‘Sensory overload!’ Freddie Flintoff opens up about ‘daunting’ Top Gear experience
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Last week, Top Gear fans got to watch Freddie Flintoff set out to become a qualified racing driver. The former cricketer trained hard and when the time came he passed the test. In a recent interview with Express.co.uk and other press, Freddie opened up about the process of getting his racing qualification. The star confessed it was a challenging task that involved a lot of concentration.
Speaking about his motivations to do the test, Freddie confessed: “I’ve always wanted to get better at driving and have a go at it.
“For someone who’s never really been into F1 or anything like that, but I’ve seen Chris do his stuff and I’ve had mates who have raced – obviously if you get an opportunity I went ‘I’ll have a go’.
“I didn’t realise how hard it was though,” he admitted.
Freddie explained: “I was of the opinion that the fastest car wins. I always thought, ‘Oh, he’s got the fastest car he’ll win.’
“But, when you get in one you realise actually the amount of skill that’s involved and concentration.
“For me, I play cricket. You concentrate for two seconds at a time and switch off.
“If you do that in the car you’re off,” he remarked.
The Top Gear presenter revealed he was determined to get better at racing when he realised how much of a challenge it really is.
He said: “The funny thing is like Chris came down and laid a time down so you’re chasing that time.
“Then you think you’re getting better, but you want to get better again and again and again.
“It’s just obstacles. I experienced things – I was honest on the film about it – which I’ve not experienced for a long time.
“I was quite competitive with it, especially on the race,” Freddie confessed.
The sports star detailed what was going through his mind when racing on a proper track for the first time.
He explained: “It’s just a sensory overload. The noises, the cars. I’d only been on a track on my own and then there’s 30 cars with me and Chris is there.
“It was brilliant actually, but at the same time daunting,” Freddie revealed.
The presenter admitted the experience gave him a new perspective of racing drivers.
Freddie commented: “I left having a newfound respect for anyone who gets behind the wheel and does all right because it’s so hard. So difficult.”
When asked what he learnt during the training process, he laughed: “I got a bit quicker!”
However, he noted he also learnt a great deal about the “limits” of a car and himself.
“The one thing is not to make as many mistakes. I make mistakes all the time, but with the other stuff I do I can get away with it.
“With driving you can’t, can you? It’s just repetition, repetition, repetition,” he concluded.
Top Gear airs Sundays at 8pm on BBC One.
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