Tom Cruise stars in secret Red Bull test 23 Aug 2011
Red Bull have revealed that Hollywood legend Tom Cruise recently tried out one of their Formula One cars in a specially organised test in the United States. Cruise took a break from his current film project, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, to get behind the wheel at the Willow Springs circuit in California.
Cruises instructor for the seven-hour session was Formula One veteran David Coulthard. They began by lapping the track together in a road car before Coulthard helped Cruise familiarise himself with the F1 machine, which was supported by a 12-person crew flown in from Red Bulls UK factory.
After a total of 24 laps, with time out between track stints to compare his telemetry to Coulthards, Cruise cut his initial lap time by an impressive 11 seconds and reached a top speed of 181 mph, just 4 mph short of Coulthard.
"Tom's the real deal, Coulthard told Red Bulls website. I was surprised that he picked it up so quickly and is such an accomplished driver. His recall was incredible considering how complicated driving an F1 car is. He's a guy who really pushes the envelope in real life. This day was not green screened. He thoroughly impressed me."
Cruise, a long-time motorsport fan, has driven several competition cars over the years, but this was his first F1 experience. Formula One returns to his homeland next year with a race at the all-new Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.