Matt Kimberley profile picture Matt Kimberley 2 years ago 38

Australian Crashes McLaren F1 During 31-McLaren Convoy Through New Zealand

Of all the cars, times and places to crash, a McLaren F1 during a convoy of like-minded owners on a pre-set and police-monitored route is not the best, and the law is set to come down hard on this guy

Remind me later

A court date awaits an Australian man who crashed a McLaren F1 on Saturday, and we’re not sure which is more serious – careless driving or damaging that car.

Barry Leigh Fitzgerald lost control of what’s believed to be his own car while driving in a convoy of 31 McLarens that was travelling from Queenstown to Glenorchy. McLaren staff did their best to shield the crash from public view, but pictures have emerged on Twitter.

The first photographer on the scene is even alleging that McLaren offered a “substantial cash sum” to make the images go away. He initially accepted the deal, which he says was worth 25 times his normal half-day pay, but when other media turned up he said the offer was ‘rendered pointless’.

Thankfully the 63-year-old driver was largely unhurt, sustaining just a minor injury to his thumb. The single passenger was also fine. To be fair, underneath the covers the car doesn’t look too out of shape, either, but the damage was apparently enough to force it to be tow-trucked away.

After his lawyer handled an initial hearing, Fitzgerald is being summoned back to court in January on a charge of careless driving. McLaren has reportedly denied that excessive speed was a factor and seem to be very much on the driver’s side.

On the other hand, witnesses have claimed that skid marks began 80 metres before the poor F1’s final position. We can’t help but wonder whether they were on the road or in the driver’s pants. Possibly both.