Watch A 23-Year-Old F1 Car Destroy A Brand New IndyCar Around Laguna Seca

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The IndyCar never stood a chance.

America has baseball, the rest have cricket. America plays football, the rest play rugby. America has IndyCar, the world has Formula 1. These are all sports where there are major similarities, but at the end of the day, they are all completely different. Both the American IndyCar series and Formula 1 feature high-powered open-wheel racing cars capable of massive performance and blinding lap times, but just how different are these two forms of motorsport? To find out, IndyCar driver Patricio O'Ward stepped behind the wheel of a 1998 McLaren MP4-13 F1 car and set a lap time around Laguna Seca. The result speaks for itself.

The Racer Channel/YouTube
The Racer Channel/YouTube
The Racer Channel/YouTube

This late '90s McLaren F1 car was designed by Adrian Newey who has ten F1 World Constructors Championships under his belt and was piloted by the dream team of David Coulthard and Mika Häkkinen. Its highly-strung 3.0-liter Mercedes V10 produces around 800 horsepower far above 10,000 rpm, and the car weighs only 1,300 pounds, so one can only imagine the acceleration forces involved here. The Dallara DW12 makes about 675 horses on short ovals, with an extra 60 hp available on push-to-pass, and weighs around 1,650 lbs. It's clear to see that the odds favor the 23-year-old F1 machine, but by how much is the question.

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The Racer Channel/YouTube
The Racer Channel/YouTube
The Racer Channel/YouTube

In the video posted by The Racer Channel, we get to see O'Ward push the McLaren exceptionally hard for someone who's unfamiliar with the car. O'Ward flies out the pit exit and by the time he reaches the infamous corkscrew, he looks like he's been driving this race car all season. O'Ward crosses the line in a blistering 1:10.3. That's seven-tenths quicker than the 1:11 second lap he set in qualifying for this year's IndyCar race, and half a second quicker than the pole time of Colton Herta. The lap impressed McLaren's CEO so much that O'Ward might be making an appearance in Abu Dhabi for an official F1 test. We're not really surprised at the result. It's like putting a 1998 996 Porsche 911 Turbo up against a 2021 Ford Mustang GT and expecting it to perform wonders.

Honda
Honda
Honda
NTT IndyCar Series/Facebook

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