The BRDC Formula 4 Championship will switch chassis suppliers from the Autumn Cup in 2015. MSV who organise and run the British Racing Drivers Club backed series have signed an exclusive chassis supply deal with Italian single seater manufacturer Tatuus to purchase 26 Tatuus F4 cars. There is an option to purchase an additional four cars to satisfy demand if necessary.
The new chassis will be built to FIA F4 specification which has also been adopted by the Dunlop MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain and is currently used in the Italian Formula 4 Championship.
The current MSV F4-013 chassis was designed and built by Ralph Firman’s Firman Cars operation. The specification of the Cosworth powered machine included a tube frame chassis rather than a carbon fibre safety cell. The new car will add this safety feature to the already robust F4 offering.
Current teams in the championship will get the first chance to purchase the new cars, with orders to be confirmed by September 12th and deposits paid by the start of October this year. Teams with existing chassis will be able to upgrade to the new car for £20,000 with a part exchange style buy back deal valuing the existing cars at just £15,000.
It is expected that the current Duratec derived Cosworth engine and Yokohama tyres will be retained when the new cars hit the track in just over a years’ time.
MSV’s CEO Jonathan Palmer said, “I am delighted that MSV is partnering with Tatuus to supply our next-generation F4 car. The experience and reputation of Tatuus, best known for their highly successful Formula Renault cars, is outstanding, and they are already the world leaders in production of the FIA F4 car, supplying the launch Italian F4 championship. We visited the Tatuus facility near Monza and were very impressed with their whole approach and the quality of the engineering of their F4 chassis. We established an excellent rapport with Tatuus principal Gianfranco De Bellis and I’m looking forward to exploring other projects together, combining MSV’s promotional expertise with Tatuus’s high quality, high value engineering.
“The FIA have done an impressive job on the specifications for FIA F4 cars and it is logical that we take advantage of this for our new car. I have no doubt the combination of the new Tatuus F4 chassis with MSV’s well established and highly successful F4 championship will mean the UK will have an outstandingly healthy F4 championship for the long term.
“It was always planned that we would have a new car to replace our existing chassis after three years. I am most appreciative of the excellent launch car that Ralph Firman designed and built, which has proved the perfect way to start F4 in the UK with big grids providing superbly close, reliable, affordable and safe racing. The existing MSV F4-013 chassis will continue to be used in the 2015 main championship, enabling our BRDC F4 teams to provide the lowest costs to competitors next season and unlimited winter testing.”
Gianfranco De Bellis, Principal of Tatuus added, “For us at Tatuus, it is just fantastic to have this opportunity to supply the new car for the BRDC Formula 4 Championship in England, under the promotion of Jonathan Palmer and his group. We are really confident and motivated. For Tatuus, this is a new and important partnership and we will do our best to reciprocate this trust.
“The intuition of the FIA to create a new regulation to allow young drivers to begin taking their first steps in motorsport, with a car of high safety and low purchasing and running cost, has been rewarded. Different Federations and promoters are choosing F4 and this is the best signal that the work done by all is appreciated”
The move will make Tatuus the dominant supplier of single seater chassis to the junior ranks of racing in the UK. The company provide chassis to Formula Renault 2.0 in Europe and Protyre Formula Renault in the UK though the BRDC Formula 4 Championship have exclusive rights to the F4 chassis.