Veyron Top Gear race faked?

2010-04-12 08:35

Ron Dennis does not suffer fools gladly.

The boss of McLaren cars carved his reputation in the uncompromising world of F1, where he rose from a simple mechanic to become one of the most astute (and abrasive) team managers the sport has ever seen.

Since retiring from McLaren’s F1 racing activities, Dennis has applied himself to ensure the company’s second roadcar offering – the MP4-12C – is as good as its first, the incomparable F1 hypercar.

The MP4-12C simply has to best the Ferrari 458, Lamborghini Gallardo and Noble M600 dynamically to be considered a success by Dennis.

To ensure the expectation and tension reaches fever pitch once the car is finally brought to market early next year, Dennis has marched an army of media professionals through McLaren’s high-tech facility in Woking.

'Okay, Take 10. Let's do it again.' The old burgundy supercar proved too much for the fire engine red Bugatti.

Fake Top Gear race?

During an interview with a business journalist from the United Arab Emirates, Dennis vented some rather terse criticism at the world’s big-daddy hypercar - Bugatti’s Veyron. Succinctly put, Dennis called it a "piece of junk."

He further espoused that it was, "pig ugly"

"The Veyron doesn’t do anything for me. I’ve been looking at it for years, and I don’t see one single thing that makes me feel good."

Beyond rubbishing the Veyron’s aesthetics, Dennis also called the car’s performance credentials into question. To prove his point, Dennis cited the second episode of Top Gear’s thirteenth season – where a McLaren F1 and Bugatti Veyron race each other in Abu Dhabi…

"When we did the race in Abu Dhabi, we beat it off the line so many times that the film crew was getting frustrated because the outcome was supposed to be for the Bugatti to win."

"So we had to do that whole thing about ten times before it managed to get off the line cleanly and catch us up. Because every time they dropped the clutch it bogged down and we were gone."

Stig preferred the one with a seat in the middle.

F1 roadcar remains the greatest

The intimation from Dennis is simple – the entire filming exercise had to be changed ad hoc to make the Veyron look quicker than it actually was.

Curiously, the McLaren F1’s designer - former Durbanite Gordon Murray - has moved position somewhat on the Veyron issue over the years.

Murray was a rampant critic of the design when it was first unveiled, saying it was too elaborate and built with asymmetric dynamic principles. Over the years Murray's found some redeeming features in the integrity of the Veyron's design.

Ron Dennis though, he thinks it remains pure rubbish.

Then again, when your company has the F1 racing and roadcar heritage McLaren has, you are probably entitled to a rather weighty opinion.

  • daffy - 2010-04-12 08:58

    Sour grapes here...As great as the Mclaren is, its not better than the Veyron. I love both cars, but the Veyron is way better. The fact that you can let the Mclaren get to 160 and the Veyron will get to 200 first says a lot...besides, was Denis at this race?

  • TREV - 2010-04-12 09:09

    Sour grapes but the man has a point. How can you compare a FULLY fledged race car to a Hypercar?Try going from CT to JHB in those cars, sorry the F1 will be a nightmare and no doubt have you in for Kidney and back problems not fogetting the hearing loss you'll experience...go do some track time, the Bugatti will be a PIG and have it's ass handed to it in the first corner...so they two TOTALLY different cars...pointless exercise but, fun to watch anyway WHICH WAS THE POINT RON DENNIS....tool

  • Sean - 2010-04-12 09:18

    Daffy: Did you bother to read the article before commenting?

  • Sean - 2010-04-12 09:58

    TREV: I take it you've driven both, to be able to make those comments?

  • Schweppes - 2010-04-12 10:20

    I love both these cars! McLaren was so far ahead of it's time, and is still considered a force to be reckoned with, probably the daddy of all supercars, like the Gti started the hot hatch in 1978. Will the Bugatti become a classic like the McLaren?

  • PeterM - 2010-04-12 10:33

    @Daffy…Veyron way better??? In what way??? As far as I'm concerned, the McClaren F1 is the BEST sports car EVER made!!! It was built a decade before the forcefed Bugatti was built. Its the fastest naturally aspirated production car since 1992 with BMW sourced 6L V12 engine with 467kw power output compared to the modern bugatti with 16 cylinders, 736kw and 4 turbos. There is nothing special about a Bugatti veyron performance wise except the high top speed. During this top gear drag race, the Mcclaren F1 pulled off first and was ahead for a long time until the four turbos of the bugatti kicked in and bugatti won the drag race, but I'm definetly sure around the track, bugatti will be left dead due to its massive weight. Pagani Zonda is also faster than an a Bugatti around top gear track.

