The 2016 BRDC Formula 4 car underwent testing at Snetterton Circuit, UK, last week. Lotus F1 Team Third and Reserve Driver Jolyon Palmer lapped the ‘300’ circuit layout over five seconds quicker than the current F4 car.
Completing 40 laps across the day, the Tatuus-Cosworth MSV F4-016 toured the track in a fastest time of 1m44.727s. That was 5.038s quicker than the fastest time produced by the current F4-013, a 1m49.765s which was set in the final 30-minute session in the same conditions.
Speaking after the test, Palmer said: “It was a really good day. I had previously only done three laps in the wet at Silverstone, so it was my first real time in the car. You can tell straight away that it is a great racing car.”
He continued: “It is a significant step up from the current car. Power-wise it is a lot better and you can feel the aerodynamic grip is so much greater; the high-speed corners are taken a lot quicker. Everything in the chassis is more direct and stiffer. I think it is going to be a great learning environment for the drivers.”
The new car will make its debut in the 2015 Autumn Trophy at Snetterton and Brands Hatch and is powered by a 2-litre normally aspirated Cosworth engine producing 230bhp. With an improved aerodynamics package, including rear diffuser and a twin-element rear wing, plus a carbon-fibre monocoque chassis, the BRDC state it will make the Championship the fastest F4 series anywhere in the world.
The BRDC hopes that the car will to fill the current gap between FIA F4 Championships and international single-seater categories, where it believes the step-up in performance is ‘currently vast’.
Series promoter MSV has already sold 24 of the initial order of 26 cars to existing teams in the championship. The Tatuus-Cosworth MSV F4-016 will be raced in the 2016 main championship, following its Autumn Trophy debut, and for at least four years subsequently with a maximum of 30 cars permitted to enter in 2016.