With Top Gun Maverick just around the corner, let us look at the time when the A-lister drove for Red Bull.
The events took place not only at a ranch owned by Circuit of America’s backer Red McCombs but also in front of the Texas State Capitol Building and at the dusty Grand Prix site.
On Monday, August 15, 2011, Tom Cruise, who starred in the infamous Days of Thunder NASCAR films, accepted an invitation to test drive the Red Bull Racing F1 car in Southern California.
Alongside the expert David Coulthard, who was accompanied by a 12-person team that flew in from Milton Keynes to the track.
— Demetriou Neto (@NetoDemetriou) July 3, 2021
Maverick completed 24 laps during the seven-hour session, which began with Cruise and Coulthard lapping the track in a passenger car to get familiarized with the racing lines before Coulthard showed Cruise the intricacies of the F1 machine.
“For someone that is so skilled in his main career, he’s able to take in information very quickly and then go replay that on the race track,” the 13-time Grand Prix winner explained.
“He’s been through a lot of tracks done a lot of laps. So he’s got the visual, he understands the, you know, how to take the car around the race track… it was remarkable how quickly he got up to speed.” said the 13 times winner after witnessing Tom’s performance.
Neck to Neck with Coulthard
With the exception of a single incident which saw Cruise skid off-track and into the dirt, at 291 km/h – he was just 6.4 km/h slower than Coulthard’s regular pace. By his final lap, his lap time had improved by a considerable 11 seconds
“Tom’s the real deal. I was surprised that he picked it up so quickly and is such an accomplished driver,” said Coulthard.
“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.”
The squad was back in 2021 when Tom Cruise met David Coulthard and Mark Webber before the Silverstone GP in Britain.
— Channel 4 F1® (@C4F1) July 18, 2021