With the 2014 Formula 1 (F1) season kicking off this weekend in Australia, the drivers and manufacturers have been busy tweaking their new machines and adapting to the latest rule changes to be ready for the starting grid on Sunday (March 16th).
However, that hasn’t stopped Red Bull’s native Australian and latest recruit Daniel Ricciardo taking to the track for a rather unique race.
Held at a military airbase near to the Albert Park race track in Melbourne, Ricciardo lined up on the runway to take part in perhaps his most challenging contest yet.
No, he wasn’t up against another F1 racing car. Not even close.
This time, his opponent was an F-18 Hornet fighter jet. If anything could beat a Red Bull racer, this is probably the machine to do it!
The Australian F1 race is set to be a tough undertaking for Ricciardo, who is making the giant leap from the Red Bull Torro Rosso team to the lofty heights of the full Red Bull set-up. He also has some big shoes to fill, with the departed Mark Webber proving to be an extremely popular driver.
This latest race for the young F1 star probably helped to settle his nerves a bit, before facing up against comparatively slow models and drivers, such as Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes and Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari.
The Daily Mail was on hand to capture the astonishing race, with Ricciardo revealing that the “craziest part” was seeing the jet fighter in his rear view mirrors.
“Normally I see an F1 car behind me, and that’s pretty cool, but the Hornet was something else,” he told the news provider.
The car that took part in the race was the Red Bull Infiniti RB10, equipped with a V6 1.6l engine, turbo boosted by an electric motor. It is capable of achieving 750bhp and an estimated top speed of 205mph.
Putting it up against the Hornet, there is almost no reason for any comparison.
The fighter jet is powered by two General Electric F404 low-bypass turbofan engines, delivering an astonishing 32,000-pound-thrust.
All this equates to a top speed of mach 1.8 – or 1,190 mph. Did the Red Bull even stand a chance?
Well, surprisingly Ricciardo and his car got off the line quicker, but the sheer power of the fighter jet was unstoppable and it flew off into the clouds with the Red Bull out of sight.
Really, if Ricciardo did end up leading for a stretch, the Hornet could have employed some dirty tactics and used the Vulcan six-barrel cannon, cluster bomb or AIM-9 sidewinder missile it has fitted. These are optional extras, of course…
Red Bull’s dominance in the world of F1 racing will be put to the limit this year and the new cars have already had some issues in training.
However, Ricciardo has a top quality team behind him and a partner in Sebastian Vettel who has won four consecutive driver’s championships. Not bad, really.
Images & Video Courtesy of: The Daily Mail