The idea is to “repurpose” redundant Marussia or Sauber chassis from 2011-12 to make them a feasible reality for individual drivers. It’s the brainwave of TDF, the UK firm staffed by ex-Formula 1 engineers that already looks after many historic F1 cars. The company says the TDF-1 offers a “genuine, race-proven F1 experience in a package that is more reliable, useable and affordable to maintain”.
The TDF-1 looks like the real thing and with a top speed past 200mph, 0-62mph under 2.0 seconds and 4.0g cornering and 4.5g under braking it should whip around a circuit like the real thing too; TDF says it offers 95 per cent of the on-track performance of an equivalent F1 car.
Chances are it won’t sound like a 2011/12 F1 car though, for inevitably in the quest to make it reliable and useable some things have had to change – including the engine. Both the 2011 Marussia MVR02 and 2012 Sauber C31 on which the TDF-1 are based came towards the end of the 2.4-litre normally-aspirated V8 era of F1. The engines sounded great but needed to be preheated before running and rebuilt after each race weekend. So TDF has updated the powertrain with a 1,730cc turbo four-cylinder from Mountune.
It’s a racing engine but one that shouldn’t need a team of people to look after. At 600bhp, it develops around 90 per cent of the power of the car’s original V8 but, says TDF, has wider power and torque windows, making the TDF-1 easier to drive for the majority of drivers. The engine starts on a button and with a modest (by F1 standards) rev limit of 9,000rm is designed to keep going with maintenance needed only every 1,800 miles (3,000km), what TDF believes will be once a year for most owners.