The size of a driver’s wallet is no indication of their driving skills, or so the old adage goes. If you ever needed proof of this, look no further than the world of celebrity. Inextricably linked to flash cars, all you need do is open the pages of the nearest gossip mag to see your favourite soap star clambering out of the latest premium motor.
However, as they tend to favour the status conferring – and relatively slow – Chelsea Tractor, celebs don’t tend to get themselves into much bother, serial Range Rover-crasher George Michael notwithstanding. However, when they make the jump into the rarefied world of supercars, they tend to find that they have to earn the image with a modicum of driving talent.
Unsurprisingly, many get it wrong, often with spectacular results. Here are Motors.co.uk top five celebrity supercar wrecks:
Attending a star-studded charity race to promote the film ‘Redline’, actor and comedian Griffin was getting his eye-in with some pre-race warming up in a £1 million Ferrari Enzo. Mistaking the accelerator for the brake pedal, he managed to collide head-on with a concrete barrier. Worse still, the car wasn’t even his. It was loaned to him by friend and movie producer Daniel Sadek, who took the news that his ultra-rare supercar had been written off rather well:
“I’m glad Eddie came out of the crash okay, but my dream car got destroyed. I went to my trailer for about 15 minutes and I thought, ‘There’s people dying every day. A lot of worse things are happening in the world.”
Famed for his ball control on the pitch, Ronaldo was unable to use the same aptitude while piloting his Ferrari 599 through a tunnel in Manchester in 2009. Following teammate Edwin van der Sar who was driving a Bentley, Ronaldo inexplicably lost control and totalled the £200,000 V12 GT. We can only assume he’d revved it up a bit for a touch of aural delight in the tunnel. Ronaldo didn’t seem too phased by the loss, though neither would you if you had a fleet of cars worth around £2 million to fall back on.
Yes, another footballer crashing a Ferrari. It seems these highly-strung Italian thoroughbreds don’t like being manhandled. In this case it was the gorgeous F360 Spyder, a car with a reputation for not suffering fools. The ex-Arsenal striker managed to leave the road and wrap the £150,000 mid-engined exotic around a tree after turning the traction control off and changing down a gear. Let that be a lesson to any Premier League stars out there: leave the button marked ‘TC’ alone.
A well-known car nut and amateur racing driver, Rowan Atkinson caused automotive fans worldwide to collectively wince when pictures emerged of his stricken McLaren F1. The comedian suffered a fractured shoulder in the accident but fortunately thanks to the McLaren’s immense value of around £3 million, it wasn’t written off. Speaking to Classic and Sports Car magazine, Atkinson was keen to get it back from the menders and get driving, saying:
"I'm not a collector. I don't like the toy cupboard syndrome that causes so many good cars to evaporate.
"It depresses me that they are hidden away like investment art, or gold ingots in a Swiss vault.
"The McLaren is just so usable, it is a crime not to use it. No gritted teeth, you just get in and drive."
Atkinson lost none of his nerve following the crash, with the Mr Bean star setting a new celebrity lap record on Top Gear just weeks later.
Another high-profile petrolhead, Jamiroquai frontman Jay Kay was attempting to negotiate a difficult turn when his flagship Lamborghini bit him hard. Thankfully no one was hurt, but it left the Gumball rally-regular shaken. To add insult to the injury of destroying a £150,000 supercar, the singer was fined around £600 for the accident. It’s not the first time Jay Kay has got into automobile-related strife. The windscreen and window on his Ferrari Enzo was once smashed by a jealous chef at a country hotel he was staying at, resulting in a bill for an estimated £30,000.
Picture: Gareth Purnell/Rex Features
April 26, 2013