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Want to exercise your inner Senna? British company makes it easier to own an F1 car

TDF-1 racers are real F1 chassis but with revised powertrains and less complexity


There are resto-mods and electra-mods and now we appear to need a name for what TDF is doing, taking Formula One racing chassis and installing its own powertrain with the promise of providing customers with “a package that is more reliable, useable and affordable to maintain.”

That package is is TDF-1, which uses a 2011 Marussia or 2012 Sauber chassis as its basis. The TDF powertrain comprises a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that puts out 600 horsepower at 9,000 rpm and a 6-speed semi-automatic transmission.

In the garage

“The result is a car that delivers 95 percent 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,” TDF said in its news release. 

“In qualifying setup, the TDF-1 will generate 4.0g in a high-speed corner and 4.5g 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.”

British press reports say the cars will cost £1.5 million ($1.96 million) each.

“As a core part of our business is maintaining modern-classic F1 cars, we know the complexities of keeping these cars on the track,” Matt Faulks TDF director, says in the company’s news release. “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.”

On the track

“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,” added Jessica Hawkins, the TDF-1 development driver. “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 said it has removed some of the complexity from driving a modern F1 car so customers can concentrate on the driving experience rather than the various onboard systems.

TDF is short for Tour de Force Power Engineering and, according to its news release, the British company has a staff of former F1 engineers who do the restoration, maintenance and at-track support for many people who have come to own F1 cars after their season on the circuit.

A TDR-1 racer, a re-worked Formula One car with revised powertrain and simplified controls, undergoes development work on a race track | TDF photos

In addition to vehicle and spare parts provision, TDF will host several driving days at European race tracks for TDF-1 owners.

For more information, visit the TDF website.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. Very interesting and truly a beautiful racing machine. The unfortunate part is that at nearly 2 Million Canadian dollars it is obviously way out of reach of the weekend racer. I’d love to try one but I guess I’ll stick to the ‘Vette for now. Unless I win the lottery !!


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