Ready-to-run ex-2011 and 2012 F1 cars to go on sale

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Engineering firm TDF (‘Tour de Force’) is offering performance car enthusiasts the chance to buy machines based on original Formula 1 designs.

TDF-1 offers ‘genuine, race-proven F1 experience’ for private buyers

Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez, Sepang, 2012
Perez nearly won at Sepang in 2012 Sauber
The TDF-1 project aims to offer “an extremely limited run of ultra high performance racing cars that can be owned, operated and enjoyed by private individuals”. The cars on offer are based on the 2012 Sauber C31 and 2011 Marussia MVR-02.

Both machines have been re-engineered to make them more accessible to ordinary drivers and improve their durability and general use-ability. TDF claims the cars only require one mechanic to run, and their self-starting motors and built-in fans allow the drivers to start them with no outside assistance.

The original 2.4-litre natrually aspirated V8 engines have been replaced by smaller capacity 1.73-litre turbocharged units. The Mountune-developed engines are limited to 9,000rpm.

According to TDF the cars’ aerodynamic surfaces are unchanged. The Drag Reduction Systems remain in place, but have added electronics to close the rear wings automatic if driver makes any input which could destabilise the car.

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Comment of the day

Charles Leclerc will have his own grandstand at two races, but do we want to split F1 fans up by who they support?

I’m not really a fan of driver-dedicated grandstands, the idea just seems a little bit dull and self-exclusionary.

I haven’t been to a race for a while but one of the things I liked about it was being surrounded by fans of different teams, drivers, etc… Totally mixed crowd, everyone just getting on and watching the race together, being happy and sad at different times, fragmented cheers, and so on.

I don’t suppose fans in one-colour grandstands get that experience.
Neil (@neilosjames)

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On this day in F1

Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren Mercedes MP4-20 launch, Circuit de Catalunya, 2005
Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren Mercedes MP4-20 launch, Circuit de Catalunya, 2005

McLaren launched its MP4-20 on this day in 2005. Kimi Raikkonen shook down the Mercedes-powered car at the Circuit de Catalunya.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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48 comments on “Ready-to-run ex-2011 and 2012 F1 cars to go on sale”

  1. Oink, oink, could they have picked fuglier cars?

    1. well at least it’s not the 2012 Ferrari or something like the 2014 Force India

    2. I wouldn’t care much of I could afford one, I’d definitely have one.

      Owning and actually being able to run a car as closed to an F1 car, albeit one of the slowest ones would be an absolute blast.

  2. Did not know a McLaren F1 could seat 3 people — wonder who’s in there with Lewis.

    1. The dogs ?

      1. @mtlracer I saw an article on another site about this yesterday with a headline along the lines of ‘is that Mario Andretti in a McLaren F1 with Lewis Hamilton?’. The article itself admitted ‘no, it isn’t’…

    2. It was built as a 3 seater.

    3. It’s his Dad and step Mum. Pretty cool family car!

  3. They are really trying hard to make a drop in people watching F1 seen like an improvement in broadcast. I don’t buy it, I’m locked out of F1. It’s been over a year since I’ve seen a race and while I follow F1 still, I can’t see I’ll ever watch it again. I’m happy to watch FE instead, though it doesn’t have the off track engagement F1 does.

    1. Duncan Snowden
      24th January 2020, 12:52

      I wouldn’t say I’m “locked out”. We still have the British GP live, and Channel 4’s highlights aren’t bad, but there’s absolutely no doubt that they aren’t even as good as the highlights they showed before Sky took all the live races. No doubt Liberty has to claim that quality of coverage has increased with the drop in quantity of viewers in order to justify the move to itself and its shareholders but quite honestly, from where I’m sitting, it’s utterly absurd.

      I’m no fan of the BBC or of Java web apps, but there’s simply no question that the best period of F1 coverage by far was when we had all the races live on FTA with full timing on the FIA website, around a decade ago. It’s been downhill ever since they dropped the sector times from that.

