Making its appearance in 2000, Formula Renault 2.0 quickly established itself as an obligatory port of call for young drivers hungry for a career at the very highest level, among them Kimi Raikkonen, who made the switch straight from the category to Formula One. Likewise, Heikki Kovalainen, Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Robert Kubica, Kamui Kobayashi, Jean-Eric Vergne, Daniel Ricciardo, Romain Grosjean, Jules Bianchi, Paul Di Resta, Charles Pic and Pastor Maldonado have all cut their teeth at the wheel of an FR 2.0 before going on to a bigger stage.
A no-nonsense yet high-performance single-seater, the Formula Renault 2.0 has been designed to respond to a specific set of requirements, including a season budget cap, fair competition between drivers, excellent reliability and a performance potential that allows the very best drivers to shine. Providing significant scope for mechanical and aerodynamic adjustments, the FR 2.0 gives aspiring drivers every chance to learn the ropes. And in prohibiting modifications to the engine and the electronic control unit, among other parts of the car, Renault Sport ensures identical performance for everyone. It’s behind the wheel where the difference is made.
Following a rigorous study and development programme, in 2010 Renault Sport introduced a revamped single-seater offering improved performance and handling more akin to cars higher up the formula racing pyramid.
Assembled at the Alpine factory in Dieppe in line with an optimised process, each car is inspected and race-prepared prior to delivery. Driver safety is also a core feature of the FR 2.0, the first single-seater to be homologated to FIA F3 2011 standards. With considerable enhancements made in this respect, the FR 2.0 is the benchmark for others to follow.
Chassis and suspension system
To increase cornering speed race cars should hold the road perfectly. The Formula Renault 2.0 car is equipped with two-way adjustable shock absorbers (one at the front and two at the rear) to optimise the car’s handling, while the new aerodynamic kit, designed by Tatuus, increases the tub’s torsional strength by 20 percent, an upgrade that enhances the role of the suspension system and makes the car more sensitive to set-up modifications.
A number of separate adjustments can be made to the car : the rideheight wheel TOE, camber, spring stiffness, anti-roll, height of the roll centre and anti-lift. The set-up of the front and rear wings may also be changed.
Thanks to its perfect mass distribution, track performance closely resembles that of Formula Renault 3.5, and they both offer similar handling. The transition from Formula Renault 2.0 to Formula Renault 3.5 is a natural one, reflecting a desire to create a driver development programme that helps the very best making it to Formula 1.
The new-look Formula Renault 2.0 takes after the Formula Renault 3.5. Working closely with Italian manufacturer Tatuus, Renault Sport Technologies has employed the latest design tools in putting it together, chief among them CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics), while also subjecting the car to wind-tunnel testing with the aim of creating a modern and visually appealing single-seater.
The front and rear wings have been retained, part of the ongoing commitment to managing costs, while all other carbon fibre features have received upgrades. The nose, side-pods, engine hood and diffuser are all new, ramping up the efficiency of Formula Renault 2.0, which weights 20 kilos less than the previous version.
With the exception of the anti-intrusion panels, Formula Renault 2.0 has been designed in line with the FIA’s F3 2012 safety standards with, in particular, new tub shapes and new nose, also used as front crashbox.
As with all modern single-seaters, downforce is generated by adjustable wings and the flat bottom/diffuser assembly, which draws the car to the ground by accelerating the flow of air under the floor. Aerodynamics have been enhanced as a result of an increased load of 17%, greater than the increase in drag, thus upping the Formula Renault 2.0’s cornering efficiency.
With a chassis that is more responsive to the car’s settings and behaves more like Formula Renault 3.5, drivers will have to work closely with their engineers to get the best set-up at each track.
Braking is a strong suit of all Renault Sport vehicles. The engineers of the design office have contributed to keeping costs down by fitting the same components at the front and rear, with four-piston callipers. The use of improved discs in the upgraded Formula Renault 2.0 increases brake lifespan.The braking efficiency allows drivers to brake harder and later, while aerodynamic improvements result in greater stability.
Formula Renault 2.0 takes its naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine from the Clio III Renault Sport Mk 2. Delivering 20bhp more than its previous incarnation, the engine is similar to the production version but has been race-prepared with the inclusion of a dry sump, an oil pump and reinforced connecting rod screws. The original intake manifold and motorised throttle valve have also been retained in the single-seater version.
In a bid to increase performance, make the car easier to run and ensure a level playing field, Renault Sport Racing has made the ECU a core concept in the design of Formula Renault 2.0. The car features not one but two electronic units. The first one, which can be accessed by Renault Sport Racing engineers only, controls the engine and gearbox, thus making technical checks easier.
The function of the second unit is to acquire data. Connected to ToolBox software developed by Cosworth, it allows the teams to exploit the data cars generate. Modern and easy to use, it is a system that makes the jobs of drivers and engineers easier.
Formula Renault 2.0 is delivered with builtin chassis sensors that generate a much broader range of parameters than ever before.
The steering wheel, which comes with a colour instrument panel, displays a range of data to the driver and their team.
The Formula Renault 2.0’s paddle-operated seven-speed sequential Sadev gearbox gives drivers the opportunity to get acquainted with a system similar to the one used in Formula One.
To make the most of everything the car has to offer, Michelin has developed a range of tyres specific to it. Large in size, they give Formula Renault 2.0 even more balance.
Each capable of running for up to 200 kilometres, they are much more durable too, reducing the number of sets required over a season.
|Type||Carbon fiber monocoque|
|Type||F4R 832 - 4 cylinder - naturally aspired - 16 valve - 1,998cc|
|Bore and stroke||82.7 x 93mm|
|Maximum power||210bhp at 7,500rpm|
|Maximum torque||220Nm at 7,500rpm|
|Maximum engine speed||7,500rpm|
|Gearbox||Sadev 7-speed sequential + reverse gear|
|Rims||aluminium, front 13x9’’, rear 13x10’’|
|Tyres||Michelin, front 20-54x13, rear 24-57x13, S412 (slick) et P412 (wet)|
|Dimensions, weight et capacities|
|Length / width / height||4,363 / 1,733 / 963mm|
|Front/rear track||1,502 / 1,440mm|
|Fuel tank capacities||50 litres|