By on March 20, 2013

This has been done before — most notably by Top Gear in the Stewart-Ford days — but this time it’s live, and real, and fantastic.

Part of the greatness of this video is that you can clearly see the difference in cornering speed between the AMG SL and the Aussie Supercar. After all, they have similar power, with the street car probably having a bit of an edge through most of the rev range. But real race tires, a proper cage for stiffness, and brutal alignment settings make a BIG difference.

Meanwhile, Coulthard simply destroys the sedans. Surely he wishes he could be driving alongside Seb Vettel in this year’s RB. It’s tempting to suggest that he really wouldn’t do any worse than Mark Webber and might in fact be more amenable to the idea of helping Red Bull defend the fourth driver title for the young German superstar. As it is, however, given the fact that the car can’t be full race-spec, can’t be optimized for Coulthard, and can’t have had enough time in his hands for him to be fully comfortable with it, it’s reasonable to assume that the Red Bull, unlike the other two cars, probably left five seconds on the table.

Or more.

This year, I’ll be writing about F1 for TTAC on a semi-regular basis. If you want me to cover anything specific, let me know in the comments. Thanks!

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47 Comments on “If You Waste Your Time Watching Just One Video Today, Let It Be This One...”

  • avatar
    George Herbert

    Was the AMG actually going 10/10? It didn’t look like he was pushing it that hard. His lines were softer (not just slower, but softer) and I didn’t see much sign of edge of traction there…

    Not that I disbelieve the premise, but I want the drivers being equally aggressive. If they were and I just misread the AMG, my bad.

  • avatar

    I remember a similar video from the mid-80’s, done at Mid Ohio. I probably had it on Betamax…

    Anyhow, IIRC Rahal was in a March–so probably 85 through 87. Since Nissan was the official car of MidO back then, I’m pretty sure there was a street ZX and a Sharp GTO ZX for comparison. I could be way off on those–it’s been 20 years since I’ve seen it.

  • avatar

    It was Mick Doohan in the Merc, make no mistake he was pushing it. Those old time motorcycle riders never liked to lose……. And if Casey Stoner could tame the GP Ducati, a V-8 sedan should be a piece of cake.

  • avatar

    For me, it was worth watching just to see Casey Stoner driving again. He’s going to be very missed from MotoGP. To the point where I’ll be following F1 closer for the first time in 14 years.

  • avatar

    The silver AMG street car was driven by Mick Doohan. The V8 “touring car” was driven by Casey Stoner. Both are motorcycle racers. Stoner twice won the World Championship in Moto GP in 2007 (and I forget what other year) at a time when “Il Dottore” Rossi ruled the roost.

    Mick Doohan was the man in the ’90s. He won, like, five world championship in a row back when the premier class was the 500cc Gran Prix. I used to love watching him on Saturday-morning reruns of those races.

    But, to the best of my knowledge, neither are pro car drivers. That might have had a wee bit to do with the finish.

    • 0 avatar


      Mick is not a pro driver but has definitely thrown four wheels around a few times for Mercedes in the past and competed in ROC. He has also thrown the odd car in the weeds…F1 test and and Targa Tasmania come to mind.

      Stoner is current a Pro driver learning the ropes in the V8 Supercars feeder series with a sharp-end of the field outfit.

      Niether are slouches old mate.


  • avatar

    I just “wasted” 3 minutes of office time for a racing video that didn’t even include a single crash. Darn!

  • avatar

    That’s remarkable that the staggering was so well timed it turned out so close.

  • avatar

    My favorite version of this stunt is the first one I saw, which featured James Hunt in a Ford Sierra, John Watson in a Porsche 928, and Niki Lauda in a McLaren about thirty years ago.

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks CJinSD. Nice vid, replete with 80s music, leaning Sierra, growling Porsche and screaming McLaren.

    • 0 avatar

      Hey CJ!

      My favorite is this:

      Ferrari F1, Ferrari 575, Fiat Bravo and Michael Schumacher. No narration, just the cars screaming. Compare the Fiat, then Ferrari then F1.

      Thanks for the link BTW. Great to watch.

      • 0 avatar

        Nice. A Ferrari with gated shifter. The good old days. I don’t know how many of these videos there are, but they are very entertaining.

      • 0 avatar

        I’ve seen that one too. Schumacher was the best.

        • 0 avatar

          No. Schummi in Benetton was arguably the best, Schummi in Ferrari was a douche and at that time Hill was the best. I’ll concede that Schummi was, and is, about a thousand times better then the big box of bland that’s Hamilton*, Ferrari and Schummi did their cheating with some style at least.

          Him not winning in 07 was the best thing about that season, close second Kimi Räikkönen actually winning.