    2. FE reminds me of watching my dog chase a squeeky toy around the house … lots of screeching, squeeling and banging noises. I mean, it’s cute and eveything, but it’s not entertainment really.

      1. yes, it’s similar to women’s hockey. and they can gimmick it up with 3 a side play but it’s not & will never be the nhl.

  4. Couldn’t agree more about Pay TV. I have been making this argument for years now. The quality of coverage in Australia since F1 has been moved to our Pay TV service is not even comparable to what it used to be. To go back to free-to-air TV would be the death of F1 in this country as it would become completely unwatchable.

    1. Aussie commercial TV has been a running joke in the UK for decades. Their adverts overwhelm the programmes because apparently they’re not separated or limited in number. When ITV broadcast F1 in the UK, we had a problem with adverts too, they interrupted the race at fixed times and no matter what was happening on track, we had to suffer them, but they were nowhere as bad as they are in other countries. When Ch4 broadcast live races, no adverts were shown during the race, so it is possible for commercial FTA broadcasters to provide a good F1 experience. Sky charge to view and show adverts and their broadcasts are painful to suffer. Don’t forget all broadcasters, pay and FTA, receive exactly the same race coverage from FOM. Claims that one is better than the other is cobblers.

      1. Jon Bee Sky ”show adverts” but only between programs, not ‘during’ them.

        1. The point is sky customers pay sky to watch adverts (only between programs). Madness I say.

    2. In Italy public broadcast in government or commercial TV was really good and advertising just pop at right moments.
      Pay TV and dominant cars were killing the audience. Last year was better has we had the possibility to watch it in paytv or commercial (the latter were replicas for half season)
      and I get back to watch full events for the first time in years (not all, too many gps for me)

      1. @Ambrogio wait a minute… are you saying that Mazzoni and Stella Bruno coverage were really good?

    3. Looking at the UK, my personal opinion is that the Sky coverage is pretty much the same quality as the BBC coverage we had. It’s better in some areas, worse in others, but of a very similar standard overall.

      However, we were very lucky with our BBC coverage. In other countries the FTA coverage has been dire (from what I’ve been told), and even here the ITV coverage was nowhere near the standard of the BBC. Also, the BBC couldn’t maintain this quality and had to “sell” their rights to Sky…

      So, I will agree that the quality will generally be better on pay TV than FTA. However, does this make up for the massive restriction in audiences, loss of advertising revenue to the teams, reduction in new fans, and all the other problems the paywall produces?

    4. Hard to disagree. I was so upset when it was first announced but it was so worth it to open up the suite of F1, F2, GP3, MotoGP, WEC, Supercars and so on which either aren’t free to air or have horrible free to air coverage by comparison. The reruns of classic F1 races on Foxtel from time to time are always entertaining too!

  5. RE COTD what i absolutely don’t get is, when i went to races i chose the grandstand according to a)price and b) seeing an interesting piece of track. so that seems like a dumb idea… then again judging by some comments here it makes sense to seperate some drivers’ fans

    1. @mrboerns I doubt having a grandstand named the ‘leclerc stand’ will have any impact on who sits there. if it did, it would self-defeating because it would limit the number of fans and you’d end up with empty seats. F1 fans will sit where they want to and can afford to, simple as that. in my admittedly limited experience of going to races, i’ve found the fans at the track to be absolutely nothing like any of the partisan keyboard warrior idiots you see commenting online.

      it’s not football thankfully.

    2. Yeah I also pick tickets based on what’s available for my budget and then look Which of those offers best view of the track.

      On the other hand, I get how they added a Max grandstand (the years before it was the red bull one I think) in Austria – seeing the sheer amount of fans in orange. The same might work for Leclerc?

