Top Gear S17E02 Top Gear S17E02 Top Gear S17E02

The second episode of the seventeenth series of Top Gear hit the UK airwaves last weekend, and it was another good effort from the boys, who gave Formula 1 fans plenty to watch in this latest instalment.

And F1 fans would certainly be snarling with envy at the opportunity given to Messrs Clarkson, Hammond and May in this episode, and even more so because the actual opportunity was completely lost on two of them. And what are we referring to here? The opportunity to lap the Monaco Grand Prix circuit at speed.

Hammond and May displayed (or pretended) ignorance at the significance of the moment, as the trio got to chauffeur three high-profile Formula 1 figures around the Principality’s many twists and turns. Clarkson had F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone as his passenger, while Hammond and May had Red Bull team boss Christian Horner and disgraced former Renault boss Flavio Briatore in tow, respectively.

The inappropriateness of one particular passenger aside, this is a fun segment that forms part of a broader challenge undertaken by the trio to compare three hot hatches en route to Tuscany: the Citroen DS3 Racing, the Fiat 500C Abarth and the Renault Clio Cup.

James May also reviews Aston Martin’s latest creation: the Virage, although it was a fairly slow way to start the episode.

Comedian Ross Noble was this episode’s Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car, and he was quick to point out what is becoming a rather irksome trend in more recent Top Gear episodes as the show attempts to attract more female viewers: namely, the ploy of standing every female audience member in the front row of every studio shot.

A tame interview with Clarkson followed – all of which seemed to serve to fulfil the point that Noble is a rich man with plenty of property and material possessions – but his hot lap in the KIA Cee’d was more enjoyable. We won’t spoil the end result, but we’re pleased to report that he managed to go quicker than Tom Cruise.

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.