The superb new 2016 BRDC F4 car was unveiled in the Silverstone Wing on Saturday (30 May) by MSV Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer. The Tatuus-Cosworth MSV F4-016 is based on the Tatuus FIA F4 car with a substantial package of enhancements, which lift the performance of the 2016 BRDC F4 car much above the current BRDC F4 single-seater as well as FIA F4 and MSA Formula, to make 2016 BRDC F4 a logical feeder to F3 and GP3.
A major upgrade for BRDC F4 is moving to a carbon fibre chassis, utilising the Italian Tatuus FIA F4 survival cell and a car that is compliant with the latest FIA F3 safety standards. In a clear move to distance the BRDC F4 car upwards from the 15-year-old driver-compliant FIA F4, the new single-seater introduces a new Cosworth 230bhp 4 cylinder normally aspirated engine together with a Sadev six-speed paddle shift gearbox with LSD, AP 4 pot front brakes, Pirelli tyres and high downforce aerodynamics.
Jonathan Palmer, MSV Chief Executive said: "Our new BRDC F4 car is an extremely exciting new concept that is the culmination of a year of careful deliberation by MSV. Our current BRDC F4 car pioneered the introduction of affordable single-seater racing in 2012 and has been highly acclaimed. We have now used our unrivalled and growing experience of junior single-seater racing to introduce a new car that will not just take over from our original BRDC F4 chassis but fill an obvious gap in the international single-seater career ladder.
"MSV's original RFR car uses a steel tube chassis and a 185bhp Ford Duratec engine. Our new F4 single-seater has the highly acclaimed Tatuus FIA F4 composite chassis as its core, but with substantial evolution by MSV to produce an outstanding new racing car that has much increased performance compared with both the BRDC F4 and FIA F4 machines.
"The benefits of a normally aspirated engine at this level are substantial and we are delighted to have worked with Cosworth to produce an outstanding, pure racing engine. Cosworth has considerably developed the Duratec 4 cylinder 2-litre motor for MSV to produce 230bhp at 8000rpm, with strenuous focus placed upon outstanding equality of performance, reliability and driveability, with sharp throttle response. And it sounds great too!"
The six-speed Sadev paddle shift gearbox is an evolution from that in the existing BRDC F4 car, but with the significant addition of a limited slip differential to not only aid traction with the increased power but also contribute to the education of drivers.
The Tatuus chassis features substantially more downforce than the current BRDC F4 car, with the addition of secondary flaps on both front and rear wings together with a composite rear diffuser which results in a total increase in aerodynamic downforce of 81 per cent and an efficiency improvement of 47 per cent compared with the FIA F4 specification car.
Despite the additional power and downforce, the weight of the new Tatuus-Cosworth MSV F4 car, less driver, is just 495kg, compared with 515kg for the current BRDC car and 540kg for the MSA Formula Mygale.
The performance of the new 2016 BRDC F4 car will be substantially higher than both BRDC F4 and FIA F4, due mainly to its much greater power and downforce. The excellent Pirelli tyres introduced for BRDC F4 in 2015 will continue to be used. Lap times are estimated to be around four seconds faster on a typical circuit.
Palmer added: "New BRDC F4 will be the perfect stepping stone for drivers wishing to progress from the various national FIA F4 series, but who are either unable to secure a F3 or GP3 budget or simply wish to gain more experience in a car much closer to F3 at a fraction of the cost. FIA F4 has been a considerable success, but the limitations imposed by permitting 15-year-olds to race, including just 160bhp, do mean that many drivers will wish to progress to a higher performance car as soon as they are able to, at 16-years-old. On the other hand there will be many young drivers who will feel able to make the jump straight to a 230bhp single-seater directly from karts, which they will continue to race at 15-years-old.
"Because 2016 BRDC F4 will fill a big gap as an F3/GP3 feeder series, it is important that the technical regulations provide the scope for teams to help prepare the drivers for the next step. We have deliberately introduced a lot more sophistication compared with FIA F4, with incorporation of two way adjustable dampers, a limited slip differential, front and rear adjustable antiroll bars, extensive spring choices, a wide range of aerodynamic adjustment and enhanced data logging capability.
"Finally we have been committed to ensuring that the pioneering low cost of BRDC F4 continues with the new car. Budgets for the 2015 eight event, 24-race championship run from £80,000 - £120,000 and we estimate that budgets for 2016 BRDC F4 will be just £10,000 - £15,000 greater, so £90,000 to £135,000 for the championship season. New BRDC F4 will be the most incredible championship, combining high performance, great equality of equipment, highest levels of safety and remarkably low cost. BRDC F4 is sure to nurture the talent of F1 drivers of the future."
The directors of Tatuus Racing flew directly from the Italian FIA F4 Championship event at Monza to be at the BRDC F4 launch at Silverstone.
Gianfranco de Bellis, Commercial Director said: "This is a very significant venture for us and we wanted to be here at the launch personally. We are delighted that Tatuus was selected by MSV to provide the chassis for the next evolution of the BRDC F4 Championship. For us, the UK is an incredibly significant market and to be associated with such a strong championship is a very positive thing for Tatuus. MSV is a very successful promoter and we know the championship has a great future."
Technical Director, Artico Sandona, added: "It's an excellent demonstration of how the foundation-level FIA F4 car can be developed and evolved for race series operating at a higher performance level. We are flattered to have been selected to partner MSV as BRDC F4 moves to the next level."
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.
The 2015 Autumn Trophy will feature eight races across two weekends in November. The first four races of the series will take place on the Snetterton 300 circuit on 7/8 November, with the Brands Hatch Indy circuit hosting the final quartet of races on 14/15 November. Each race day will comprise a 20-minute qualifying session followed by two 20 minute races.
Teams interested in purchasing the new BRDC F4 car should contact Giles Butterfield on 01234 332406 or via email email@example.com.