Revised F2 car takes big step forward

Formula 2 is set to take a big step forward in pace in 2010 after its revised car lapped 2.3 seconds faster than the 2009 pole time around Catalunya during its maiden test

Revised F2 car takes big step forward

Among the changes to the Williams JPH1B F2 car for this season are aerodynamic upgrades that have improved aero efficiency by 24 per cent and increased maximum downforce by 30 per cent.

Reigning champion Andy Soucek tried the modifications at Barcelona and Portimao and was thrilled with the results.

"When you have more power, less weight and better aerodynamics then the car is always going to be better, but to be so much quicker straight away was really impressive - even more so because the temperatures were extremely cold and there is very little rubber on the surface of the track," he said.

"Barcelona is perhaps the most complete track in Europe to test on, which is why F1 teams love going there, and it really gave us a good basis to set up the car and evaluate the new changes. Overall the car feels similar to drive to last year's but you can really feel the effect of the aerodynamic improvements and the extra grip they bring."

F2 boss Jonathan Palmer explained that there had not been time to fully refine the car prior to last season's inaugural season, so he had always expected there would be more speed to unlock.

"Patrick Head and the Williams F1 personnel working on F2 have done a great job to substantially hike the performance of the F2 car for 2010," he said. "In 2009 to achieve the target of making our first race on schedule, development time was inevitably compromised as the design had to be frozen for manufacture quite early.

"The 2010 F2 package of upgrades is the result of many months' careful work, particularly aerodynamic modelling with the CFD programme. The team went to Barcelona via Lurcy-Levis in France to do straight line testing, which reassuringly verified the CFD theory.

"It was very encouraging to see such instant pace improvement on the opening day of our test programme at Barcelona. To be 2.4 seconds faster than our fastest pole position time so soon and in less than optimal conditions was pretty impressive."

Although F2 did not run at Portimao last year, Soucek's best time at the Portuguese track was 0.3s quicker than the Formula Renault 3.5 Series pole time there in 2009. The car was 2s down on the FR3.5 pole during its initial run at Catalunya.

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