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Don’t Try This at Home (Of Course, You Couldn’t); Red Bull Racing Celebrates Atop Burj al Arab Hotel Helipad


Red Bull Racing celebrated its fourth consecutive F1 Drivers’ and Constructors’ World titles with a spectacular, and dangerous, stunt 1,000 feet above the Arabian Gulf on the helipad of the Burj al Arab Hotel. A small mistake by retired F1 driver David Coulthard could have seen his 750 hp race car launch into space. See how it turned out below in the video posted by Red Bull Racing earlier today.

By the way, our four-wheel motorsports fans will know that the young German Sebastian Vettel (now 26) took his fourth straight F1 Drivers’ title last weekend, and enters a very select group in history by doing so. Only Michael Schumacher, Jaun Manuel Fangio, and Alain Prost have four or more F1 titles, and only Schumacher and Fangio have achieved four in a row.




  1. Artem says:

    They are not who risking their lifes.

  2. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

    A huge “meh”

    Once the Arabs let their women drive I’ll start treating them like civilized people

    • jake says:

      “Religious scholars at Saudi Arabia’s highest authority on Islam have stated that the country’s ban on female drivers needs to remain in place in order to prevent further ‘moral decline’ in the kingdom. If women are allowed to get behind the wheel, said academics from the Majlis al-Ifta’ al-A’ala council, Saudi Arabia would see a ‘surge in prostitution, pornography, homosexuality and divorce.’ Professors who wrote the report also warned that Saudi Arabia could be left with “no more virgins” if women are allowed to drive.”

      You equate women drivers with civilization; they equate women not driving with civilization. You gotta admit, they have a point. Do you have a more valid point? Are there any virgins left in America?

      But what’s amazing is none of their women work (since none of them drive), and yet they are still that rich. The men? In America, the men are too busy working for “The Man” to have any concerns about whether girls drive or not. Middle Eastern men don’t seem to have such time constraints, and yet they still manage to live so much better.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        Unless you’ve been there, you only ever see the richest parts of those countries. That would be like taking a ride through Holmby Hills and projecting that image of wealth and excess onto all of the US. The majority (or all in some cases) of the oil wealth in those countries is controlled by a few important / royal families. Some countries have done a very good job of leveraging that oil income to diversify their economies to provide some real opportunity for their citizens while others have not. Foreign workers in some of those countries (providing much of the manual labor) live only slightly better than slaves.

        • jake says:

          Free housing, free food, free medical care, free education, even free higher education, gas for a few cents…let’s see what else…free unemployment benefits for life if one cares not to work at even one of their cushy, do nothing government jobs.

          Wow, sounds like a tough life. No, not all of them will live like princes, but there are no slums in Saudi Arabia and yet none of those people work. They make American inner city people look like workaholics in comparison.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            You’ve clearly never been to Saudi Arabia. It has a very large slum population, though the police and military do actively dismantle “slum towns” as they arise and evict the slum-dwellers to certain parts or outskirts of cities. The poor can get free and subsidized housing just as they can here, though there are more poor than there is housing. Those with the means rent or buy homes with government backed loans, just like we do here. 65% of Americans can afford homes. 65% of Saudi’s cannot. Approx. $550 is the unemployment payment for 12 months. Subsidized food, not free food is available to all IIRC. A lot of the food you buy here is also subsidized. They do have free higher education like many other countries do.

            While KSR is definitely one of the middle-eastern countries most willing to distribute its oil wealth to keep its population in compliance – there is no doubt that it is a welfare state – , it certainly isn’t how I think you picture it in your head.

        • jake says:

          Also, those slums you speak of is probably where their foreign workers/slaves live or escape to. Not where Saudi citizens live, unless such a person is excommunicated from Saudi society.

  3. Mr.Mike says:

    I thought he was pre-heating his tires before driving around the outer circle really fast but then it just stopped. Bo-ring.

