McLaren F1 record attempts - Unseen footage of 242mph run

Watch the original carbonfibre hypercar reach insane speeds at the hands of Andy Wallace

This year marks 25 years since production of the incredible McLaren F1 first started. The carbonfibre hypercar was, and still is, one of the purest and most focused drivers’ cars ever made. Its central driving position, naturally aspirated six-litre V12 and manual gearbox demonstrate that perfectly.

Famously though, the F1 long held the record for the fastest production car, and on the 31st March 1998 at Ehra-Lessien in Germany the car reached a speed of 240.14mph. To celebrate a quarter of a century of the F1, McLaren has released behind-the-scenes footage from the day the record was set.

The driver for the high-speed runs was Andy Wallace, a man well qualified for the job having won Le Mans 24 Hours, the Daytona 24 Hours three times, the Sebring 12 Hours twice. He later raced the McLaren F1 GTR at Le Mans in 1995 and 1996. 

Wallace introduces the video and helps explain the situation surrounding the record attempts. He chats about the experience in disbelief, not about what the car was capable of, but he now seems amazed at just how casual he was about the situation. He speaks about how he wouldn’t be so willing to just jump in a car and attempt to break the record now. 

> Watch Andy Wallace drive the Bugatti Chiron up the Goodwood hillclimb

His relaxed nature is clear from the period footage. After his first run he asks the engineers for more revs, explaining to them it was limiting the top speed. He also calmly commentates on the runs, announcing the speed as it rises without any drama and histrionics. Dressed in a denim shirt, even his attire is casual. That said, he does stil wear a helmet for the record attempts.

The final run in the video sees the F1 top out at 391kph (242.9mph), and Wallace wryly says ‘But anyway 391’s quite fast, isn’t it?’ As the car starts to slow he then declares his admiration for the F1 saying: ‘I still say this is the best car ever built ever. And will probably never be beaten.’

Its top speed may have been surpassed now, but the F1 is still one of the most captivating and iconic hypercars there has ever been. Given that status, the incredibly high, multi-million pound values of the car today seem almost reasonable.

Recommended

McLaren 600LT v Porsche 911 GT3 v Nissan GT-R Nismo
McLaren 600LT v Porsche 911 GT3 v Nissan GT-R Nismo
Supercars

McLaren 600LT v Porsche 911 GT3 v Nissan GT-R Nismo

What will it take to expose any weaknesses in the new 911 GT3? Nissan’s brutal GT-R Nismo and McLaren’s ballistic 600LT should have the power and poli…
14 May 2022
High-riding Lamborghini Huracàn Sterrato spied again – the real sports utility vehicle
Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato prototype – front quarter
Lamborghini Huracan

High-riding Lamborghini Huracàn Sterrato spied again – the real sports utility vehicle

Lamborghini plans to join the Porsche 911 Safari with its own take on the high-riding supercar
12 May 2022
Aston Martin V12 Vantage 2022 review – why it fails as a fitting sign-off for the Aston V12
Aston Martin V12 Vantage review – header Matt Howell
Aston Martin V12 Vantage

Aston Martin V12 Vantage 2022 review – why it fails as a fitting sign-off for the Aston V12

It was always going to be a tough job to sign off Aston’s V12, but this is not the finest V12 Vantage, not by a long chalk
10 May 2022
Mystery Ferrari SF90 prototype spied in Germany
Ferrari SF90 German test car – front quarter
Ferrari SF90 Stradale

Mystery Ferrari SF90 prototype spied in Germany

Ferrari’s groundbreaking SF90 Stradale has been criticised for a lack of synergy, is this prototype a sign it’s in for an update?
10 May 2022

Most Popular

Used car deals of the week
Main  used car deals
used cars

Used car deals of the week

Here's what caught evo’s fancy this week on the second hand car market
13 May 2022
Rolls-Royce Phantom II debuts – the ultimate luxury experience on four wheels
Rolls-Royce Phantom II – side sports
Rolls-Royce Phantom

Rolls-Royce Phantom II debuts – the ultimate luxury experience on four wheels

There are luxury cars, and then there’s the new Phantom II and its unmatched opulence
12 May 2022
High-riding Lamborghini Huracàn Sterrato spied again – the real sports utility vehicle
Lamborghini Huracan Sterrato prototype – front quarter
Lamborghini Huracan

High-riding Lamborghini Huracàn Sterrato spied again – the real sports utility vehicle

Lamborghini plans to join the Porsche 911 Safari with its own take on the high-riding supercar
12 May 2022