• YoungDrive at Snetterton
  • MSV Trackdays
New Tatuus BRDC F4 car blitzes Snetterton

Thursday, July 16 2015

Lotus F1 Team Third and Reserve Driver Jolyon Palmer tested the new-for-2016 BRDC Formula 4 car at Snetterton last Friday (10 July), and demonstrated its stunning pace by lapping the 300 circuit over five seconds quicker than the current F4 car.

Completing 40 trouble-free 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, Jolyon was hugely impressed by the performance of the new car: "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, which will make its debut in the 2015 Autumn Trophy at Snetterton and Brands Hatch, 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, it will make the BRDC Formula 4 Championship the fastest F4 series anywhere in the world.

Former British Formula 3 race winner Riki Christodoulou and 2014 BRDC Formula 4 Champion George Russell, have both taken to the cockpit of the new car in recent weeks, hailing it as "pure excellence" and "really impressive".

These were sentiments echoed by 24-year-old Palmer following his day of testing at the Norfolk venue. "The straight-line speed is fantastic," he said. "The car works so efficiently, the engine is great and you can gauge when you are on track next to the current car, exactly how and where it is better. It is clearly a massive step forward for the series."

For those young drivers looking to reach the upper echelons of the motorsport ladder, either graduating from karting or already with junior single-seater experience, the new car will teach them all the necessary skills, Palmer believes: "The objective is to beat the competition. The way you do that is to improve your driving but also to improve your set-up and understanding of the car." He continued: "The car is definitely a lot more responsive to set-up changes, offers a much greater range of set-up options and the drivers will be able to work with their teams and engineers to fine-tune their car more extensively than they currently do. It is a high-performance car so it will be good to prepare drivers for the next categories, such as Formula 3 or GP3."

The new car will enable the Duo BRDC Formula 4 Championship to fill the current gap between FIA F4 Championships and international single-seater categories, where the step-up in performance is currently vast. After his day behind the wheel of the Tatuus-Cosworth, Palmer believes it will be the perfect stepping stone for those moving up the motorsport ladder: "With the higher level of performance, it will be a much better feeder series than current FIA F4 Championships. The aerodynamic grip increases rapidly as you progress into F3 and GP3 so the new car will be a major help in preparing for that."

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.

Teams interested in purchasing the new BRDC F4 car should contact Giles Butterfield on 01234 332406 or via email gb@msv.com.