Lewis Hamilton entertains crowds in Barbados with Ken Block
An F1 car battling a Rallycross car is not something you’ll see every day. That was the treat for spectators at the recent Top Gear jaunt to Barbados as F1 champion Lewis Hamilton took on Rallycross driver Ken Block on a specially configured Bushy Park circuit.
The result of the, admittedly highly choreographed, race isn’t a foregone conclusion. In a video shot by Top Gear, Block says his car, a heavily modified Ford Fiesta, can do 0-60mph in 1.8 seconds, which is roughly the same as Hamilton’s 2012 Mercedes AMG F1 car. The Silver Arrow has a far higher top speed and has greater high-speed downforce, but is unable to use these assets to its full potential due to the twisty nature of the circuit. That said, the pair put on a real show with Block throwing in a few drifts and even a jump as a bonus.
A spectator in the crowd also captured the spectacle and that video gives clearer insight into the choreography of the drive and the skills both drivers demonstrate. It appears Block launches his Fiesta off the line as fast as he possibly can, while Lewis takes it easy. The Mercedes driver can be heard lifting off – something more pronounced by the noisier engine of the 2012 Mercedes F1 car.
Lewis displays his F1 car’s superiority on the straight and passes Block without even trying. On one lap, Hamilton’s left casually doing donuts as he waits for Block to catch up.
At one point Block spins out and nearly crashes. Lewis slows down to let him catch up and pass before Block nearly crashes again as he attempts another big drift. Lewis, meanwhile, drifts the F1 car expertly around the inside of the same bend.
Whichever driver you root for there’s no denying it’s a hugely entertaining spectacle. Hit play below to see the action for yourself.