Have you ever watched Lewis Hamilton speed around the track in his powerful Mercedes F1 car and thought to yourself that you wouldn’t mind one of those for your Sunday drive? With a few modifications, it’s possible to turn an F1 car into your road car.
An F1 car would need a lot more modifications to be able to drive on the road. It has been legalized, but only one F1 car is available in the world. There were several changes to the vehicle’s height, engine and suspension.
To drive an F1 car around the streets would be quite a feat. This is already possible. The Mastercard Lola Formula 1 engineers were given the challenge to create a roadworthy F1 vehicle. The F1R was their creation. It required some significant changes and a completely different engine. In this article, we’ll investigate how they did this and look at some other examples of F1 cars driving on public roads. Read on to discover what it takes to drive an F1 vehicle on the road.
If you’re looking for some F1 merchandise, check out the awesome stuff at the official F1 store here.
What’s the background to the construction of F1R?
Lola was an F1 Team that crashed in 1997. Eric Broadley, who wanted an F1 team for his entire life, founded them and managed to get Mastercard as their title sponsor.
They are however, At the start of the first race, the starter grid was not even available. 1997 was the year Australia hosted its first ever season. They were 13 seconds behind the rest during qualifying.
Mastercard ended their sponsorship after a terrible start to the season. The team went bankrupt. This meant they couldn’t ship the cars or equipment to Interlagos, Brazil.
With a lot of debt, the team quit F1 and had to be purchased out to keep their boat afloat.
However, spare parts remained and needed to be used. Lola engineers were challenged with making a legal, roadworthy Formula 1 vehicle and what you’re about to read about is the result. The car’s body was made using many of the Formula 1 spare parts.
This was the meaning of The car they made was legal and was made from F1 car spares with an engine, gearbox, and other parts taken from road cars..
How did they create this Road-Legal F1 Car
Building the F1R was quite a complicated process as it wasn’t just adding brake lights and indicators to an already built F1 car. They started from scratch. The bodywork and other parts of F1 cars were used. And then, all that was necessary to make it legal.
F1 cars have low suspension, which means that everyday things on the road like speedbumps will pose an issue for the car’s undercarriage. Engineers first raised the suspension to approximately two inches (5cm). If necessary, this can be increased by a few centimeters.
Unfortunately, the engine is not nearly as powerful as the standard F1 engines these days, so don’t expect to be taking on Hamilton and co on the track. The Cosworth engine, 2.0-liter four cylinder. It comes from a Ford RS Sierra.
It should produce around 370 HP, which is less than F1 cars. However it is possible to tweak turbo settings to adjust horsepower. Even then, it will still be significantly less than an F1 vehicle, so even Nicholas Latifi and George Russell will be well ahead of you at the track.
But that doesn’t really matter, because it’ll still look cooler than all your friends’ cars.
Unfortunately, the gearbox does also not come from an F1 car but don’t worry; it still comes from a sports car. They Replaced the semi-automatic transmission with a five speed manual Porsche G50 transaxle.
Additionally, the Lola engineers had to add simple features to make it legal. You can remove the F1 steering wheel to make it a regular one, but you will need indicators/turn signals. There is also a handbrake. It also includes a UK number plate.
There are, however, still Many original F1 parts That have been used in the construction of the car. It has the FIA Standard The nose cone, the body panels and ducts, carbon brakes and a cooling kit are all included., and other parts.
The car also has the F1-style front and rear wings, which distinguish it from other cars. These The wings can be adjusted to produce downforce.This will increase your speed, just as a standard F1 car.
Here is summary of what was changed and what wasn’t and how the F1R differs from an actual F1 Car.
|Part Name||Actual Lola F1 Car||Lola Engineers builds F1R|
|Engine||1997 F1 V8 3.0-liter Motor||Cosworth 2.0-liter Engine|
|Gearbox||Semi-automatic 1997 F1 Gearbox||G50 five-speed manual Porsche transaxle gearbox|
|Chassis||Lola Chassis||Lola Chassis|
|Tub and Body Panels||Lola Parts||Lola Parts|
|Front and Back Wings||Lola Parts||Lola Parts|
|Suspension Height||Front: 1.18 inches Back : 2.9 inches (Measurements taken directly from an F1 car in modern times).||1.9-2.9 inches|
|Indicators / Turn Signals, Handbrake, Brake Lights & Headlights.||N/A||Present|
Can I buy the F1R and how much will it cost?
That isn’t exactly clear right now, as nothing has been reported online since the car was listed for sale in 2016.
It was being auctioned by a luxury auction house, Bonhams, for between £ 55,000 – 85,000, which right now is about $75000 – 117000. It had only 25 miles, so it was nearly as good as new.
Bonhams has the listing. here.
How do I build my F1 car for the road?
This is a complicated question for many reasons. First, you need to get Formula 1 parts. But let’s say you do. To ensure it meets the legal requirements, you will need to modify the majority of the vehicle.
You’ll also have to change the suspension, add all the basic features like brake lights and indicators, and probably modify the engine.
It’d also be a good idea to Talk to your local motor authority.Because the rules and regulations governing vehicles are very complicated and can be quite lengthy, it is important to take your time.
You would also pay a lot more than the F1R Bonhams are selling.
What about F1-licensed cars, can they be driven on public roads?
Yes, but also non. They can drive on well-maintained roads and normal roads with relative ease. In fact, some races, such as those in Monaco and Baku, Azerbaijan, are held on street circuits, rather than proper racetracks like most Grand Prix’s.
You may have also seen some of Red Bull Racing’s promotional videos where they took some of their older F1 cars all around the world and, in fact, on public roads. They did a road-trip through Max Verstappen’s home country of the Netherlands and a race through Istanbul to promote the Alpha Tauri clothing brand.
But, they were Event planning requires a lot of logistical management It was no surprise that this involved extensive consultations with local authorities. It was obvious that they were the only cars in the road and were being filmed by a large crew. Although technically it was on a public road, this wasn’t a realistic scenario since there weren’t any pedestrians or vehicles.
Furthermore, F1 often does street events worldwide in cities that don’t host F1 races The brand will be promoted. One or two streets will be closed in a city, and F1 drivers will drive up to and down selling doughnuts.
F1 cars can be driven on public roads without modification. But they can’t legally do it outside of planned events as they don’t meet the roadworthy standards.
It would be difficult to drive an F1 car legally on the roads if you wanted to use it for everyday driving. You’d have to raise the suspension, add everything that normal cars have, like brake lights, headlights, and turn signals. You would probably also have to change the engine, so it’d be a costly exercise.
However, it’d be much cheaper than an actual F1 car, so you could say it is worth it.