A close-up view of the new Silverstone
Lewis Hamilton did not mind admitting that when he drove round Silverstone's new 'Arena' circuit in the McLaren simulator for the first time, he missed the new Abbey corner and carried on down the old track.
It just goes to show that there is no substitute for getting in a car and driving when it comes to learning the nuances of a new circuit - even if you are a former British Grand Prix winner like Hamilton.
Luckily, two F1 drivers were on hand - 1996 world champion Damon Hill and Super Aguri driver turned 5 live commentator Anthony Davidson - to chauffeur me in a road car as they ran the rule over Silverstone's new layout.
But before any serious analysis could begin, there was the small matter of adjusting to being driven by a speed specialist.
"If I'm scaring myself, that's not good," Hill said reassuringly, perhaps sensing my nerves. "I'm going to drive within myself so you'll be fine.
"The enjoyment comes when you go into the zone and you're not completely sure what happens next."
Hmm, that's less reassuring.
"Don't worry," said the 49-year-old with another quick smile as we left the pits. "I know my way around here."
The opening sequence of the high-speed Copse and Becketts corners passed in a blur - I focused on getting used to the see-saw lurching and flip-flop in my stomach as Hill got into the rhythm of accelerating, then hitting the brakes late and hard into each corner before riding the kerbs and racing away again.
"It does make your stomach flip and I completely understand that," Hill - a winner of 22 grands prix, including the 1994 race at Silverstone - gamely tried to empathise.
After a heady hurtle down Hangar Straight, and up through Vale and Club, we were soon upon the complex of curves and corners that has been added to the historic former airfield circuit which staged its first British GP in 1948.
The section was added partly to accommodate the MotoGP riders but is also part of the redevelopment required of Silverstone after it won the rights to stage the British Grand Prix for another 17 years.
The redesign, which has lengthened the track by 0.472 miles to 3.666m, sees the Abbey chicane turned into a fast right-hand kink which leads into a new complex of corners before rejoining the previous track at Brooklands via the Wellington Straight.
"Now we're into the new section," Hill said. "Apart from the MotoGP bikes, no-one has raced here before.
"We turn right into Abbey, then into a long left-hander called Farm and into a corner, which is a tight stop, called Village.
"Village is not challenging, because it's not very fast, but it's quite easy to muck up and lose time.
"Into The Loop and then it's important to get Aintree right for a fast entry into the new straight which links the two circuits.
"I was doing 120mph along there but the F1 cars are doing 160-170mph coming into Brooklands - and now we're back on the circuit we've seen before.
"Silverstone has been changing since 1948 and it continues to evolve. It'll be interesting to see what the F1 drivers make of it."
They will have to wait until first practice on Friday to sample Silverstone's new curves but Davidson was able to offer his opinion after several fast and furious laps.
"It definitely throws up more of a challenge for the drivers," said Davidson, who lost his F1 seat in 2008 when Super Aguri quit and now races Le Mans sportscars.
"Silverstone was always known and loved for being a ballsy high-speed track; one corner after another followed each other at high speed.
"It is fast and flowing but now it all slows down for the Arena section and that's what I always felt was missing from Silverstone.
"There will be people that like that and people that don't.
"As driver you now have to compromise your set-up and your driving style; you can't just be a good high-speed corner driver and you can't get away with being a good technical driver, it's a mix of everything."
Hill may have been driving the circuit as a former world champion but he also views the modified circuit from his perspective as president of the British Racing Drivers' Club, which owns the circuit and funds the grand prix.
So far, £15m has been spent on the redevelopment - the next stage of which is a new, relocated pits and paddock for 2011 and better facilities for fans - since last December and Hill is pleased with the progress.
"We don't have unlimited space so we've had to compromise," he added.
"But I don't think we've lost anything; we've gained something.
"We've gained some more interesting technical aspects to the circuit and we've improved the spectator facilities of the circuit which is very, very important.
"If we had a licence to do whatever we wanted to, we could incorporate some more fantastic corners but we'd have to give up somewhere else.
"As a racing driver I always wants the best of everything but the main feature of this circuit hasn't been changed - it's retained its high-speed nature.
"I think what will happen in that the first lap of the race on Sunday will be very interesting."
With that teaser our two laps are complete and the new-look Silverstone awaits the judgement of the 120,000 fans expected for race day and the opinions of 24 F1 drivers.