New FR3.5 car makes public debut
|By Peter Mills||Sunday, August 21st 2011, 11:31 GMT|
GP2 championship leader Romain Grosjean gave the 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 car its first public demonstration at Silverstone's World Series by Renault meeting on Sunday.
Grosjean has been one of three development drivers of the machine, along with inaugural Formula 2 champion Andy Soucek and former Formula Renault 3.5 runner-up Ben Hanley. Testing has been conducted at Motorland Aragon, Jerez and Albacete.
"We wanted to improve our position in the market which is already strong," said Renault-Sport's Jean-Pascal Dauce. "The target was to be 1.5s to 2s quicker on a 4km track and we feel we have comfortably reached those targets."
Details of the car were first announced in Monaco in May. A new Zytek engine has increased power by 50bhp, to 530bhp, over the outgoing model. Weight is reduced by 15kg thanks to the removal of the car's battery and the introduction of an innovative supercaps system, and downforce has been increased by an estimated 30 per cent.
The car also features a Formula 1-style Drag Reduction System. Further changes include a new gearbox by Ricardo, state-of-the-art ECU and data logger by new supplier to the series Cosworth Electronics, and software provided by Pi.
On the suspension side, two-way adjustable dampers have been introduced by Sachs, and the uprights are stiffer and lighter. The brakes will feature a new carbon material and calipers, and finally the car will feature new slick and wet tyres from Michelin.