TDF-1 launches as a Formula One car you can buy yourself

Ever fancied owning your own F1 car? Thanks to engineering firm TDF, that’s now a possibility.

The UK-based firm has launched the TDF-1, taking a 2011 Marussia or 2012 Sauber F1 chassis and associated mechanicals and slotting its own 1.7-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine in the back.

That does replace the 2.4-litre V8s that were once found under the skin of these race-proven chassis, but TDF-1 says the new powerplant is aimed at making the package easy to run independently rather than with a team of mechanics. Better still, it develops 600bhp — so this is no slouch.

Each TDF-1 weighs just 600 kilograms too, resulting in a power-to-weight ratio of 1,000bhp-per-tonne — more than 250bhp-per-tonne than that of a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.

One thing carried over from the race-spec cars is the Drag Reduction System (DRS). This could be used in a Formula One race at the time on-demand for improved lap times by opening a flap in the rear wing to reduce drag. TDF has reengineered the system slightly, still allowing the driver to use it command though the system will automatically close if it senses a sudden steering input, throttle lift or application of the brakes to ensure the car is not unsettled.

Its tyres are provided by official Formula One supplier Pirelli too, giving a more Grand Prix-ready feel to the package.

Buyers of a TDF-1 will also be offered a comprehensive driver training course to allow them to learn the insides and out of the car before heading out on track. Coaching will be provided by Jessica Hawkins, who currently competes in the W Series.

No pricing has been confirmed, though expect the TDF-1 to cost many, many pounds.