  • interested - 2010-04-12 10:48

    emmmmmm............ Did any of you guys drive both cars mentioned in the article and THEN post your informed OPINIONS?

  • daffy - 2010-04-12 11:19

    @PeterM, no doubt the F1 is a great car and always will be, but im saying that it has been surpased by the Veyron. Sure the Veyron has 4 turbos and the F1 was quicker off the line, but thats expected if you look at the weight difference. Veyron is a heavy car, we know that but the F1 is not better than it...even when the F1 came out, people still argued that the F40 was better...but it belonged to a different era, and so does the F1 compared to the Veyron.

  • Nemanja - 2010-04-12 11:21

    McLaren F1 pulled off first, because Richard Hammond didn't use launch control, to make drag race more interesting! (He stated that later) Top Gear track is very short and with many corners. Put these two cars on a normal race circuit and you'll see who is faster!

  • Petrolhead - 2010-04-12 11:28

    I have experienced both cars second hand ie from the passenger seat. I agree with some of the comments made above. The MacLaren is far better on the track. It is lighter, has a more explosive power delivery and is quicker on its feet. The Bugatti is a A-road car, that is to say, it loves big, wide-open spaces. It will be trounced on a tight track, though I suspect on more open, faster, flowing tracks it may leave the F1 floundering. One issue I must raise about the "drag race" from the silly tv show, is that the Bugatti's launch control facility was NOT used for the start. If it was the MacLaren would not have sniffed it. The Veyron rockets off the line to 100 in 2.5 seconds, or almost as quick as the really quick superbikes. At 3.2 s the F1 would be quite far off the pace. I guess the Veyron used was a pvt car and that the tyres and clutch would have taken a beating if the LC system was initiated.

  • Nemanja - 2010-04-12 11:43

    it was a reply to PeterM

  • Sean - 2010-04-12 11:49

    Nemanja: they weren't racing on the Top Gear track, they were on a public road in Abu Dhabi.

  • Jakes - 2010-04-12 11:58

    I agree the F1 is race car and must be very uncomfortable to drive as a everyday drive as where the veyron you can drive everyday with the performance of a race car!

  • Nemanja - 2010-04-12 12:17

    @Sean My previous comment is confusing...sorry I was talking about Top Gear laps and race between Bugatti and Pagani Zonda on a normal race circuit...

  • Don Rennis - 2010-04-12 13:09

    Grow up Ron Dennis!

  • james - 2010-04-12 13:16

    Ronny is full of bs. the combustion hp of the Veyron is 3000hp. It is without doubt the engineering masterpiece in the Automotive domain. My take, Ron keep on stealing Ferrari secrets you excell at it.

  • JR - 2010-04-12 13:19

    What irritates me about any motoring journalist is that whenever a new super car comes out they compare it to the Bugatti. Yes it was the fastest car in its day and it certainly is not slow but it is OLD, the design is a good 10 years old and they have done little to try imporve the looks or performance of the car bar a special edition with a fancy mirror or black matt paint job. The bugatti is no longer the car to beat. There are at least a dozen cars that are better to drive on the road and faster on the track in all aspects from road holding to 0-100kmh times. ie the CCXR, the SSC Super Aero etc etc Move on guys and put the Bugatti in a museum

  • G @ Petrolhead - 2010-04-12 13:21

    Finally some logic! I hardly think Richard Hammond is good a driver as the stig. It also comes down to the actual cars that were used in question. Performance stats for each don't lie so i don't know how Ron Dennis can be so sour. Making a direct comparison as pointed out in some of these comments here is pointless. He must go sulk somewhere else.

  • PeterM - 2010-04-12 13:25

    @Nemanja...How do you define "normal" race circuit where supposedly Bugatti will be quicker than Pagani Zonda???

  • OOOO - 2010-04-12 13:33

    Oh PLEASE! This crap comes from the McLaren boss that was caught out for spying. Who will believe a fraud anyway?

  • Sean - 2010-04-12 13:36

    James: you are confused... the efficiency of all engines are roundabout 30-40%... It's not that the Bugatti's engine is creating 3000hp, it's that it is only turning between 30 and 40% of the energy created into engine power. The rest is lost as heat energy.