          • 0 avatar

            Did you actually watch any of the F1 races of the ’90s? Damon Hill managed to stigmatize all the Newey passengers to come, such was his sheer mediocrity. When he was Williams-Renault’s lead driver, the grands prix were billed as car v. driver. Damon Hill was not the driver. The irony that everyone else was driving a bathtub in 1996 because Senna had died in a Williams while Williams beat the rules for cockpit wall thickness by putting bumps at the measuring points was priceless. Throw in the front wing end plates that violated the spirit and the letter of the rules but were protected by Charlie Whiting, and you had a level of aerodynamic superiority that gifted Hill a title, since Schumacher’s car broke a third of the time. Hill was pathetic, sometimes literally just a lump of nerves and tears. After Spain 1994, when Schumacher finished 2nd in a car stuck in 5th gear for more than 2/3rds of the race, Williams had to arrange a special test to prove to Hill that he could complete a few laps stuck in gear, such was his despondency over seeing what real talent looked like.

          • 0 avatar

            Hill? Damon Hill? This time I go with CJ. Even Hamilton is more talented than Mr Hill.

          • 0 avatar


            In 94′ Schumacher was still in the Benetton car, so I won’t argue that he was good then, really really good. The alleged dickery in Australia was – arguably – a preview of the stunt he would pull in 97 while driving a Ferrari.
            Hill was a big bag of nerves but he was a talented driver non the less.
            If I watched F1 in the 90’s? My boyhood room had a large poster of the Benetton team all through the 90’s and I watched every race, when Schummi switched to the dark (red) side I found Hill highly inspiring with his late start in F1 and his style entertaining. My view of him is tinted by the rosy colored glasses of youth I’ll admit, but schummi is still a douche. And I do believe that Ferrari did run illegal driver aids when they created the “rain master”

            @Marcelo de Vasconcellos
            Hamilton is talented, no ifs and buts about it. But he is so boring and he did manage to come second in a car tainted by cheating. Why FIA thought that he should keep his driving points while all construction points were stripped from the team is rather strange. It’s not like the team races cars while the driver runs alongside.

    • 0 avatar

      If you listen to the 928 ‘pass-by’ portion of the footage, it sounds like they dubbed in a generic ‘racecar’ sound. definetly does not resemble a 928’s V8. Funny – since during the editing process the 928 was prbably too quiet during the pass-by footage (or perhaps all the outside sounds were dubbed?..common back then) to sound dramatic enough.

  • avatar

    One suggestion for F1 coverage: Could we get the Best & Brightest of TTAC to write about this beautiful mutant?

    I have a low grade obsession w/ the P34. It’s on a list of “must buy” Hot Wheels that current decorate my office. I’d love reading about this on a proper automotive blog, esp. given TTACs unique take and writers.

  • avatar

    How many cup holders in the F1 car?

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    Great video!The old one, too, CJ!

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Fantastic video!

    The Merc was being pushed and there was no “sandbagging”.

    I don’t how many of you global people watch our V8 SuperCar series, but it offers fantastic racing, all with V8 power.

    From what I’m hearing it is becoming more and more popular globally and racing is spreading to many more countries.

    In May they are racing in Austin Tx, so for the US car freaks have a watch.

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      It is great racing. Specially when positions are contested. These guys don’t hold anything.

      I really like the paint exchanging.

    • 0 avatar

      Big Al,

      Do you have any idea why Merc could not secure the services of the new AMG V8 Supercar? I would have thought this a golden opportunity mate?


      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        I read an interesting article that Mercedes Benz and AMG don’t want to be associated with what they deemed a “more blue collar” activity.

        But, look at who’s driving the V8 SuperCar Merc. Merc and AMG are having a stealth input in the cars.

        I do have a soft spot for Nissan, but since the Renault Aliance I’m slowly losing my “support” for them.

        Even though in the initial race Nissan and Merc didn’t fare to well, they have shown they are going to be very competitive.

        I think we will be in for some great racing with the V8 SuperCar formula. I would like to see other manufacturers come into play.

      • 0 avatar

        The private Erebus / Stone Brothers team is as close as they’ll get to it right now:

        “Mercedes maintains the series is not yet right for the brand, though says it has given Erebus its blessing to enter with its cars owing to a long-standing relationship.

        ‘Erebus is a good and loyal customer. That relationship is important to us and that’s why AMG and Mercedes-Benz Australia has agreed to what they are doing and giving them our blessing.\'”

      • 0 avatar

        The current cars were racing at the GP

  • avatar

    All of these videos were made with a caliber of driver that can produce laps within a couple of tenths of one another at will. Basically, once they’ve each done a few standing start laps in their cars to determine lap times, it is possible to set up the starting intervals to get the desired finish the majority of the time. I doubt sand bagging came into play.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Just like drag racing, it more the vehicle than the driver.

