the back straight. Marchy later reveals: 'I didn't push it to the limit because I have you in the car.' The car also belongs to Ferrari so it's not in his best interests to wrap it around a wall. Everything Marchy has done so far has impressed Ferrari, especially his performance at the Bahrain Grand Prix in April, where he had the crowd on their feet winning both races in the Formula BMW Asia Series. Marchy and his Team Meritus boss, Peter Thompson, are trying to raise US$1 million so Marchy can show his stuff in a test drive in a F1 car on the Friday of the Shanghai Grand Prix. Along with Dutch-born Tung Ho-pin, Marchy is by far the best Chinese driver so I'm in great hands - which are busy clicking gears and wrestling with the wheel. 'I haven't had a crash or rolled in ages,' he says reassuringly. Is that luck? I ask. 'No, it's skill,' he replies. Funny how you can have a conversation in a racing car, but you can hardly hear yourself speak in the pit lane. Marchy says I'm safer in this car than I would be climbing on a horse. 'You can control the car; it can't think. You are the one who thinks. If you make a mistake you can control the car, but you can't control the horse. Motor sport is so safe now. It's incredible. Sometimes they crash at 300km/h and just get out and walk away - nothing but a bit of soreness. The cars are strong and the circuits are safe,' he says. The grandstand flashes past, another lap disappears and all of a sudden it's over and we're back in the pits. And something's still missing - pushing the envelope in the Enzo. Patrick has a plane to catch for Hong Kong so he throws the keys to his brother, William, for the afternoon session and everyone wants to be his friend. So I wait, call the airline to take a later flight, and wait some more. I don't know William from Adam, but he has my name on a list in his head. A car pulls up further down the pit lane, a woman's head appears from the passenger seat and she deposits her lunch on the ground. No time to back out now, as William drops off another passenger and finally gives me the signal. This is as close to the F1 experience as you get, but I'm barely perspiring, despite the heat of the day, a steamy cockpit and the pressure from the helmet. I don't know whether to look at William, the speedometer, the track or the surrounds, or just hold on for dear life. We make the sweep into the back straight but I can tell he's holding back as he climbs towards 280. Is this the sensation in a space shuttle? And then he hits the brakes, I'm thrown forward fighting against the G-forces. We make the 180-degree turn and he asks 'Shall we go round again?' I give him the thumbs up and the second lap is over before I know it. I emerge from the car in one piece, escape from the helmet and immediately rub my neck. Two days later it was still sore. 'You get used to it,' says Marchy. 'The biggest problem is the braking and turning. The neck suffers because passengers don't know when the driver is going to break.' Marchy is pretty fit but will undergo a serious fitness examination in Kuala Lumpur this coming week as he prepares for rounds three and four of the Formula BMW Asian series. Thompson says: 'Many famous fitness instructors will tell you that racing car drivers are the ones who are the least knowledgeable about the fitness requirement for their sport.' Marchy's tests will include VO2 max (measuring the maximal rate of oxygen consumption) lactic, stretch, reflex, hand and wrist strength, peripheral vision and stamina. After the examination Marchy will be put into the care of Nick Harris, the chief fitness coach at Jaguar F1. 'Marchy will have his first rude awakening on the week of the British Grand Prix [July 4],' says Thompson. 'It will start each day with a 10-mile hike, plus four hours in the gym. 'Marchy's plan is to test an F1 car this year and I believe his biggest issue will be his neck muscles due to the G-forces of up to five that he will experience and therefore he has to work on this. There are some modern contraptions like a centrifuge that drivers use for this.' This beats the old way of tying a rope to your helmet and swinging a weight from it. Well-known British racing engineer Chris Schirle says the neck aches because the lateral stresses are not encountered elsewhere in life. The longitudinal stress (under braking) is greater than the latitudinal. The lateral stress in a car like the Enzo Ferrari, which uses road tyres and very basic aerodynamics, is 1.5 G. This compares to over 3 G in a F1 car, says Schirle. Last December, Tung spent hours in a racing simulator before his 40-lap test in a William-BWM at the Jerez circuit in Spain - the first Chinese driver to pilot a F1 car. His neck grew three centimetres in four weeks after imposing loads on his body through computer-controlled springs, pulleys and hydraulics. 'I had no pain anywhere at all,' Tung said. The neck discomfort left me after two days, but the sensation never will.