2009 FIA Formula Two Champion Andy Soucek says the Williams-designed F2 car has already made significant improvements as the Spaniard continues to play a major role in developing the car prior to the 2010 season.
The 24-year-old confirmed initial upgrades had resulted in a gain of around one second per lap compared to the 2009 car during recent testing in Portugal. With further advances due to be introduced later this month, Soucek is confident the car will be up to three seconds per lap faster than its predecessor.
“The car is developing nicely and we have already made progress with the set-up, extra power, electronics and the throttle map,” said Soucek. “The car was already more than a second quicker than the others in Portimão and we still have a lot to come, so it is all very positive.
Andy Soucek in the F2 test car as the sun sets at Portimão
“I am very focused on developing the F2 car - after one year of knowing the car, the championship and all of the personnel I was very keen to be involved. The program went really well before Christmas - Giles Butterfield and the team are working really hard and I am enjoying working with them very much. It has been hard work but also very rewarding.”
The 2010 F2 car is set to be dubbed the Williams JPH1B after undergoing a raft of changes over the winter, including an increase in engine power and improved aero efficiency. One of the major improvements already tested is the new high flow Garrett turbocharger, which will raise standard power from 400bhp to 425bhp this season. The new turbocharger will produce an even greater gain on overboost, with power increasing from 450bhp to 480bhp. Other improvements were also tested, but further significant advances are set to be incorporated over the coming weeks.
Soucek will continue his testing duties, alongside regular test driver Steven Kane, when the pair travel to Barcelona and Portimão later this month. The aerodynamic upgrades designed by the Williams F1 team will be available for these tests and the overall weight of the car is set to be significantly reduced. A number of new and improved tire compounds are also set to be tried and tested.
“I am looking forward to the new aero package and the reduction in weight - I hope that the 2010 car will be around three seconds per lap quicker than last year,” concluded the Spaniard. “We have an important program in the coming weeks and I am really excited about it. The plan is to improve the car in all areas and I will be proud to be a part of the presentation once it is finished. No matter where I am over the coming years I always want to be a part of F2 – I owe Jonathan Palmer and the championship a lot and I am delighted to be closely involved in F2’s future.”
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