The Story Behind The McLaren F1 And Its Record-Breaking 240.1Mph Run

Article Written by : Legendary Videos

When McLaren started engineering the F1 in the early 1990s, this company never ...

When McLaren started engineering the F1 in the early 1990s, this company never actually set out to build the world’s fastest road vehicle. That didn’t stop it from annihilating the Jaguar XJ220’s briefly held 217-mph record, though.

The F1 first set the top-speed record in 1993, hitting 231 mph at the Nardo ring in Italy, and McLaren wasn’t done.

That’s why, in 1998, the company recruited Le Mans-winner Andy Wallace to drive the F1 down the 5.4-mile straight at Volkswagen’s Ehra-Lessien proving ground in Germany to chase the new top-speed record.

As this new mini-documentary from McLaren shows, the whole endeavor was remarkably casual. This car was transported to the track in the truck that announced McLaren’s intentions in the pretty straightforward way.

Wallace, who says now that he was younger and more stupid in those days, and leaped at the opportunity to drive the F1 really fast. The vehicle used for the record was McLaren’s fifth experimental prototype, or XP5 in the McLaren speak, which was five years old at the time.

On his first run Wallace hit the indicated 388 km/h (241.1 mph), but he knew the car had the bit more to give. He asked the technicians for more revs, set out again.

With the rev limiter removed, he hit 391 km/h (242.956 mph), and called it the day. It’ll not go any more than 391, said Wallace. But anyway, 391’s quite fast, isn’t it?

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That was pretty crazy. Wait until you see this next video below...