Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team principal Christian Horner has boldly claimed that Aston Martin's upcoming Valkyrie AMR Pro – which is being co-developed with the multiple world championship-winning squad – could beat the overall Nürburgring lap record set by Porsche last week.
The German manufacturer lapped the Nordschleife in just 5 minutes and 19.546 seconds using a modified version of the Le Mans winning 919 Hybrid prototype racer. The record was 52 seconds quicker than the previous record set by Stefan Bellof behind the wheel of a Porsche 956 C in race conditions back in May 1983.
While there has been speculation that Porsche could even crack the five minute barrier with the 919 Evo, the firm's record could have potentially opened the floodgates to further overall record attempts at the Green Hell.
At the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend, talk began of Mercedes taking one of its dominant F1 cars from the last few years to the track for a record attempt. While the Anglo-German team's boss Toto Wolff appeared to be warming to the idea, he insisted that Mercedes themselves were probably unlikely to bankroll such an experiment. Now is probably a good time to mention that prior to the Nürburgring record, Porsche beat Mercedes' F1 lap record around Spa Francorchamps earlier this year by nearly a second.
Although Mercedes probably won't be attempting a lap record any time soon, another top F1 team has come out and said they have a chance of beating Porsche's new benchmark. Speaking to F1 blog RaceFans at the weekend, Christian Horner said that the Red Bull-developed Valkyrie AMR Pro could be "a contender" for a lap record attempt.
"The problem is their LMP1 car broke the record in Spa which was beating a Formula 1 car time," he said in an exclusive interview with the site. "I’m not sure a Formula 1 car could actually do it. But I think that the Valkyrie, certainly the track version of the Valkyrie, could be a contender," he added. "It’s a few years off because the car’s still on the drawing board, but I’d be surprised if that car didn’t have the potential to do that."
The Aston Martin Valkyrie is the British firm's first attempt at a so-called hypercar. It is being designed by F1 design guru Adrian Newey, with input from Aston Martin, Cosworth, and Red Bull Technologies. While the already track-focused Valkyrie will be road legal, a track-only version (similar to the likes of the Aston Martin Vulcan, Ferrari FXX-K, and McLaren P1 GTR) is also being developed.
This isn't the first bold claim about the Valkyrie AMR Pro. When the project was revealed late last year Aston Martin promised F1 rivalling performance, and with the numbers given it's hard to disagree. Weight will be 2,204 pounds (1,000 kilograms), power 1,100 horsepower (820 kilowatts) from a bespoke 6.5-liter V12 engine and KERS hybrid system; while top speed in high-downforce configuration will be 225 miles per hour (362 kilometers per hour). Trim away some of that aero help and you'll be looking at an F1-destroying 250 mph (402 kph).
All 25 of the $3.2-million track toys have been sold ahead of their 2020 debut, while all of the 150 road-going Valkyries have been spoken for as well.