Video: McLaren P1 laps ‘Ring, but no confirmation it’s beaten Porsche…

Published: 06 December 2013

McLaren claims its P1 hybrid supercar has achieved its final performance target: a sub-seven minute lap of the 13-mile Nurburgring Nordeschleife in Germany. However, despite this new video being released to honour McLaren’s halo supercar, there’s still no full on-board video, nor an independently verified lap time.

Are we to assume McLaren’s £860,000 labour of love is slower than the record-breaking Porsche 918 Spyder, which managed a 6min 57sec lap time? It seems so…

CAR’s spies snapped the McLaren P1 attempting its record runs earlier in 2013, with the distinctive orange crash helmet of chief test driver Chris Goodwin visible in the cockpit.

Describing his lap, Goodwin is predictably impressed with the P1’s performance: ‘The acceleration from the Aremberg right hander down the Fuchsröhre is absolutely amazing. I have only experienced acceleration like this before in a Formula 1 car. This downhill snaking section of the track is taken flat, using DRS, shifting gear all the way down to the base of the valley, and the compression that follows applies the maximum vertical g-forces to the car. The forces really load the tyres, chassis and wing, but it is taken with only a slight lift of the throttle.’

>> Click here to read Mark Walton’s race-speed ride in the new 217mph McLaren P1

‘The numerous jumps that make the Nordschleife famous are an even bigger challenge than normal with the massive speeds we approach them. Flugplatz and Pflanzgarten are both taken at very high speed, but the levels of downforce generated combats these approach speeds, and keep the car really stable on ‘landing’. They are both quite scary corners in any car, but I’ve never felt as confident. It’s just sensational.’

McLaren claims that the 111mph average speed needed to achieve a sub-seven minute ’Ring lap time was managed by the P1, which topped out at a limited 205mph (in Race mode) on the main Döttinger Höhe straight. The downforce-shedding DRS mode, which tilts the rear wing back to reduce drag at high speed, was used by Goodwin for nine per cent of the lap distance. However, despite McLaren’s obsessive aerodynamics, petrol plus electric 916bhp power output, and all-carbon construction, we’re still none the wiser if the P1 is indeed the fastest road car in the world.

>> Click here to read CAR’s first drive of the record-breaking Porsche 918 Spyder supercar

Given that all 375 units have now found owners, it’s up to one of the well-heeled P1 buyers to turn their new toy over to a willing race driver and tell the world at last if the P1 lives up to the promises McLaren boss Ron Dennis has lauded throughout its development.

>> What’s your take on McLaren’s coy P1 lap time strategy? Are you suspicious the P1 fell short of the Porsche 918 Spyder? Add your thoughts in the comments below…