      Driver input is significant, but at their level of driving any V8 SuperCar or F1 driver would have had similar results.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    Cool video. Gotta love the entertaining supplied between races.

    GORGEOUS location, if you guys ever come to Melbourne, go to Albert Park. And during F1 days, you can hear the cars even within the inner suburbs.

    The V8 Supercar is last year’s car.

    Now, if they did the same at Bathurst…

    “This year, I’ll be writing about F1 for TTAC on a semi-regular basis. If you want me to cover anything specific, let me know in the comments. Thanks!”

    Please, no more scatological language. At all. I am not interested in sewers (cloacas), no matter who you think they belong to. Not amusing.

    On the F1 side, it would be interesting to know about KERS, DRS and the regulations around their use.

    • 0 avatar

      I was in Melbourne last week, stayed in a hotel off of Toorak just north of the park.

      On Thursday morning my missus and I could hear the sounds of F1 motors as we had breakfast. 18,000 rpm ICEs make a noise like nothing else. You could smell it in the air too.

      Unfortunately didn’t get to go to the race, but watched this video live along with the race in a Sydney bar. The Aussies love their racing.

      • 0 avatar

        Many americans like the low v8 rumble. I got into cars after being dragged to see (what I thought was a boring) F1 race in indianapolis. The closest you are going to get to F1 engine sound in something stock/affordable is a supersport 600 — which is the main reason I own one (since new, ~27k miles).

  • avatar

    More F1 coverage, Fantastic. I like to read about “great moments” & incidents in a race. Results are good to read to, including positions, total driver and constructor points. Reading about battles lower down in the positions is fun to. Some times the top 3 places are a bit dull but there is one hell of a fight for 5th place.
    Those V8 super cars are something else and the racing series is great fun to follow but…F1 cars are just in a different world… no! Universe!

  • avatar

    I’m glad to read there’s going to be more F-1 coverage. The big question right now is what’s going wrong at Mclaren? Is it the pullrod front suspension, or is it an aero issue?

  • avatar

    In my younger years I spent a lot of time on tracks, whether it was road racing or track days. I had a series of race-prepped cars but also got to drive some cool machinery on track as well.

    Jumping from a fully track-prepped car into something even as fast as a 911 or Viper still highlighted the shortcomings of a stock street car. Yes, that Viper was more stiffly sprung than a Camry but it was not set up for track work. The street tires were too slick. The brakes were too soft. These cars felt fast at 8/10s on the street but were very sloppy on track.

    This is why you see such a significant difference in speed between that Benz and the V8 Supercar.

  • avatar

    Here’s my question to the TTAC commentariat:

    While I think all of us can admire the engineering and speed of a Formula One car, if you had your pick of driving one of those cars around that track, which would you pick?

    Personally I’d go with the Aussie V8. Open wheel racing is great, but I find myself drawn to racing that features “real” cars. I’d personally rather drive the ALMS GT cars than the prototype cars.

  • avatar

    To answer the question of what you should write about, I think something of real value you could add to the multitude of sites that report race results, gossip, interviews, etc is to take some event of interest from the race and do an in depth analysis of it.

    For example, a particular incident, or well executed pass, a short video clip and then some explanation of what the drivers did well or not so well.

    One of the things that stood out for me in terms of driving last year was how Alonso approached passing cars on older tires. Whilst most commentators simply said “look how much faster his car is”, or “look how much more traction he has on exit”, what he often did much better than most other drivers out there was apex later than normal in order to effectively use the extra grip of his tires to pass the car in front. Other drivers in a similar position but following the same line as the car in front struggled to pass as the extra grip was wasted in the corner whilst blocked by the car in front.

    Another thing that would be interesting is to analyse the way different drivers, or different cars take a certain corner, with a discussion of what is working well or not on the car, and what the driver is doing about it.

    • 0 avatar

      1. I’m happy to hear you’ll be covering f1 Jack

      2. This is a great idea (bludragon’s recco)

      3. I’d love driver profiles in terms of technique. For example, I recall an interview with button in which he discussed his style and setup versus Lewis’; you’re good at discussing technique for non racers, so insights into things like that.

  • avatar

    I’d love to know how today’s F1 laptimes compare to the history of laptimes on a given course.

  • avatar

    Well, the Malaysia GP offered some in-team drama between Vettel and Webber and, to a lesser degree, between Hamilton and Rosberg. I look forward to Jack’s take on that.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if that take was: Vettel going against team orders while Rosberg obeyed them is the difference between winning three championships and possibly winning none.

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