But it is serious, too. It’s possible to spec a Pista to be 90kg lighter than the 488 GTB on which it’s based, which is no mean feat. The rear screen is plastic not glass, there’s far less sound deadening, the exhaust manifold is made of Inconel and much of the bodywork is now carbonfibre rather than aluminium. Long story short, the car’s power-to-weight ratio about matches that of a Veyron, so perhaps Ferrari’s mastery of modern electronic systems is as much a duty of care as a ticket to the funfair.
And on the small matter of spec: we are talking about an Italian supercar here, so naturally it’s possible to go into the stratosphere with options. There are too many to list, but for a taste, on-board telemetry costs £5760, four-point harnesses £2112, the gorgeous one-piece carbon seats £7200, a roll-bar £2208, black ceramic exhaust pipes £960, and Apple CarPlay a ludicrous £2400. The icing on the cake is the £8640 two-tone racing stripe, which many will understandably have to have, however poor value it may be.
What's it like?
We should also talk about the £14,208 carbonfibre wheels. More owners will option them than not, and wisely so, because further reducing any unsprung mass only heightens the Pista’s sublime responsiveness.
As goes the modern Ferrari habit, the steering remains extremely direct – overly so for the road, at two turns lock-to-lock. And yet this is an electro-hydraulic set-up that’s intuitive and more reassuringly resistive than the electrically assisted system in the 812 Superfast. Along with stiffer springs than the GTB, a subtle drop in ride height and next to no body roll, direction changes are akin to flicking a switch. A beautifully weighted switch with a perfectly crisp action.
On British roads the Pista feels loud, wide and every bit the attention vacuum a new trackday Ferrari should be, but it’s a strangely easy car to drive fast and much of this is also down to the damping. Once again, 'bumpy road' mode, which softens the set-up, excels. How is it we’ve got to a point where a mid-engined homage to Ferrari’s sportscar racers conducts itself with greater pliancy, poise and predictability than the flagship GT car? There’s no doubt the Superfast is misconceived – too focused for the road – but by any standard the Pista is remarkable in its ability to absorb the road beneath without giving away anything in body control.
Unlike McLaren, Ferrari prefers to use an aluminium monocoque rather than a carbon tub but there’s no discernible flex and with so little weight to manage the two-way adaptive dampers provide pure, uncorrupted control. ‘Unflappable’ is a much-abused term but unless you’re downright clumsy with the throttle or spectacularly misjudge that crest or camber up ahead, the Pista feels as trustworthy as a Land Cruiser in the Outback.