      1. @bascb Well, one could also argue, to the contrary, that we should emphasize and embrace or rather encourage the fact that you actually CAN put fans of different drivers/teams on the same grandstand without people dying, unlike some other sports

        1. I meant that rather as a purely technical thing – when you have an extra 10k max fans – you open an extra grandstand for them. It won’t be explicitly for them, and certainly not exclusively so. But in practice, it IS a max grandstand.
          And I can see how the extra stand they put in for Monza would fill with Ferrari/Leclerc fans since that is a group that is surely growing explosively in Italy/monaco now.

  6. I saw a headline, that Renault claim to have the most powerful engine in F1 now and Honda is behind everyone.

    Bald claims for what looked, at first glance, like the opposite of truth.

    Has anyone else seen that?

    1. I have seen it and they are talking about KW so i think they mean the recover system ans deploy. Because the ICE from Renault is the weakest for sure.

      1. If I have my background right, the electrical output (kW) that can be used from the energy storage system is limited by rules. It would only be the MGUH and the IC that could differentiate power units between manufacturers.
        Then again, the teams can play games with where energy comes from, at what rate, details of measurement …. nah …. they wouldn’t do that.??
        IC engine output is normally measured in kW (aprox. 0.745 kW/HP) outside the English speaking world, so reference to that is not necessarily just volts n amps.

      2. @macleod, the article those quotes come from make it fairly clear that Taffin is talking about the entire power unit, rather than just the energy recovery system – and I don’t think it is necessarily completely out of the realms of possibility either.

        I recall seeing an individual associated with Honda’s development programme suggesting that Honda came to a not dissimilar picture a few years ago – they’d also concluded that most engine manufacturers had converged relatively quickly, reckoning that Mercedes and Ferrari had pretty much the same peak power, Renault slightly back from that and then Honda a little further back from Renault. Their estimate of the spread in peak power, overall, was about that same 15-20kW power output that Taffin has talked about.

        What that individual from Honda suggested was that most fans are focussing on the wrong thing, which was peak power. In reality, what made a much bigger difference was how long those engines could sustain that maximum peak power, the fuel consumption requirements and the impact that had on reliability – factors that are more difficult for people to quantify than a simple peak power figure.

        It was in that area that he felt Mercedes had been more effective in the past – it wasn’t that their engine was more powerful, but rather that Mercedes could maintain a certain power output for longer than their rivals could due to advantages in efficiency and reliability.

    2. It sounds like bosses trying to convince top management at Renault that it’s worth the investment.

      You say engine is good based on top speed (but your chassis has low drag). Then you say McLaren results prove that (but they are switching back to Mercedes).

      Then you say Ricciardo brought “negative dynamics” to the team, and Ocon will change that. Than you say 2021 is Renault’s year.

      Buying two years time…

      1. Yep, Abiteboul is a giant in PR… NOT
        But Renault will be gone after 2020..

  7. The MP4-20 still looks the business.

    Wow, do I miss the cars of that era — especially juxtaposed with those vile looking 2012 cars being the foundation for replicas.

    1. It is a desperately pretty car…

      1. Yep, tis a beaut…

    2. Probably THE car that made me fall in love with F1 in the first place.

  8. Regarding the environmental-matter: Again, the easy way to help the situation would be the organize the race calendar a bit differently from the logistical-POV. No significant change would be needed, for now, just little tweaks here and there, for example, pairing Singapore and Japan instead of Singapore and Russia on subsequent weekends. It’s good that COTA and Mexico hold slots on consecutive weekends, but so should Singapore and Japan, especially considering the Azerbaijan-Canada, and Australia-Bahrain double-headers with significantly greater distances.

    MP4-20, one of my all-time favorite F1-cars. I wish it were in the most recent CM F1-games or the Renault R25, or any 2005-car for that matter since none has yet been in any of them.

    1. I agree, since the travel is most likely the biggest burden better optimization of the calendar should be one of the first steps.