  • Shame :(( - 2010-04-12 13:49

    Can any of you Guy's even afford one of these cars? Have you even seen one? Why not find something more useful to comment about? Like your WAG's jean size. LOL

  • Doug - 2010-04-12 14:08

    When you have performance at this level, what looks and feels right is all that matters. For me, the McLaren is the jewel here. I am a great fan of all things VW

  • Frank - 2010-04-12 14:44

    @Nemanja and others, the McF1 in this TG show IS a road car not a race car, although the road car did enter Le Mans and win the race, iirc st, 2nd, 3rd or something crazy like that. Wikki the F1 and see. I don't doubt VW's LeMans winning abilities for obvious reasons but the Bug just wouldn't make a full 24hrs imo, too much heat. And where would the driver of the Bug put his golf clubs and luggage for the weekend?

  • John Smithsonian - 2010-04-12 14:47

    @Jakes and Trev. The McLaren F1 referred to in this article is not the Formula 1 car you both quite obviously think it is. This is a road car, made to drive on the same public roads as the Veyron. Of course the McLaren was used for racing too, just like the Ferrari F430, for example. It would be gormless to call all F430's fully fledged race cars now, wouldn't it? Just because the model is also used for racing? The race car versions of both the F430 and the Mclaren F1's are different beasts altogether.

  • Nemanja - 2010-04-12 17:12

    Bugatti is a masterpiece of engineering, and it is built to last 3 times more than any other supercar! You can drive it at 400 km/h and feel like you are driving Audi TT. Please, go and watch on youtube an episode about Bugatti Veyron. It is called Man-Made Bugatti Super Car, and you will see that the Veyron is built like an aircraft! Don't get me wrong, McLaren F1 is one of the best cars ever made, but Veyron is something more! Veyron is a space shuttle!

  • ChrisM - 2010-04-12 17:52

    Ron, Ron, Ron.. Jealousy makes you nasty! It is a WELL known fact that testers when the McF1 was new, could barely get the McF1 under 3.9 secs 0-100 km/h because of the clutch and it being hard to launch.. The Veyron does 0-100 km/h in 3.0 secs each and every times, night or day, no matter the driver because it uses launch control. Simple as that.. The McF1 can come past at 100km/h and the Veyron can set off from 0 kmn/h and the Veyron will still get to 300km/h faster.. So Ron.. grow up and catch a wake up!!

  • Mike - 2010-04-12 17:53

    The Veyron is 100x the car the McF1 is.. Stuipd idito McLaren boss!

  • StockStandard - 2010-04-12 17:59

    When I race these two on my playstation the Bugatti always wins

  • Stash - 2010-04-12 18:01

    The McLaren F1 has a BMW power plant.....Now lets see some opinions change!

  • anon - 2010-04-12 20:33

    I never agree with anything that Ron Dennis says. Except this. He is 100% correct. Imagine being a tool that actually 'owns' a Veyron. On good for driving into lakes to claim insurance (search youtube).

  • Turbo - 2010-04-12 21:57

    @Daffy - I agree with you 100% on this one! Dont worry, I am also surprised :)

  • BMrules - 2010-04-13 08:14

    Right on the money !... the Veyron is the ultimate in overpriced, overpowered junk. The McLaren F1 is most definitely still the king!!! the comparison was totally unfair to begin with. The McLaren is so many years old and is a naturally aspirated V12 (BMW motor of course).... the obnoxious Bugatti is a 16 cylinder... thats SIXTEEN ... with FOUR TURBOS !!.... how ridiculous take make such a comparison... only to fool idiots thats for sure... and still they had to stage the take off so the Bugatti could win... LMAO.... which means the old McLaren F1 in real world conditions would thrash the daylights out of the Bugatti.... hahhaha... LONG LIVE THE WERKE !

  • Richard - 2010-04-13 08:29

    To all you idiots stating the 0-100 claims etc etc, GO AND WATCH THE VIDEO FOR REAL WORLD PROOF!! Manufacturer claims are not worth the paper it is written on!!! a 15 year old F1 is still better than a brand new Veyron!

  • Andre - 2010-04-13 08:48

    The F1 has how many airbags?

  • @interested - 2010-04-13 09:14

    Why do we have to be super-rich in order to voice an opinion. It's like saying you're not allowed to play rugby unless you've actually played international test-matches. Go sit in the corner and think about what you've said while us petrol-heads fight it out.

  • Trevor - 2010-04-13 09:56

    There is nothing to write home about on the Bugatti, because any manufacturer can produce those performance figures from a 8.0-litre 16 Cylinder Engine. And any manufacturer can build a drivetrain to harness that much power. Only if they think their customers are willing to pay for those development costs. There is nothing to write home about on the Bugatti, because any manufacturer can produce those performance figures from a 8.0-litre 16 Cylinder Engine. And any manufacturer can build a drivetrain to harness that much power. Only if they think their customers are willing to pay for those development costs. It’s just extreme engineering and there is nothing genius about it.

