People seem to really love drag races (check out our very own drag race series!), so for their last episode of the year, Top Gear has prepared something truly special, a little Christmas present of sorts – by lining up a Formula 1, Formula E, and WRC race car side-by-side on a drag strip to see which one’s fastest in a straight line.
It’s not often we get to see cars from different race series compete against each other, and even rarer when there’s three of some of the most successful teams in their own respective sports. And to make things even more interesting, the race was ran on wet surfaces – no thanks to the gloomy UK weather.
Most people, we think, would scoff at the notion that a Ford Fiesta WRC rally car would even be placed on the same playing field as the other two open-wheel racers. But the 1.6-litre turbocharged engine (same as the F1, mind you) underneath its bonnet actually produces a pretty sweet 375 hp, and with the help of the smart all-wheel drive systems, they actually take off from a standstill at a pretty maddening pace – and could prove advantageous in the wet, too.
Representing the electric camp, then, is DS Techeetah’s DS E-Tense FE21 Formula E race car from this year’s championships. It might not be the least powerful car here with “just” 335 hp, but we all know how fast a fully-electric powertrain can react, and the official performance figures shows – 0-100 km/h takes just 2.8 seconds.
Last but not least, is the Formula 1 car – the pinnacle of motorsports, as many would claim. And it’s not just any other F1 car either; it’s the 2019 championship-winning car from the most successful F1 team of the decade – the Mercedes-AMG F1 W10 EQ Power+.
Naturally, it’s the most powerful of the bunch – and by a huge margin. The turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 hybrid powertrain produces approximately 1,000 hp, and all that is for a car (plus driver) that weighs under 800 kg. An easy win, then? Well, the downside is that all of that power goes solely to the rear wheels – and on a damp surface, it could be hard to pin all that power to the ground.
We don’t want to spoil the results, so be sure to check out the video above. But we’ll say that it’s perhaps fortunate that the cars weren’t driven by the three comedians of the show, Chris, Paddy, and Freddie…