  4. Bob L. says:

    What the heck is this? I come here for motorcycle stuff.

    • TimC says:

      NO FARGING SOOT. MD, seriously.

    • jake says:

      Ah young grasshopper, look longer and deeper and you will see that all things in this world are interrelated, no matter how disparate they may seem. Look at that helipad; imagine how much it must have cost. Look at all the brand spanking new, tall buildings in the background; imagine how many free or lower cost motorcycles we could have here in the states if we were not sending all our dang cash over there for them to party and live it up with.

      Not trying to sound dismissive, but name one dang thing which the Middle East produces (not the peripheral states). Nada. I don’t think they even produce “produce” over there. Just plant something in the ground and water it. They don’t even do that over there. So why do they need all those tall buildings? 2 story buildings would work just as well for what they do – which is nothing.

      I say we need more free and low cost bikes over here more than they need tall, state of the art buildings over there.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        If you look at the 50 largest publicly traded companies in the Middle East, you’ll find telecom, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, IT, banking & financials, construction (who do you think is building those buildings?), materials and durable consumer goods. Produce? – Well, deserts aren’t good for growing much, so I’ll give you that.

        • jake says:

          I was speaking of the center of Arabia, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, not the peripheral states, and I sure as heck wasn’t speaking about Israel. Let’s face it, those people over there simply do nothing. Construction? I guarantee you not an Arab hand or sweat went into building or designing those buildings. Foreign workers did it all.

          It’s easy to own a businesses when you have enough money. It’s another thing to actually be productive working members of that business. That’s why they hire so many foreign workers and expats.

        • jake says:

          “Oil accounts for more than 90% of exports and nearly 75% of government revenues, facilitating the creation of a welfare state, which the government has found difficult to fund during periods of low oil prices.”

          “Between 2005 and 2009, 2.2 million private-sector jobs were created, but only 9 percent went to Saudi citizens.”

          Yep, sound like workaholics to me. Their economy is anything but diverse. Also, they are the only area of world fatter than the U.S. Just more evidence that those people simply sit on their butts, do nothing, but still manage to get rich. The question is why and how?

  5. halfbaked says:

    This was actually more exciting then an F1 race. But 60 stories why bother – doesn’t the Burj Khalifa have a helipad.

    • goose says:

      I have to asume you haven’t watched an F1 race in ten years. Unlike MotoGP the F1 world has done something about boring racing. Yes, there are still yawners but most F1 races are about 10 times more interesting than the average MotoGP race. Even last week, not a great race, had exiting moments. Until Marquez showed up most MotoGP races could be licensed as cures for insomnia.

      To the people who ask why he dons full protective gear, my answer would be fire. There is a reason the suit he put on is called a fire suit. See the movie Rush or Nicky Lauda today (even after a lot of plastic surgery) for examples of why fire in an F1 car is a major fear. Most drivers weren’t as lucky as Nicky, they died in their flaming cars.


      • halfbaked says:

        I don’t know what MotoGP has to do with anything but the last F1 race I tried to stay awake for was the Indian GP last month and even with all the KERS and DRS and all the other artificial technocrap it was as usual dull.

  6. CW says:


    Are you serious with that question? Oil is most certainly the answer. Four bucks a gallon dude, FOUR BUCKS A GALLON!!!!!! In 2001 gas was around $1 a gallon. They were making amazing amounts of money then…

    The oil companies run the highest profit margins of any industry in the world, by far. Look up their quarterly profits sometime. Remember, when you see those staggering numbers, you are looking at only what they claim in profit. It is in their best interest to keep the numbers down.

    They are making obscene money. I find it funny how some laughable reason is given every time the gas prices shoot up. These guys have no shame, and no limit to their greed.

    • jake says:

      Alot of nations have large amounts of oil (Russia, Venezuela, Nigeria), but all those nations are still poor. It’s called the resource curse – nations with large amounts of oil generally become poorer, not richer over the long term (cause people with oil get lazy and stop working).

