Tom Cruise Test Drives Red Bull Racing Formula One Car

American film actor and producer Tom Cruise accepted an invitation to test drive the Red Bull Racing Formula One car in Southern California last week. David Coulthard, a 13-time grand prix winner and former Red Bull Racing driver, served as Cruise’s instructor for the day with support from a twelve person crew, who flew in from Milton Keynes.

Mr. Mission Impossible reached a top speed of 181mph, just four miles per hour off of Coulthard’s top speed. He drove the 850-horsepower car around the 4km Willow Springs race track in Rosamond, California. Cruise did 24 laps during the seven-hour session and he improved on his initial lap time by almost 11 seconds by the final lap. Coulthard said:

Tom’s the real deal. 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.

Formula One returns to America in 2012 after a four-year absence. The United States Grand Prix will be held at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, which is currently under construction.

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