  • driver - 2010-04-13 09:58

    I have driven both cars, and this is my opinion. On a race day, I would rather be driving the F1 around the track, its lighter - quicker off the line and the tail end is easier to control in race conditions. however, if i want to drive a supercar day-to-day, i would choose the veyron without hesitation. So much more comfortable on the road, suspension is great, steering precise, but on the track all of these fly out the window. it is heavy , difficult to control in race conditions and quite slow off the mark. (perhaps the lighter, modified version is better, but i have not driven that) so... i do agree with ron, but only if you comparing the 2 on race conditions.

  • 4rings4ever - 2010-04-13 10:34

    A Formula One car with a 2.4, V8 engine with no turbos is faster than both cars, so the F1 car is better than a Vyron ????. U idiots that no nothing about cars will compare the Veyron which was designed for road application, with all the luxuries and safety to a car that is purely designed as a track car, with stripped down interior, cetntre driving position and weighing half that of the Mclaren, wake up doods, anyway, Topgear tests are a joke

  • S - 2010-04-13 11:19

    It just goes to show how many people know about cars and physics. First of all both cars were built to break the top end speed record for production road legal car. This was done by the F1 with 386.4km/h in the hey day. The Veyron did 407km/h. 20km/h more does not sound much but just breaking the 400km/h is phenomenal. According to physics the faster one goes drag goes exponential and thus the mass of the car increases exponenenial. To overcome that incredible mass your power needs to increase exponential as well. So people don't understand that to go from 100km/h to 101km/h is very much different to go from 400km/h to 401km/h and the power you need for the latter is far far greater as your car probably weights 10tons at that speed. What makes the veyron achievement great is that it is done with a car with less power to mass at its disposal. The F1 gets 403kW/ton and Veyron gets 395kW/ton. The Veyron also is super luxury whereas the F1 is a bare race car for the road. As for thos who say the Veyron is rubbish can never be a true petrol head and anybody would admire both cars for what they are. They are both motoring marvels.

  • Ryan - 2010-04-13 11:26


  • BMrules - 2010-04-13 11:39

    @4rings4nothing.... the only idiot is the one in your nearest mirror! .... both the Bugatti and the McLaren are totally street legal production road cars... so your comparison with a F1 car is pointless and stupid. so if Bugatti CHOSE to kit out the car with a whole lot of stuff making it heavy.. that is their choice and besides....it doesnt matter because with the massive ccs and 4 turbos.. .that thing could pull an ocean liner.... don't whinge like a little girl... the naturally aspirated McLaren for its age and engine size, being NA is and will always be a MASTER PIECE... the Bugatti on the other hand is nothing spectacular form the point of view that ANY manufacturer could create a 16 cylinder engine ... slap on four turbos and make it go like a rocket... ALL BRAWN... NO BRAIN.... just like the RS6

  • Poacher - 2010-04-13 12:18

    Give me a Ferrari anytime!

  • John - 2010-04-13 12:21

    @S: Weight has very little to do with top speed. Power to weight ratios have nothing to do with top speed at all.

  • Jackson - 2010-04-13 12:36

    I saw a Nissan Sentra drop a Ferrari at a robot. The Ferrari stalled. The dude in the Nissan was ecstatic. A driver brings a big contribution to the show.

  • Keith Moister - 2010-04-13 12:42

    I have scalextric cars like these 2 and the Mc F1 is faster than the BV.

  • vernon - 2010-04-13 12:53

    Has anyone of ever heard the Spitfire with the 16 cylinder Rolls Royce Merlin engine at full power???..well i havent either but im pretty sure it must be what the Veyron must sound like.@ S well said..nothing like knowing the science behind everything.

  • m - 2010-04-13 13:27

    @s, mass does not increase with speed, in Quantum physics mass changes with speed, that is considering objects travelling close to the speed of light for the affect to take place, the drag increases exponentially and the power need in turn increases exponentially, (P=0.5mv^2). So you may be a petrol head but you are defiantly no scientist or engineer.

  • Lus - 2010-04-13 13:47

    Give me a Veryon anytime of the day baby,,,stuff off Denis jealousy makes you nasty... @interested and what's in it for you, i hope you dnt talk abt the Politics or any of life's mysteries because you've never met or touched them..GO AND GET A LIFE IF YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT CARS OR DREAMS..

  • Martin - 2010-04-13 14:33

    I prefer the Mercedes Maclaren SLR better than both