Never before have two F1 racing drivers agreed to pilot an unseen road car, on the same circuit on the same day, one after another, with the same journalist sat beside them … until now.The drivers were WilliamsF1 duo Mark Webber and Alex Wurz, the circuit was Silverstone and the car, the Caterham Seven CSR 260.
As a preview to next month’s British Grand Prix (June 9-11), each driver swapped his customary 745bhp machine for a flying lap in the new Caterham. Monitoring their every move behind the wheel in the one-off shoot-out was F1 Racing’s, Peter Windsor.
The only similarity between the Williams and the Caterham was the name on the engine - Cosworth. That said, Windsor was quick to add: "If any road car is going to approximate the characteristics of raw racing this is it."
Webber’s normal means of transport, the FW28, delivers a mind-blowing 1231 bhp/tonne. In comparison, the 409bhp per tonne of the Caterham is enough to propel the occupants to 60mph in a lightening 3.1 seconds.
Despite the unfamiliarity with the machinery, Webber drove the CSR the only way he knew - to its limit, only dealing with the inevitable ‘moments’ when they happen. Windsor compared his high speed ‘corrections’ to those of a sculptor - fine and subtle. He said: "We’re talking palms and fingertips rather than white knuckles and muscle’.
For the full story, and to find out who clocked the fastest time, see the July issue of F1 Racing magazine. On sale now.Published 24 May 2006