Mr Bean crashes F1 car

2011-08-05 07:25

One of the world’s keenest petrolheads, British comedic genius Rowan Atkinson, escaped death after crashing his McLaren supercar on Thursday, 4 August.

The accident happened on the A605 in Haddon, Cambridgeshire, when the 56-year old British actor appears to have overcorrected his McLaren F1 road car, spinning it before impacting a lamppost.

Atkinson managed to escape from the BMW V12-powered supercar before it burst into flames, requiring firefighters to rush to the scene. The Mr Bean star was taken to Peterborough city hospital and treated for a shoulder injury.

Known for his unique brand of comedic interpretation via characters such as Blackadder and Mr Bean, Atkinson – away from stage and television – is a notable automotive and racing enthusiast.


An avid car collector, this most recent supercar crash is reminiscent of another incident in October 1999 when the very same maroon F1 crashed into the back of a Rover Metro, in Lancashire, and required extensive (and tremendously expensive) repairs. McLaren only built 100 examples of the F1, making it perhaps the most collectible of all supercars, considering its pedigree and largely unrivalled performance – even today.

Considering he currently tops Top Gear’s "star in a reasonably priced car" lap time leader board, there’s little doubt that Atkinson can drive a bit. It appears, though, that the unforgiving mid-engined configuration (and lack of stability interventions systems) on McLaren’s legendary F1 road car seems to be his undoing – each time...

Back 2001 Atkinson’s Aston Martin V8 Zagato collided with a barrier at a car enthusiasts meeting in Yorkshire and in 2009 his 1952 Jaguar self-immolated. Perhaps he should just stick with driving his signature character's favourite car - the Mini.

  • Opelisti - 2011-08-05 08:03

    Clown of highest proportions. That Car should not be driven on the roads rather carry it on trailer to track vents.

      Dicey - 2011-08-05 09:02

      Who's the clown now ... he crashed the McLaren F1 road car, not a race car.

      Opelisti - 2011-08-05 12:30

      Guys guys relax now! I know very well that this not a race car but a road car. My reasoning is, driving such an exclusive not to mention expensive car on public roads is only looking for trouble hence it would be safer to carry it on a car transporter and drive it only on a track.

      Pints - 2011-08-05 13:00

      Cars are meant to be driven and enjoyed. Rowan does both. Nothing sadder than seeing a fantastic car being hidden away behind velvet ropes and glass, never being driven like it was designed to. The F1 wasn't designed for track use only. Mr Atkinson has the means to use his on the road, and well he should! I wish him all the best and speedy recovery.

      Mark_Simons - 2011-08-05 13:12

      Thank goodness, it seems like he will be ok, just a dented ego. I still think crashing a Reliant robin is more dangerous.

  • Spud - 2011-08-05 08:06

    I wish I could have seen his face! Glad you're OK Rowan.

      Konsoomer - 2011-08-06 16:35

      When he jumped out of the burning car...a jumping bean? Just as well as he could have been a has been.

  • NommerEen - 2011-08-05 08:07

    Mr Bean should stick to his Mini!

      Felix - 2011-08-05 09:23

      I wonder if that little three wheeled car drove him off the road in revenge?

  • mollie.kruger - 2011-08-05 08:10

    Looks more like a signpost than a lamppost...

      Rush - 2011-08-05 11:29

      In the fire the signpost ignited and the confused reporter thought it was a lamppost.

      DeDunce - 2011-08-05 12:30

      thats the photo from 10 years ago

  • GTA_Lad - 2011-08-05 08:15

    Opel, Thats clever, it bursts into flames when its driven on the road but you suggest taking it to a track day. I wonder who the clown is...

  • flicknife - 2011-08-05 08:16

    Big difference between a McLaren and a mini Mr Bean

      theDriver - 2011-08-05 08:54

      even bigger difference between TV & real life, seemingly you are oblivious to that.

      theDriver - 2011-08-05 09:02

      even bigger difference between TV & real life, seemingly you are oblivious to that.

  • McDaNife - 2011-08-05 08:18

    Well said he should have stuck with his mini

  • Burnicus - 2011-08-05 08:24

    That looks like a very minor accident to me. He is just off the road and the signpost has hardly moved. Perhaps it caught fire before he crashed and that is why he swerved off the road?

  • Suckerz - 2011-08-05 08:27

    You Guys are Idiots... He currently tops the time charts on Top Gear's track! I have seen Tom Cruise's lap and he was (at the time) the fastest with the car on two wheels around one of the last two corners, so if he beat that... Rowan just needs to use "lighter Shoes" when driving... Eish Guy... another few Mill to sort out the Mac, eh?

  • christo.crous - 2011-08-05 08:29

    Rowan is a brilliant driver you twats. He hold the current lap record for Top Gear's "Star in a reasonably priced car"..

  • Captainmorgan - 2011-08-05 08:32

    That's what happens when you give it BEANS!!

      Mark_Simons - 2011-08-05 13:15

      Lol... Nice one Captain

  • Agent Bastad - 2011-08-05 08:46

    May I just mention that the McLaren F1 is NOT an "F1 car". An F1 car is one that takes part in the Formula 1 world championship.

      sergio davids - 2011-08-05 09:03

      Again, if you read the body of the article it’s clear that the journo knows this too (describing the F1 as a supercar or road car throughout), and has used the headline to make a play on the McLaren road car’s name that is semantically exchangeable with F1’s reference as a sport.

      Agent Bastad - 2011-08-05 12:43

      Then he is guilty of bad grammar. It is NOT an F1 car. It is a car called F1. It would be the same as saying "Mr Bean crashes 325i car".

  • I_Say - 2011-08-05 08:56

    You will always Rock Mr. Bean!!!

  • SpeedFan - 2011-08-05 10:08

    This man can drive a car!!! He has a dangerous hobby, it is as simple as that!! Rock on Rowan!! Not only can u act, U CAN DRIVE!!! LOVE IT!!

  • Peet - 2011-08-05 16:23

    Mr Bean enjoy your car.

  • Kwashic - 2011-08-05 18:08

    yep... cars like these crash a lot... too much power! You could do with a lot less in everyday driving, with a lot more traction. So probably true that these should be carried to the track on a trailer.

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