— 10 August 2023

Remember When Tom Cruise Crushed His Red Bull Racing F1 Test Drive?

— 10 August 2023
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Through one way or another, Tom Cruise has consistently been linked with the world of F1.

Over the years, he’s been papped hanging around the Mercedes garage at Silverstone during the 2021 British Grand Prix; linked up with retired Formula 1 legends David Coulthard and Mark Webber to film a Porsche “dogfight” and promote Top Gun: Maverick; and (allegedly) put the moves on a newly-single Shakira at the most recent Miami Grand Prix.

Suffice it to say, it seems as though he’s never too far from the action. But none of these occasions marked his earliest (nor sole) encounters with the elite motorsport. In fact, if you were to hop into a time machine and travel back a decade or so, you’d have the chance to witness Tom Cruise test driving Coulthard’s Red Bull Racing F1 car with your very own eyes.

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The year was 2011.

Hollywood’s last movie star was taking a break from shooting Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol and took up Red Bull Racing’s invitation to pilot one of their rides through Willow Springs Circuit, Southern California; the latter had been touring the country in celebration of Formula 1 returning to the US.

Never one to shy away from an honest challenge or batshit crazy stunt, Tom Cruise hopped into the F1 race rig without a single hesitation post-technical briefing session from David Coulthard himself.

“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,” explained the 13-time Grand Prix winner.

Tom Cruise Test Drive Red Bull Racing F1 Car David Coulthard

“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 quick he got up to speed.”

That wasn’t just empty praise, either.

With the exception of a single incident which saw TC skid off-track and into the dirt, at 291 km/h, he was just 6.4 km/h slower than Coulthard’s regular pace. And by his final lap, his pace had improved by a considerable 11 seconds.

Not to throw around the phrase “natural talent” around so liberally, but when a professional says you have the aptitude for driving an F1 car, “natural talent” is quite an appropriate term. Though the shenanigans didn’t end there…

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Tom Cruise Test Drive Red Bull Racing F1 Car David Coulthard

After informally reprising his role as Days of Thunder’s Cole Trickle and suiting down, Tom Cruise was still fiending for some adrenaline. Which was why he found his way into the cockpit of a Red Bull aerobatic helicopter.

And keep in mind, this was all before he officially earned his helicopter pilot’s license for a sequence featured in 2018’s Mission: Impossible — Fallout.

“All in a day’s work for someone like that,” remarked David Coulthard.

Or as one commenter of the video has astutely pointed out, Tom Cruise is a living advertisement for what life should be — check out his run in David Coulthard’s Red Bull Racing F1 car above now.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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