Formula One drivers are some of the most elite in the world, but that doesn’t mean they’re above doing stunts straight out of Top Gear.
In what could be considered the ultimate busman’s holiday, Red Bull Racing F1 drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen raced a couple of Aston Martins towing camper trailers at the Red Bull Ring, site of F1’s Austrian Grand Prix. The drivers and cars survived the exercise intact, but the trailers didn’t. Clarkson, Hammond, and May would be proud.
Why Aston Martins? Because Aston is a Red Bull sponsor. The British automaker doesn’t provide any technical input to the F1 team (Red Bull’s cars are powered by Renault engines), but it does slap its logos on the cars. Aston and Red Bull are also collaborating on the insane Valkyrie supercar.
Not surprisingly, a pair of Aston Martin Vanquish convertibles towing trailers lacks some of the grace and elegance of a Formula One car lapping a track. But who knew a Vanquish could still get sideways with a trailer behind it? After some bashing, Verstappen’s trailer is pretty much destroyed, but that at least helps reduce weight. Ricciardo’s trailer doesn’t exactly fair well either.
Ricciardo made his F1 debut in 2011 with Toro Rosso, a second team owned by Red Bull that the organization uses to groom new drivers. The Australian has four race victories to his name, and finished third in the championship standings last year. Verstappen started in F1 in 2015 at age 17, making him the youngest F1 driver in history. He’s also no stranger to bizarre stunts, having driven a Red Bull F1 car up a ski slope in the Austrian Alps.
Since Formula One introduced its current hybrid powertrain rules in 2014, Red Bull has struggled. It was hoped that rule changes for 2017 would put the team back in the running against the dominant Mercedes-Benz squad, but Red Bull must now contend with a resurgent Ferrari as well. Ricciardo and Verstappen are currently fifth and sixth in the driver standings, respectively, while the Red Bull team is third in the constructor standings. But Red Bull seems to be having more fun than the other teams.