So you want to drive a F1
There are other options to drive a F1 apart from having a good
career in F3 or F3000 and getting a contract with a F1 team.
Some of the F1 teams sell their old cars and some of those
end up in enterprises which rent them. The prices I have seen
are around 900 euros for a 1-day stage. These stages usually
include laps in a F3 to learn the track and show to the owners
of the F1 that the client has the minimum of talent necessary
to drive the F1, followed by a few laps in the F1.
- The old AGS team has kept one (?) of their cars in running
condition. They usually use the "Circuit du Luc" in Provence (Var),
France. Recently they also propose the Catalunya circuit near
Phone: +33 4 94 60 97 00 (ask for Myrian or Claudia)
Fax: +33 4 94 60 90 45
Minitel: 3615 AGSF1
I believe this car is a bit old (1991 was the last year of the AGS F1 team).
It has a Cosworth 3.5l engine, probably a classic gearbox and uses Avon
slicks (at least that is what it has on the photo in the ad).
There is also a tour company with a web page, but their tours are
more expensive (include hotel, etc...).
The drive is on the same AGS car.
- More recently Oreca (I believe it is the F3000 racing team) has bought
3 Arrows A18-1997 and created something they call "Oreca Challenge".
Their ad didn't have a lot of detail, but the car should have the
Yamaha-Judd 3.0l engine, semi-auto gearbox, etc... Some of those
cars must have been driven by Damon Hill.
Phone: +33 4 94 88 57 88
Fax: +33 4 94 32 80 30
Their marketing seems to be targeted to "corporate entertainment".
Not sure how/if they handle individuals.
Another enterprise is "F1 International"
They have 4 cars (2 Larrousse 94, Arrows 96 and Benetton 98). They give
as technical data: Ford Cosworth V8 3.5l, 530 Kg, 700 HP, (semi-auto)
gearbox controlled in the steering wheel, 100-200 km/h in 2.5 seconds.
These look like the characteristics of the Larrousse 94. Either the other
cars are not in running condition at the time, or they were modified
to have the Cosworth due to unavailability of their original engines
(Supertec/Mecachrome/Renault in the case of the Benetton 98, Hart (?)
in the case of the Arrows).
This year (99) they will have stages at Magny-Cours (August), Barcelona,
Oschersleben, Vallelunga, Jerez and Spa (September and October).
After the Magny-Cours stage, an article appeared in Auto-Hebdo (#1202,
August 25th, 1999, pages 30-35). Summary:
- The two cars available were the Larrousses 94;
- The engines were Fords HB series VII, 3.5l with a
classical valve train (the race engine had pneumatic valves,
but this way the engines last twice as long (1000km versus
500km) between rebuilds) with 700HP @ 13.500 RPM;
- They had Benetton gearboxes with X-Trac gears and gear
selection at the steering wheel. In the near future the clutch
will be computer controlled;
- The other cars (one Arrows 96 (ex-Hill, but in winter
testing only, since Hill only drove the 97 car in the races)
and one Benetton 98 (ex-Fisichella)), will receive the same
engines and gearboxes;
- Also in the future the cars will have ABS and anti-slipping
(ASR) to protect the cars and allow them to be driven in the rain;
There will be also a GPS system to control the trajectories.
- The cars have Avon slick tyres from F3000 (245/635 R 13 in
the front and 315/660 R 13), since those are easier to get than
F1 tyres, but they are cut to look like F1 tyres.
- the base package (6.127 FF ~= 934 Euros) is 2 series of 4
laps in F3 cars (Martini MK 75), a video simulator (to practice
how to use the paddles on the steering wheel to change gears)
and then only 2 laps in the F1. The client may purchase extra
laps at 3.400 FF ~= 518 Euros each 2 laps in the F1.
Address: Av. des Champs-Elysées, 76-78
75008 Paris, France
Phone: +33 4 94 27 83 00
Fax: +33 4 94 27 83 01
Fax: +33 1 42 25 30 81
WWW: www.f1-international.com (at this time this site is content-free)
The info above comes from ads in the French press (Auto-Hebdo and
It is likely that there are similar ads in the British press
(Autosport) and maybe Autosprint or la Gazzetta dello Sport (Italy).
(If you see something, I would appreciate that you email me.)
- RaceInc International Inc.
There is also an English company, called 'Tangerine'.
You can phone 0181 208 3333 (London) for a brochure.
They have an early 90's Tyrrell Cosworth-DFV.
Prices for the (basic ?) one-day package are around £1k.
Yet another possibility is to actually buy a F1 car. They sometimes
appear in auctions, etc... I have seen once a price and it was not too
expensive (about 50K euros, IIRC, but this might be an unusually low
price) for a not very recent, and from a back of the grid team.
Of course, the running costs are probably quite high. In Britain there
are a number of enterprises specializing in keeping those cars running,
so parts, etc.. are not usually a problem except for your wallet.
If you go to the paddock of a BOSS race you can probably meet people
who's business is (also) trading in used F1 cars (ex-F1 cars are raced
in the BOSS
series). (I am told Roger Cowman is a big dealer of racing parts/cars
in the UK.)
These F1s are not only Arrows, Tyrrells, etc... There was a person
selling an ex-Prost Ferrari (1991). The price is a lot higher
than what I wrote above (US$ 725,000 currently).
This car has now be sold (Sep, 3rd, 1999) by US$ 895,000. ex costs ex spares.
In August 1999, Pierre Landereau was selling two Ligier F1s (ads in
The cars are one Ligier JS 33 (1989) and one JS 33 BT (1990).
Both cars are in running condition with revised engines (probably
Cosworth, since that is was they used in those seasons), and spare
parts might be obtained.
The contact given is a French phone number (+33 6 08 30 92 30).
The ad doesn't mention the price asked.