McLaren releases never-before-seen footage of F1 supercar hitting 240mph

Updated: 


The McLaren F1 supercar has gone down as an icon of the automotive industry.

Built between 1992 and 1998 at the British manufacturer's Woking headquarters, it changed what the world thought was possible from a road car.

In never-before-seen footage released by McLaren yesterday, we can now watch the moment in 1998 when the F1 officially became the fastest car in the world.

Le Mans winner Andy Wallace was called upon to put the car through its paces. In the video, he recalls receiving the phone call in which he was asked to test the car, saying: "I was a bit younger and more stupid in those days, and I go 'yeah I'll have a go at that!'"

The footage shows the car running into the rev limiter in top gear at 241mph, so Wallace asked the engineers to raise it by 1,000rpm for the next attempt to eke a little more speed out of the car.

He noted that at around 211mph the car started to get a bit out of shape, saying: "But again, being young and stupid you just keep your foot in it!"

Keeping his foot in paid off, as the car started to settle again at around 239mph.

On March 31, 1998, the McLaren recorded a final combined top speed record of 240.14mph. It stood alone at the top of the leader board until around 2005, when the Bugatti Veyron and Koenigsegg CCR came along.