British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton has set a new record in Top Gear’s popular Star in a Reasonably Priced Car segment.
Hamilton, in a test filmed several months ago, piloted a Suzuki Liana around the BBC2 motoring show’s test track in 1m 42.9s – more than a second quicker that the previous fastest F1 driver, Sebastian Vettel.
The new Mercedes recruit – who disagreed with host Jeremy Clarkson’s opinion that leaving McLaren for Mercedes was “a bit like moving from Manchester United to West Ham” – had previously competed in the F1 section of Star in a Reasonably Priced Car in 2007, but was allowed to compete again due to poor conditions on his first run.
“I wasn’t happy that it was wet… and oily,” Hamilton said of his 2007 effort, which resulted in a time of 1m 44.7s – a mark beaten by Vettel’s 1m 44.0s in 2011.
This time round – despite spinning off the track in practice – Hamilton sped round a dry circuit to set a new best for F1 drivers. “Holy crap!” he smiled as the time was revealed.
The Suzuki Liana was replaced for non-F1 celebrities as the Reasonably Priced Car in 2006, with the fastest time recorded by sailor Ellen McArthur at 1m 46.7s.