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Cruise controls an F1 car. Image by Garth Milan.

Cruise controls an F1 car
Red Bull invites Tom Cruise to drive its F1 car - with Coulthard as instructor.


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Only a few good men get the chance to drive an F1 car and Tom Cruise was given one shot of Red Bull's F1 car in California this week. Proving that he's top gun behind the wheel the actor, who briefly held the fastest lap on the Top Gear celebrity lap times, has driven a number of racing cars over the years. Even so, putting anyone in an F1 car is a risky business so David Coulthard was on hand to show Cruise all the right moves. He wasn't afraid of opening the taps either, with Cruise and the energy drink emblazoned car creating a heady cocktail of consistent lapping and decent pace.

Indeed, in speed traps Cruise wasn't knight and day off Coulthard's pace - being just 4mph slower with a 181mph maximum. Over 24 laps at Willow Springs race circuit in Rosamond, California Cruise improved his lap time by 11 seconds, with the firm help of Red Bull's telemetry specialists checking his laps against Coulthard's.

Proving with age the star isn't losing it, Coulthard said: "Tom's the real deal. I was surprised that he picked it up so quickly and is such an accomplished driver." Just as well it didn't rain, err, man or Cruise might just have had his eyes wide shut as days of thunder might have put him far and away off the track. Oh hell, we give up, sorry; Cruise was quick, is clearly talented and is a lucky git. Who'd be a Hollywood star, eh?

Kyle Fortune - 25 Aug 2011

Tom Cruise drives a Red Bull F1 car. Image by Garth Milan.Tom Cruise drives a Red Bull F1 car. Image by Garth Milan.Tom Cruise drives a Red Bull F1 car. Image by Garth Milan.  

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