    2. That sort of logic is dependant upon teams, or at least the majority of the team and the most cumbersome pieces of equipment, travelling straight from one venue to the next. However there’s lots of other things besides the cargo, for example people and improvements to the cars, which means it probably isn’t practical to string a whole lot of races in one region into consecutive weekends.

  9. I know I’m not the intended target of this program but here’s my two cents: any F1, even the ugliest and dead last on grid would be absolutely stunning to own and drive. Of course additions like a self-starting motor are a great thing. But swapping the engine for something different to me renders completely unappealing the whole project.

    1. I think the problem might also be with proprietary technology limiting you actually driving the cars with the original engines @m-bagattini.
      But I agree it’s a pretty big change from the original.

    2. @m-bagattini, in the case of both of those teams, neither of them would have had an engine to put in the car to begin with. Unless the team manufactured its own engines, most teams have never owned the engines that were fitted to their cars – engines were usually leased from a manufacturer that retained ownership of those engines (it’s been like that since at least the early 1960s).

      At the end of the 2011 and 2012 seasons, Marussia and Sauber will have had to return those engines to Cosworth and Ferrari respectively. As @bascb, neither of those companies is going to be prepared to licence those engines for use in those cars – for a start, neither of them is likely to want to licence their own proprietary designs.

      In some ways, TDF were lucky that they could even get two cars in a running condition. I recall one individual who bought a BAR chassis from the early 2000s a number of years ago, and he recounted that he had considerable difficulty in getting support from Honda – because they didn’t just strip out the engine and transmission, but also all of the electrical systems.

      In the end, he did find a way to obtain some of the electrical systems after buying the IP rights from Honda – even then, he found it difficult to persuade third party suppliers to sell him parts because a number of them simply didn’t believe that he had permission from Honda to buy those parts in the first place.

      Even if that issue could be overcome, there is no financial incentive for either of those manufacturers to restart production of those engines. Maintaining those V8 engines was not trivial, and thus quite expensive – you’re going to need a significant financial incentive to want to install those engines, as well as a fairly significant network of support staff to maintain it once it is fitted to the car. The cost of using those engines is prohibitively expensive for both sides, so it’s not really economically viable for them.

  10. I agree wholeheartedly with the COTD. F1 isn’t football, F1 fans are fans of the sport first rather than a driver or team (almost all the time). Mixing of fans adds to the atmosphere at a race.

    1. F1 fans are fans of the sport first

      The majority are, yes. Of course, there are exceptions, notably the Tiffosi.

      Mixing of fans adds to the atmosphere at a race.

      Completely agree. It makes for great banter and interesting discussions, as well as a nice mixture of reactions to events on track (a mix of groans and cheers, for instance).

      As you said, this isn’t football. You don’t get the aggressive rivalry between fans of different teams/drivers. There’s no reason to separate them, and every reason not to (IMHO).

    2. Exactly, I always liked the banter with fans of various teams and drivers in the grandstands. No need to keep them apart at all

  11. José Lopes da Silva
    24th January 2020, 11:55

    F1 Fans in Silverstone and Monza are football-like. No need to keep illusions about that.

    Do you really think that the fans that booed Rosberg, and crossed the track before Mansell made it do the end, were there for the sake of the sport?

  12. In the early 2000s we had at best over 1,9 million viewers in Finland. That’s over 1/3 of the population. Right now we are lucky to get a few hundred thousand. I don’t see any improvement in quality of broadcast either. I personally find the Finnish broadcast unbearable to watch which wasn’t the case 15 years ago.

    1. This looks like an opportunity for a contest. “We …. insert country …. have the worst F1 broadcasting in the world.” Judges decision final, following a short commercial break.
      Could come up with some classic prizing. Trips to Bahrain GP, Pass to watch 4th day of Pre-Season Testing (bring your woolies), lunch with Bernie E., …….. and on.
      I would also put the Canadian coverage definitely behind what we used to get 10 and 15 years ago. Good news though is it starts later on Sunday am, 5:00 rather than 4:00.

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