Rebuild of #1

The rebuild from basic tub to show car took just under one year. My aim was to rebuild the car in two main stages

Stage 1 - Bring the car back to looking like a complete F1 car.

This meant convincing people to help me build it back up and only professionals could do the work needed. Whilst I had the tenacity to source parts I am no F1 repair expert.

The guys I found were brilliant and were in the stages of leaving the F1 Red Bull team at the time. They helped massively and managed to get my car back to me in around ten months, at which point I showed it at The SIlverstone classic in 2016.

The car when Tom had worked his magic but before the bodywork was repaired.

It was unpainted but was back as a rolling chassis. I cannot recommend the following guys enough:

  • Tom Sweet from Sweet Fabrications carried out the front and rear suspension work.
  • Ben and Pasty from Computech carried out the bodywork repairs

The car as Ben and Pasty completed the bodywork, shown at the Silverstone Classic back in 2016 in matt black, note the new roll hoop cover.

Back to black, CT05#1 was back home after the Silverstone Classic prior to being sent off to be wrapped in Hexis Boston Green, The original team colour as used by the team in Spa 2014 when they needed to have CT05#4 ready for the meeting, after my own chassis was crashed by Marcus in Hungary.

Once wrapped back to Green it was a complete car and ready for the next and more complex stage, adding an engine and gearbox.

Stage 2 - Put the car back on track with a running engine for display purposes

This was much harder as I soon started to meet dodgy mechanics who said they could help but wanted to fleece me, I lost around a year with these people. I will not name them here but would recommend that if you want to build a F1 car back up, you only use recommended people who have the correct experience of doing so.

The majority of the mechanical rebuild has been carried out by TDF and I can recommend their work

First of all in the rebuild were a few decisions I had to make, to ensure the rebuild went the way I wanted. My list was as follows:

  1. The car must look like it did when racing in 2014
  2. The car must not require pre-heating of the engine
  3. The car must be affordable to run with a budget of around £5,000 per year

With these simple rules I knew that the original suspension design would not be a possibility. I had the CAD for the front suspension and uprights but having the uprights rebuilt would have cost around £10,000 and the front suspension nearly five times as much.

At this point please remember that this is a hobby so I got to speaking to a designer who was already in F1 and he offered to help.

I wanted to use a dummy car, which I chose to be the 4 cylinder Formula Renault 2ltr and using the front uprights, brakes, discs etc from the Formula Renault would mean a massive design project but a cheaper end result. As the brakes were stopping a lighter chassis than the Formula Renault I know that with the FR engine in my car it would link together.

Likewise using a Renault engine, for me was the right option due to the team using Renault originally, albeit with a £1M V6 hybrid turbo option.

Design of the front suspension

Andrew from As Pro Engineering took around sixteen months to redesign the suspension and we then had the revised wishbones and pull rods made up in steel. 

Above are the front wishbones prior to being welded together. Almost ready for bolting on, once we had them coated, the accuracy of the build then showed up damage on the monocoque that was unexpected and meant a large bill to remedy the pick up points by inserting a new piece into the tub.

Design of the engine mount and rebuild

Using the original V6 Renault F1 engine was not an option for two main reasons, one being that I could not buy one from Renault, and even if I could you would be looking at £1M plus. Then there was the gearbox.

Originally Red Bull technologies supplied the carbon gearbox that the team used in 2014, however, a similar price tag would have been associated with using it, that is if Red Bull would have sold me one. On top of that price there would have been the cost of the maintenance. A Formula Renault engine and gearbox requires the suitable maintenance programme, however an annual service and monthly tweaks are all that are required for this tried and trusted set up.

The engine did however need to be moved back as the length of a Formula Renault is around ten inches less than the required F1 set up I needed so a pair of spacers have been designed by As Pro Engineering and manufactured by TDF to extend the wheel base.  I did this rather than tweaking the engine cover and floor. Below is the design of the spacer utilised.

As you can see this creates a gap between the monocoque and engine however this will be used for various engine parts and switches to keep then more accessible. 

The gearbox to be used is the one I purchased with the Formula Renault, however it has needed repair and extensive rebuild. The manifolds have all been coated matt black, as has the top of the engine and the rear suspension is all matching Formula Renault to ensure reliability of the package. A brace plate has had to be placed under the chassis to stop any probability of twist occuring as previously this area had the cars battery pack.

The nose used is original which I tracked down to a warehouse in Holland as the last nose cone ever made by the team. It was still in the jog when I bought it. I had the mould from a seperate purchase so had the vanity shroud made in fibreglass as it is purely a vanity piece.

The front wing will be bolted to this nose via a plate underneath the wing as the wing was from another 2014 F1 car. Cost wise I could have used an earlier front wing but the rules changed in 2014 so earlier front wings were much wider. TDF have helped guide me through a very complex set of issues, if you have an F1 car and wish to restore it, please talk to them.