3 Jul 2012

British Grand Prix grid recreated with road cars!

Our post on supercars for the price of a brand new Toyota Auris proved popular so we've once again taken to the pages of Autotrader for a spectacular new venture - the British Grand Prix of second hand cars!

There are currently twelve F1 teams.  We've found a car in the pages of Autotrader to represent each team.  The budget is £10,000 for the top five teams and £5000 for the rest of the grid.  The car has to represent the team in spirit as well as name (if possible) thereby giving us at least some link to the 750bhp beasts that will start the British Grand Prix on Sunday.

The grid looks like this:

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes - Mercedes SLK 350

Given that it was impossible to find any McLaren road cars for less than £160,000 we had to go for a Mercedes.  The SLK is nearest to the McLaren philosophy.  It's silver, has a tiptronic gearbox and the grille looks just pretty racy.  Let's hope Jenson doesn't take too long to get used to it's tyres.

Red Bull Racing - Renault Alpine GTA V6

Arguably the hardest car to match to a road car given the team is owned by a soft drink company.  However it is powered by a Renault engine so this lovely Renault Alpine GTA fits the bill and comes in just under budget.  Sadly not a convertible but it is the sportiest Renault for under ten grand.

Scuderia Ferrari - Ferrari Mondial 3.2 Coupe

You might think it impossible to find a real Ferrari for under £10,000.  Almost but not quite impossible.  Hidden amongst the MR2 based dogs is this beauty.  A real Ferrari for £9500.  Alright it's not the finest car Maranello has ever produce but it's a Ferrari and it's under ten grand.  Bargain.

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team - Mercedes Benz C43 AMG Special Edition

For an F1 team with a name that's a bit of a mouthful comes this lovely C Class with a name that's also a bit of a mouthful.  This silver beauty comes with all the right credentials to power Michael and Nico off the grid - a V8, AMG, rear wheel drive.  Mega.

Lotus F1 Team - Lotus Elise

There are lots of Elise's for sale within our budget but only this one is in black.  With a few well placed gold stickers this little speedster is the closest car so far to matching it's F1 cousin.  Shame they didn't make the Elise with a Renault engine.

Sahara Force India F1 Team - Tata Safari 2.0 TDI EX

We've already had two Mercedes and despite their Indian ownership we can't stretch the rules to the Tata owned Jaguar Land Rover so it has to be the Tata Safari.  OK so it's no race car but if July carries on the recent British tradition of having the wettest spring on record then the Force India Tata Safari could spring a few surprises.

Sauber F1 Team - BMW Z3 2.2

How to replicate the Sauber F1 Team with a budget road car?  They use Ferrari engines so that's out of the question - we already used the only Ferrari available.  The only solution is to refer to Sauber's BMW years.  As such we've chosen this Z3 in gleaming white.  So it ticks two boxes - BMW and white.  That'll do.

Scuderia Torro Rosso - Fiat Punto

This is more difficult than we initially expected.  Another Ferrari engine, another soft drink manufacturer backed team.  So - Italian, links to Ferrari, fizzy little motor.  That'll be a Fiat Punto.  At least it's in blue.  Throw a few Red Bull stickers at it and you won't spot the difference.  Somehow we don't think Vergne would go much slower than usual at Silverstone in this thing.

Williams F1 Team - Renault Clio Williams

At last an easy one!  Williams - tick.  Renault engine - tick.  Blue - tick.  F1 heritage - errr maybe.

Caterham F1 Team - DAX Rush Not Westfield Caterham

No Caterhams for under £5000 but we did find this DAX, which is cunningly advertised as not being a Caterham.  Although it does look very similar.  With a touch of green paint you wouldn't notice.

HRT F1 Team - Ford Fiesta

Spanish.  Slow.  Ford engine.  White.  This white Ford Fiesta does 0-60 in 14 seconds and was made in Valencia.  An exact match in terms of performance and looks.  In fact it might even be faster than the real HRT.

Marussia F1 Team - TVR Chimaera 4 litre

The Marussia F1 car is made and designed in England with an English engine and without using a wind tunnel and it breaks down regularly - but the team is Russian owned.  What else could it be but a TVR?

The grid is complete.  Who will win, who will retire and who will come last?