Hamilton remote control McLaren video

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I’ve had loads of emails and Tweets about this, so if you haven’t seen it yet, here it is:

Brilliant! Thanks to everyone who sent in the tip.

It’s worth remembering Hamilton actually cut his teeth on radio controlled cars before he even got started in karting. I wonder how many other racing drivers got started that way? See the Lewis Hamilton biography for more.

Read more: McLaren struggling or sandbagging?

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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25 comments on “Hamilton remote control McLaren video”

  1. Was that for real? If so, I’m impressed.

  2. I wouldn’t risk using a bluetooth controller over that distance with such an expensive car. It’s feasable that they the signal was being relayed by a more powerful bit of radio kit nearby though.

  3. Alonso Follower
    10th March 2009, 21:06

    It is worth mentioning that Pedro de La Rosa was something like 3 times (not sure if they were 2 or 3 or more, 2 I’m sure) in a row european champion of Radio Control racing. He was, at the time, a phenomenon given that a 13 year old was beating grown men across Europe.

    I probably have somewhere around the press reviews of the championships that he won. The irony was the category in which he was so successful was not F1-like but more like rallying (closed circuit but rough terrain)

    1. Well I never knew that – thanks!

  4. That is epic. I hope it’s real just for the raw awesomeness of it all.

  5. I thought that was cool, but weren’t those two guys actors, the trip to Portugal was planned and the whole thing was just a Vodafone/ Blackberry publicity stunt?

    1. Yeah it’s a Vodafone PR thing.

  6. Well, now we know why Mclaren are struggling when with pace… When someone is in the car.

    1. No wonder the car is so slow in testing, it’s all the RC gear in it bogging it down!

  7. Superb ad. Don’t say that much these days!

  8. Is that allowed in the rules? It could save some weight if the driver stays in the pit :)

  9. LOL..woww…thats pretty crazy. i wonder if i can pick up the RC version too…well once i get a BB …maybe they’ll make the application for iphone too

  10. i thought the first half was better.

  11. Excellent viral marketing and a decent bit of promo work for Lewis….makes a change!

  12. Does anyone else find it odd that they used the current car? I thought resources and track time were very limited during testing.

  13. I have a mad idea for when the technology is right, and is affordable – full size RC cars,but fitted with cameras etc, the drivers in game console type seats, with an audience around them, like Top Gear, and controlling the cars from the hospitality suites or the race control tower.
    The idea came to originally on seeing the BMW MINI, and how toy like it is, but I think it would work just as well with F1…..

  14. Always interesting to see how other people report these things. The Daily Mail’s headline is straight-as-a-die:

    “Revealed – McLaren’s new driver-less F1 could see Lewis win title by remote control”


  15. There was a BMW advert a while ago with Ralf and Juan-Pablo where they were driving Williams’ cars round a track whilst sitting in the stands if I remember rightly.

    And as for it being real – no chance. The car would have been driven by Gary Paffett or PDLR, wearing bright green overalls and helmet, then a team of Adobe After Effects wizards have edited him out frame-by frame for each scene where the cockpit was in shot.

    I guess with a trip to Maplins and a soldering iron they could conceivably done the first half, although it would be easier to fake it, and have the real controller behind the camera for each take.

    Clever stuff though and convincing…

  16. Good to see McLaren maintaining their sense of humour…

  17. Pretty obviously faked, but cool non-the-less…

  18. cool video i particularly liked how they did the onboard camera on the RC car

  19. Cool vid…

  20. That’s a good one. Does anyone know that phone? Is it just an Iphone?

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