Alain Prost’s McLaren F1 1986 vs Damon Hill’s Williams F1 1996

After having had a good time racing an Aston Martin GT3 on COTA (Circuit of the Americas), against Formula 1 cars from the 1988 and 1996 seasons, I took Alain Prost’s 1986 F1 McLaren TAG Porsche out of its rFactor2 garage. For extra fun, I set the contestants from the 1986 championship against their 1996 evolutions.

The day before, a virtual Michael Schumacher had set the best time @COTA, in his 1996 Ferrari, with a time of 01:52:xxx, with a virtual Alain Prost lagging the German by just 2 seconds, in an 8-years older machine – check this post. Inspired by Prost’s achievement, I stepped-up the challenge, and tried the same feat, but racing an even older car: the 1986 McLaren F1.

The 1986 McLaren F1 is a true “monster”, with 1000+ bhp, no driving aids, and a constant bomb waiting for detonation upon throttle pressure. It is an amazingly hard to race vehicle, requiring permanent steering input and attention to pedals, physically demanding – this in a game! I cannot begin to imagine what it was in real life! -, which is exactly what I was looking for: to sweat.

I was fortunate to endure a fight with Damon Hill’s 1996 William F1, which pursuited me for some laps. I recorded one of those laps, timed at 01:53:xxx, so just ~1 second adrift Schumacher’s yesterday best. I would improve on that time and also enter the 01:52:xxx, but in a clear lap. There is also a post+video with the improved lap.

Here is a video, with two halves: first half is from an inside-car camera, second half is a “TV” perspective.