Ferrari 488 Pista Beats McLaren 720S On Neutral Playing Field


The Magny-Cours Circuit in France.

Although the McLaren 720S has been pitted up against practically every other supercar on the market, you rarely see it measured against a Ferrari. The Prancing Horse can be particularly hesitant towards placing its cars in timed comparison tests, instead preferring to let the cars' driving dynamics speak for themselves. Everyone is familiar with the long-awaited comparison between the McLaren P1, Porsche 918, and Ferrari LaFerrari, which was continuously delayed due to hesitation from Ferrari and McLaren.

As with the LaFerrari, there are many people out there who want to know how fast the Ferrari 488 Pista is compared to the McLaren 720S. Although it may not be a back-to-back test, Motorsport Magazine has tested the 488 Pista and 720S around the Magny-Cours Circuit in France and recorded lap times for both cars.

The two cars were nearly identical when tested around the track's shorter club layout. In a previously recorded test, the 720S posted a track record of 1:16.80 wearing Pirelli PZero Trofeo R tires. The Ferrari was wearing different tires for its lap, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s to be exact, and bested the McLaren's time with a 1:16.06 lap. Some people may argue that comparing the two cars with different tires in unfair, though these are the tires that are available on both cars from the factory. As long as the cars aren't cheating with any non-street-legal rubber, we say it's fair game.


The Magny-Cours Circuit was home to the Formula One French Grand Prix from 1998 to 2008, so of course, the two cars were also tested on the track's GP configuration. Here, the McLaren 720S was also a lap record holder with a time of 1:47.05. We say "was" because, on this longer track, the 720-horsepower Ferrari 488 Pista crushed the McLaren with a time of 1:44.90.

Keep in mind, the 488 Pista is the hardcore track version of the 488 and McLaren already has a new track package for the 720S available. A lighter, faster Longtail version of the 720 should arrive at some point, which we imagine will give the Pista a much better fight.


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