Red Bull has revealed that Tom Cruise took a break from post-production work on his latest movie - Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol - to take part in a private test with the team in Willow Springs in Southern California last week.
Cruise, who amongst his many box office successes includes the NASCAR based action film Days of Thunder, is a keen racing fan and naturally leapt at the chance to drive the car.
In America for promotional purposes, including a demonstration run in Austin, which will host next year's United States Grand Prix, David Coulthard acted as Cruise's instructor.
The actor completed 24 laps during the seven-hour session, which began with Cruise and Coulthard lapping the track in a passenger car to get familiarized with the racing lines before the Scot showed the American the intricacies of the car. Between stints on the track, the team went over the car's telemetry data with Cruise, comparing it to Coulthard's. On his final lap, Cruise improved on his initial lap time by almost 11 seconds.
"Tom's the real deal," Coulthard told the Red Bull website. "I was surprised that he picked it up so quickly and is such an accomplished driver. His recall was incredible considering how complicated driving an F1 car is. He's a guy who really pushes the envelope in real life. This day was not green screened. He thoroughly impressed me."