Modern-era Formula 1 engineering expert, TDF, has today opened the order book for the TDF-1, a truly unique package that provides enthusiasts with the opportunity to own and drive a modern F1 car in a more reliable, usable and affordable package.
The ultimate machine for private racetrack use, the TDF-1 is comprised of a 2011 Marussia or 2012 Sauber chassis, suspension and associated mechanicals, which is Powered by TDF. This means that the TDF-1 uses a bespoke race-proven powertrain comprising a state-of-the-art turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which develops 600bhp at 9,000rpm, mated to a six-speed semi-automatic gearbox. Both engine and gearbox are stressed members, in keeping with the chassis’ original design. Crucially, the complete package is designed to maintain the original car’s factory-honed chassis/engine geometry.
The result is a car that delivers 95% of the on-track performance of an equivalent F1 car, with all of the visceral driving dynamics felt by the Marussia and Sauber drivers during the 2011/2 seasons. In qualifying set-up, the TDF-1 will generate 4.0G in a high-speed corner and 4.5 G under braking. However, TDF’s powertrain is exceptionally robust and far more reliable, providing owners with a highly usable package that is affordable to run and maintain. It can be started at the press of a button on the steering wheel and only needs to be serviced annually.
Wherever possible, the TDF-1 has been engineered to remove driving complexity. Gear ratios and steering wheel functions have been simplified so drivers can focus completely on the driving experience and less on the systems management that modern Formula 1 cars demand. Importantly, great care has been taken to retain the TDF-1’s original factory aerodynamic package, as developed by the Marussia and Sauber teams, while the car’s Drag Reduction System (DRS) has been upgraded so that it will automatically close during a steering or braking input, for added stability.
The TDF-1 is offered with a full suite of spare parts to keep the car and its driver on track for longer. Spares range from tyres – which are manufactured to order by the original tyre supplier, Pirelli, in soft, medium, hard and wet compounds – to original and remanufactured bodywork and suspension components. With its reduced engineering complexity, the TDF-1 can be maintained for a fraction of the cost of a conventional F1 car by TDF’s team of expert engineers.
Matt Faulks, Director of TDF, said, “As a core part of our business is maintaining modern-classic F1 cars, we know the complexities of keeping these cars on the track – from maintenance and repairs to running costs and the sheer skill needed to drive them well. With TDF-1, we wanted to create a package that allows driving enthusiasts the ability to have a genuine F1 experience that is more accessible and cost-effective.”
Jessica Hawkins, TDF-1 Development Driver, said: “Driving a TDF-1 is like no experience I’ve had before; the responsiveness, balance and agility is second to none, and the raw speed is incredible. As a professional racing driver, I’ve been behind the wheel of some impressive cars in my career, but nothing comes close to the TDF-1. We’ve worked hard to develop a range of set-ups that suit all levels of experience and ability. The end result is a package that helps drivers build confidence and start to push the limits of TDF-1.”
TDF-1 has been engineered and developed by one the world’s most knowledgeable modern F1 experts, TDF. Formed in 2009, TDF is staffed by ex-F1 engineers from a number of teams, including Marussia, Mercedes-AMG, Renault F1 and Williams.
It has more than a decade of experience maintaining and running modern-classic Formula 1 cars, from the mid-1990s onwards. Its in-house design, engineering and manufacturing unit, based in Bedfordshire, England, produces high-performance components for several F1, hypercar and defence applications.