Super Formula, Japan’s top-line single-seater series, has completed development of its innovative new spec chassis and confirmed it will be introduced in 2023.
Announced in October 2021, the joint development project between the series and its two engine suppliers Honda and Toyota has utilised several technologies that are new to top-level motorsport with the aim of having cars that are more sustainably manufactured and operated.
Dubbed the ‘SF23’, the updated Dallara chassis will use new bodywork supplied by Swiss firm Bcomp that is made of a bio-composite material that maintains “the same rigidity and weight as the conventional carbon materials but focused completely on the application of natural substances such as hemp-derived materials,” according to the series.
By switching from carbon fibre to bio-composite, the reduction in CO2 emissions from manufacturing alone is said to be 75%. Following crashes when parts have to be replaced, this will also be a more sustainable method of providing spare components.
The bodywork is also being revised for 2023 to change the aerodynamic profile of the cars. This is being done with the goal of having close racing, and includes a radical reshaping of the front and rear wings and additional aerodynamic appendages on the sidepods.
Tyre supplier Yokohama has also worked on creating a more sustainable product. Its single-specification slick compounds will be made from “approximately 33% recycled and renewable raw materials” in 2023, it says. Yokohama claims it is its first “carbon neutral racing tyre”, which follows Super Formula’s ambition to become a carbon neutral series, a target shared by F1.
Over 10,000km of testing has been completed at multiple circuits in Japan with the new bodywork and tyres.
The technical overhaul for the series is accompanied by a revamped digital media approach that includes introducing an F1 TV-style live streaming and archive video service with features such as being able to listen to team radio and viewing live telemetry.
The full grid for Super Formula’s 2023 season has already been announced, with three rookies arriving in the series. Red Bull junior Liam Lawson will step up from Formula 2 to race for Team Mugen, Formula Regional Americas champion Raoul Hyman has landed a seat at B-MAX Racing thanks to a scholarship from Honda and Super Formula Lights runner-up Kakunoshin Ohta has been given a chance at Dandelion Racing.
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