McLaren P1 beats Porsche 918 and LaFerrari in first independent track test

Earlier this year, British entrepreneur Paul Bailey completed the holy trinity of supercars all in one day. He set out in his McLaren P1 and stopped to pick up his new Ferrari LaFerrari. From there he went on to bring home a Porsche 918 Spyder. The automotive world has warred over the merits of these three hybrid supercars, but we haven’t found out which is the fastest under race conditions. Thanks to the folks at Supercar Driver, we now know.

Unlike many supercar owners whose vehicles may never come within sight of a track, Bailey was gracious enough to lend his fantasy stable to the professionals. The P1, LaFerrari, and 918 were sent to Silverstone National Circuit in the U.K. Each ran a hot lap round the 1.64-mile circuit with British Touring Car driver Mat Jackson behind the wheel. The cars were equipped with cameras and sensors to accurately capture the data. They were all serviced a week prior to the event and ran with a full tank of fuel.

Jackson took each car out for three familiarization laps, followed by three timed laps. The McLaren went first, followed by the Ferrari, and then the Porsche. Jackson notes that the weather had warmed up by the time the Porsche had its run. But they all got a fair shake that day. “We pulled out all the stops to make sure that we could compare them on the limit around the Silverstone National Circtuit. And I have to say that all three cars have brought a big smile to my face,” Jackson says.

He also noted the distinct characteristics of each car. He praised the P1’s engine, and says that the all-wheel-drive configuration of the 918 makes it feel “sort of lazy.” He was particularly impressed with the sound and braking capabilities of the LaFerrari.

The Results

  • McLaren P1: 58.24
  • Porsche 918 Spyder: 58.47
  • LaFerrari: 58.58

So there you have it. The three cars completed their fastest lap within half a second of each other, but the P1 was victorious this time. Part two of this series will feature quarter-mile tests.