MGI has played a significant role in contemporising the Formula 1 two-seater car, which is back in action at the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend.
CEO Mike Gascoyne is overseeing the running of the car from the Hungaroring pitlane, working with aviation entrepreneur and former Minardi Team Principal, Paul Stoddart, as part of the affectionately known “11th team” in the paddock.
The car, whose origins are found in the 1998 Tyrrell 026, itself designed under Mike’s technical directorship, has undergone a substantial upgrade with MGI designing and manufacturing an entirely new bodywork package in line with the 2018 F1 technical regulations.
The result is the most modern and highest performing two-seater car, which offers passengers the closest experience to modern day Formula 1 possible.
“Liberty Media approached Paul at the Australian GP in 2017 about running a two-seater programme under the new F1 Experiences banner,” explains Mike. “Paul did that with his Minardi two-seaters, which themselves were based on the 1998 Tyrrell that I designed. I came on board in mid-2017 to help run that programme from a technical point of view.“ For 2018, Paul commissioned the team at MGI to design and develop a brand new bodywork package for the car to bring it fully up-to-date with the latest regulations.”
The MGI team of engineers got to work in late 2017 on the project, with a focus on designing a new, wider front wing, rear wing, roll hoop and bargeboards. The new bodywork gave the two-seater a striking new look, with heads turning on its first appearance of the 2018 season at Barcelona in May.
In addition to the aero elements, MGI also improved the passenger fit in the car and installed cameras. The result is an enhanced experience, greater comfort and improved visibility, with zero compromise on safety.
“It’s all been about enhancing the experience for the people in the car – driver and passenger,” adds Mike. “We have seen Jenson Button, Anthony Davidson and Paul di Resta take guests around in Barcelona and Silverstone, and they have all seemed impressed with the car. Introduction of an upgrated, technologically advanced two-seater has become an important part of the F1 Experience programme. I am thrilled that MGI is able to be part of it.”