      Only the Arab nations seem to be able to escape from the resource curse. I’m just wondering why. Even supposing those nations have just so much insane amounts of oil that they are able to escape from the resource curse, it still begs the question: Why does the West allow them to set the terms of the bargain to their benefit? Doesn’t the West have overwhelming military superiority. Generally, he with the gun gets to set the terms of the bargain, no?

      Why not in this situation? We are only talking about trillions upon trillions of dollars.

      • Scotty says:

        They have something we want – its called capitalism and free trade. Controlling the price at the point of a gun is something Hitler would and did do – he just took over Romania.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “Why does the West allow them to set the terms of the bargain to their benefit? Doesn’t the West have overwhelming military superiority. Generally, he with the gun gets to set the terms of the bargain, no?”

        see dirk, despite your attempts to keep it non-political…? it turns political anyway…! LOL

  7. SecaKid says:

    Maybe Red Bull paid MD to show that video. Somebody has to pay the bills.

  8. Lloyd says:

    What a waste of money! Stay with motorcycles

  9. jake says:

    That helipad is probably the most impressive looking helipad I have ever seen…and it’s on a hotel, probably there as a mere afterthought for the people over there. Just wondering, how in the heck do the Arab nations afford to construct such stuff which no one in a country like America can afford to do.

    Last I checked, I have never seen an Arab nation doing much of any form of work. America still works, for the most part, Asia still works, Europe still works more than the Middle East, so how come they have all the money and all the fun?

    And it has to be more than just the oil. There has to be something more to explain this large discrepancy between work and income.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “so how come they have all the money and all the fun?”

      also, see entries for Palm Jumeirah and Burj Khalifa.

    • Scotty says:

      No its just oil. Prior to the discovery of it in the Gulf states the vast majority of people there were dirt poor.

      • jake says:

        You aren’t saying much. Relative to the present, prior to the discovery of oil, we were all dirt poor, not just the Arabs. Nope, oil alone simply cannot explain the disparity between wealth and work in the Arab states.

        To further my point, don’t bet on this wealth disappearing when their oil dries up. Some other pretext will be invented by then to further explain why those people are so dang rich when they don’t, have never done, any drop of what we in the less fortunate nations call work.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          Yes, it is all oil combined with relatively small populations (more $ per person) and small habitable land (less $ needed for infrastructure). Migrant workers provide the heavy lifting for next to nothing in many of those countries and often live a very hard life. The smart countries are using that oil wealth to diversify their economies as well and educate their populations, so that wealth will not dry up with oil in those cases.

          • jake says:

            Saudi Arabia has more than 30 mil, that’s not such small pop.

            You subscribe to the Jed Clampett theory of economics (better known as Market Economics) – that even some dumb, defenseless, backwards fool can become rich if he is lucky enough. The world of business is fair and will just give such a man his just due.

            I’m here to tell you that this is not how the real world works. In the real world, Jed Clampett doesn’t get rich, he gets taken for a ride and is lucky to keep pennies on the dollar for his claim.

            The fact that these Gulf States have managed to create a paradise for themselves, despite not a lick of work, by escaping from the brutal, cold blooded limitations of the real world is an anomaly, and merits an explanation.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            I think the explanation is simple: They were “taken for a ride” – in the beginning. They eventually realized they were being taken, seized the assets and infrastructure built by the western oil giants, paid for the expertise to operate them and were smart enough to understand that they could nearly control the world economy by forming a monopoly around oil production.

          • jake says:

            An even more ludicrous theory of economics. As if once on the ride, one can so easily get off. Ever heard of the cycle of poverty, or why the rich tend to stay rich, while the poor remain poor, generation after generation, after generation?

            If you are gullible and weak enough to get taken for a ride in the first place, you ain’t getting off until everything you have to give is given away and you have nothing left of value to take.

