This year marks the debut of F1 in India, so Red Bull is pulling out all the stops to promote both the sport and the new venue. What better way to earn bragging rights than to run the Red Bull F1 car on the highest drivable road in the world, located in the northern Indian state of Kashmir?
The road crosses Khardung La (or Khardung Pass, in Tibetan), and is posted at 18,380 feet. There’s some that question the accuracy of the sign, insisting that the pass in only 17,582 feet in elevation, which makes it only the second or third highest road. Records aside, we say that’s splitting hairs, since it isn’t any easier to keep a car running at 17,582 feet than it is at 18,380 feet. There isn’t much oxygen at these altitudes, which means that even fuel-injected vehicles struggle to make power.
The You Tube video below seems to have sound issues, but the scenery alone makes it worth watching. F1 cars weren’t meant to run on (barely) paved roads, through snow, at elevations over 15,000 feet. It’s hard to tell if the car made it all the way to the summit, or if it was trailered to the top (my guess); either way driving an F1 car where Mitsubishis Evos fear to tread isn’t my idea of a good time.