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Lewis Hamilton steals Top Gear fastest lap time from Vettel (w/video)

Posted Feb 21st 2013 9:30AM


It appears that when Formula 1 racers have won it all in the form of F1 world championships, they move on to more jovial, juvenile matters - say, Top Gear's "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" challenge. Top Gear has long had a separate time board for F1 drivers, since they evidently drive on a different planet from mere mortals.

Lewis Hamilton has twice taken a stab at the quickest time - his first attempt came in the wet wherein he managed a 1:44.7 around Top Gear's test track at the Dunsfold Airfield in the UK. Being a genuine racer, Hamilton wasn't satisfied with that time since Sebastian Vettel had set a quicker 1:44.0 - albeit in the dry. Making a second appearance on the show, Hamilton managed a dry lap time of 1:42.9 - besting Vettel's lap by a full second.

Previous F1 drivers to grace Top Gear's time board include Rubens Barrichello who managed a 1:44.3 and Nigel Mansell who did a 1:44.6.

And the "reasonably priced car" so savagely driven to the very limits of its physical being? A Suzuki Liana, which sports a very 'reasonable' 105 horsepower from its 1.6L inline 4.

"I'm really surprised," said Hamilton, "I was going to be disappointed in myself if I didn't do a competitive time." Unfortunately, this may be the last time the Brit manages any fastest laps for a while, as his recent move to Mercedes F1 team from McLaren F1 has lifted a few eyebrows - the Mercedes team has only won 1 race since 2010, while McLaren have consistently been fighting for titles while winning races.

To watch Hamilton's record setting Top Gear lap time along side Vettel's, click past the jump.

Lewis Hamilton Interview at the 2013 F1 Mercedes AMG Petronas Presentation


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