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“Drive like Lewis Hamilton in the streets for just $110,000?”- Can you buy yourself a Formula 1 car that’s legal for driving on road?

Somin Bhattacharjee

"Drive like Lewis Hamilton in the streets for just $110,000?"- Can you buy yourself a Formula 1 car that's legal for driving on road?

Many Formula 1 fans have the dream of driving a real F1 car just like the likes of Lewis Hamilton and their other favorite drivers do. 

It’s very difficult to drive an F1 car on the road due to obvious reasons. The factors that could cause problems include height, suspension and engine. However, it’s not something that is unheard of.

The Mastercard Lola F1 team took part in just one race in the 1997 F1 Championship. It was to be their only outing, after which they decided to pull away from the sport due to financial and technical reasons. However, the team is also famous for taking the initiative of building F1’s first ever road car, the F1R.

Lola’s F1 car was so bad that it wasn’t even able to qualify for the race, because it was 13 seconds off pace. As a result MasterCard cancelled their sponsorship deal after just one race. The team still had spare parts which they had to put to some use, so they decided to start this project.

Also read: “$500,000 to Wires Wildlife Rescue”- When Lewis Hamilton donated half a million after knowing billion animals died in Australian fires

Can you buy a real Formula 1 car for driving on the road legally?

First and foremost, they used the bodywork and a few other components to make the exterior of the car. The main challenge to make it legal started thereafter, as the regulations of an F1 car are drastically different to that of legal road cars.

F1 cars don’t have high suspension, so having the same ones would cause trouble with things speed bumps. As a result, the engineers raised the height by about 5 cm. The engine was a 2.0 litre four-cylinder Cosworth engine which would deliver 370 hp.

The engineers used components from different sports cars, to complete the F1R. It was a significantly weaker version of an actual Formula 1 car, but one which definitely looked and functioned like one.

The car was listed for sale back in 2016, but since then nothing much has been heard regarding it or whether it’s been used. Luxury auction house Bonhams valued the price of the car to be between $75,000 and $117,000. At the time of listing, the F1R had a mileage of just 25 miles, meaning it wasn’t very used.

Also read: Are F1 cars street legal?: Why Formula 1 cars can’t run on road

About the author

Somin Bhattacharjee

Somin Bhattacharjee


Somin Bhattacharjee is an F1 editor at The SportsRush and has written more than 2000 articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and considers sports to be a part of his life. Somin has been a fan of Scuderia Ferrari since 2010 and his favorite driver is none another than the legendary Fernando Alonso. Other than longing for a Ferrari Championship win once again, Somin spends his free time playing football and basketball.

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