Ferrari Fifth Gear McLaren Top Gear

“Clarkson wouldn’t know a great handling car if it hit him in the face”

Jason Plato, reigning BTCC champ, Fifth Gear luminary and known for his willing opinions on the internet, has taken aim at Jeremy Clarkson after the latter reviewed the McLaren MP4-12C on Top Gear last weekend.

In fact, after watching Clarkson compare the MP4-12C to the Ferrari 458 Italia, Plato felt compelled to tweet the following to his 22,000+ followers: “Tonight’s top gear, prove that JC may be a great wordsmith, however he wouldn’t know a great handling car if it hit him in the face, journos!”

Them there are fighting words, and if you can be arsed you can follow some of the dialogue fired Plato’s way.

Here at AUSmotive, though, we’re not too fussed with the nail files at dusk. We just like the opportunity of seeing two great cars being thrashed around a track. Twice. Which you can do too by watching the Fifth Gear review above and the Top Gear review below.

Let us know which you think is best—McLaren or Ferrari, Fifth Gear or Top Gear—in the comments section after the break.

11 replies on ““Clarkson wouldn’t know a great handling car if it hit him in the face””

I’ve discussed Top Gear vs Fifth Gear with a mate many times.

There’s one conclusion we both make every time, watch Top Gear for entertainment and frankly they’re very very good at that, watch Fifth Gear for information. One show is hosted by someone with an opinion, the other is by 2 race drivers, simple choice really in regards to would have a superior opinion.

Ferrari or McLaren? I’ll take Porsche, only one that does what it says on the box every time.

The two shows have different styles and appeal to different segments of largely the same audience. Actually, I thought there was a lot of common ground between Clarkson and Plato — albeit expressed quite differently.

It seems the McLaren is a very clinical beast, designed to go quite fast in the hands of its obviously monied but possibly only average driver, and to save his skin when needs must. There’s a lot of engineering and electronics at play, so it’s easy to see why two racing drivers were not all that happy with it.

Then, there’s the thing that Clarkson is an English nationalist (I almost used an upper case N!), and will always give a free kick to the local product.

Interesting, but ultimately academic!

Sorry, I almost fell asleep watching TG MP4C. Most of the contents were promotional material by Mclaren and there was no proper footage of a comparison drive, the Ferrari driver or proper timing screen to substantiate the lap time. Just narration and JC’s word…
Watching the Stig in comparison with a previous footage of the same timed lap in a Ferrari, the MP4C lacked speed and power due to too much control by the on-board computer. This equals to slower exit speeds ut from corners and no way the timing is as shown.
Good promotion by TG and entertainment value just to sell the MP4C. No comments needed for the 458.

@Alonso, the 458 was reviewed by Top Gear in a previous episode and they loved it. If you watched the MP4 review fully they also said that while the MP4 is faster the Ferrari is a better car overall. The timing is as shown, primarily because while the MP4 has better traction control it also has a lot more power, and no manufacturer representative or crew member from any country has ever disputed the timing on Top Gear. Top Gear is a show by the BBC, they are not allowed to do promotional pieces.

Get over it, the 458 is a slower car. You should also shut up, because it is well known that Ferrari use special modified demo models for test laps such as those on Top Gear and have a team of engineers spend a couple of days getting a perfect setup for the track. If the Top Gear guys were to borrow a stock 458 from a normal owner and do a test lap it would be even slower than the one on the board, so keep it quiet.

@Dave who are u to tell someone to shut-up?

I agree with MrQuick top gear is for fun, Fifth Gear for real drivers gotta love Tiff and Jason driving style.

Lets not forget EVO Mag. and Mr Chris Harris.

I’d choose the Ferrari 458 Italia much more fun.

@Crown, I’m just refusing to leave one-eyed bias unchallenged. Don’t be a Shining Wit.

Personally, I think that Fifth Gear is a bit too boring, although it is great for getting info. That doesn’t mean that Top Gear doesn’t give info, it just means that Top gear doesn’t give enough. But they are so funny :P!
Frankly, the only reason that I watch Fifth gear is to wait until the New Top gear comes out.

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