            That is the rule of the jungle, and that is the rule of this world.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            I gather you’ve been taken for a ride and never managed to get off? Your position is just fundamentally wrong. You and I live in completely different worlds. Glad I’m not some weak, gullible, defenseless pawn in yours. So are the Saudi’s. Regardless, we’ve strayed too far from the mission of this website long ago. I’ll bow out, now.

  10. Tolman says:

    Would the car reach a higher speed if it dropped from 1,000 feet than if it was racing flat-out on a race track? As a life-long nerd, that would be interetsing to know 🙂

    • Mike Simmons says:

      You can calculate it. An object falls at 32 feet per second/per second. Do the math.


      • halfbaked says:

        Don’t forget the vehicle will reach terminal velocity due to wind resistance, mass etc.

      • tyg says:

        Assuming no air friction, using acceleration and distance, find the time to drop:
        x = 0.5 * a * t^2
        1000′ = 0.5 * 32 * t^2
        t^2 = 62.5
        t is about 8 seconds

        Now use acceleration and time to find velocity:
        v = a * t
        v = 32 * 8
        v = 256 ft/sec
        v = 174 mph

        So, ignoring air friction, the car would impact with a vertical velocity of 174 mph after falling 1000 feet…. with air friction, it would be less.

  11. MattDylan says:

    Would have rather watched Travis P flip a tricycle off of it

  12. xootrx says:

    Someone mentioned the possibility of a parachute. I’m inclined the car had one, perhaps cleverly disguised.

    But oh man, if the worst had happened, without a chute, what occurs to me is not just the knowledge that your life is over, but how much time you’ll have to think about it before the end comes.

  13. Jim says:

    Boy, this is a tough crowd. 🙂

  14. Ayk says:

    I thought this was MOTORCYCLE Daily. Sheesh.

  15. Jeremy in TX says:

    Why would Red bull go through all of that trouble for something so lame?

  16. Chris says:

    I think it’s funny that he puts all the safety gear on (fire suit, gloves and helmet). If he went over the edge that stuff wouldn’t help any.

  17. Starmag says:

    Obviously a slow motorcycle news day, I hope tomorrow is better. There’s plenty of car sites for this, can’t wait for the upcoming politics and religion articles.

    • xlayn says:

      Meanwhile at CarDriversDaily…..
      ahhhHHH what the heck, use all those news from prototype motorcycles and DIY increasing performance news about motorcycles to fill up space…

  18. Gutterslob says:

    At least the Pirellis didn’t blow up like they usually did this year in F1.

    Joking aside, it was alright. They could’ve easily downtuned the motor and adjusted the electronics to make it easier for Coulthard, though. It’s not like they need to follow any FIA/F1 rules for that stunt.

  19. Norm G. says:

    kind of a let down. at the end of the donut (being that were filming from “cloud city” and all) i was expecting a walk on from Lando Calrissian calling David a “slimy no good double crossing swindler”. instead it just ends. this is no good.

  20. Louis says:

    What a waste of everyone’s time. Maybe in the year 2085 they can do it on the moon.

    • xlayn says:

      Probably, wasting everybody time seeing something that contains a trademark is called
      advertising… and Monster has to paid to keep his status of “we support the craziest things on earth” from motocross on Rumania to jumping from outer space….

  21. Hot Dog says:

    Who’s the crazy bastard that drove it up there? The back of my knees tremble with the possibilities. Even the rich guys to dumb stuff.

  22. LTR says:

    Meh that was nothing compared to the Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol movie in IMAX filmed from the same building that actually had you feeling dizzy with vertigo WITHOUT 3D effects . I swear you wanted to look away because it really felt like you were up there at that height , but it was so cool you couldn’t bring yourself to do it . Best big screen movie experience ever !

  23. Provologna says:

    The music made it for me…

    /sarc off

  24. paul246 says:

    WOW!!!…… that was stupid.

  25. rocket says:

    Interesting link, but I am still trying to find the motorcycles in the video