Rowan Atkinson Crashes Beloved McLaren F1

5. August 2011

mr bean in miniIn a week when it emerged that Sooty briefly hospitalised Paul Daniels (google it) it was to be no real surprise that Mr Bean would follow this by crashing his car. To be fair, this wasn't Mr Bean rolling his Mini, it was Rowan Atkinson crashing his beloved McLaren F1, which he bought in 1997 for around £650,000 and which is now estimated to be worth around £2.5 million. Apparently escaping without serious injury, the Blackadder star had ironically only recently registered the fastest lap time as a guest on the BBC's Top Gear programme. Though of course, if he wants something a little more sedate following the crash, there is always the racing wheelchair from the film, Johnny English, to leave hospital in, should he need it.

Atkinson is well known for his love of cars, indeed, even managing to star in a sketch show called The Driven Man, which featured Atkinson more or less - just driving around. But he is of course, most famous for driving a Mini in the Mr Bean TV series and films.

The three-seat F1 supercar is capable of up to 230mph and is recognised as one of the fastest road legal cars in the world, capable of 0-60mph in a staggering 3 seconds. With statistics like that, it is no surprise that a petrol-head such as Mr Bean, sorry, Atkinson, would choose to purchase an automobile like the F1 to celebrate the success of the first movie. The F1 features a V12 engine courtesy of BMW and carbon fibre body panels. Although the engine proved to be heavier than Gordon Murray, the F1's chief engineer, had originally hoped, the combination of the light frame and 6064cc engine gives a tremendous power to weight ratio.

Atkinson first developed his varied passion for motors through driving his mother's Morris Minor on the family farm when he was a youngster. His widely respected knowledge extends to having written articles for magazines such as Car and Evo in the past, and he even holds a category C+E lorry driving licence. The F1 is is just one of many vehicles Mr Atkinson owns, and the collection includes the Aston Martin DB7 Vantage used in Johnny English. The collection must cost Atkinson a fair penny in performance car insurance.

Interestingly, the F1 supercar doesn't feature servo assisted ABS brakes, preferring to give the driver more 'feel' and involvement in the driving process. The McLaren F1 was originally intended to be kitted out with carbon brakes, although the technology proved to be under developed at the time, causing heat dissipation problems. Still, who needs carbon brakes when the UK has 3.8 million trees and road signs.

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