In the world’s first online launch of a F1 car, Jaguar on Tuesday unveiled its R4 race car, featuring the highest-revving race engine ever built by Cosworth.

In the world’s first online launch of a F1 car, Jaguar on Tuesday unveiled its R4 race car, featuring the highest-revving race engine ever built by Cosworth.

This season's challenger is more of a conventional and less adventurous design than last year's much-maligned R3. The R4 project was led by Dave Pitchforth (managing director of Jaguar Racing) and designed by Ben Agathangelou (head of aerodynamics), Rob Taylor (head of vehicle design) and Mark Gillan (head of vehicle performance).

“We learned an awful lot of lessons last season from the R3 and even though we began the season with a less than satisfactory race car, we actually finished with a sound platform that has benefited some areas on R4,” said Pitchforth.

“With that in mind, we have not taken a radical approach to R4. Some would say that we have gone back to basics but overall, we have opted for a conventional, low risk and robust design based on successful modifications to the R3 and best engineering practice.

“For this season, we have targeted maximum and continuous aerodynamic downforce development and efficiency while maintaining the capability of the package,” he added.

The Jaguar R4 will be fitted with a Cosworth CR-5 V10 engine. It is the first time Cosworth has raced with a 90- degree engine layout and the key benefit, as opposed to a 72-degree engine, is an improved centre of gravity, the manufacturer claims.

Nick Hayes, managing director at Cosworth Racing, said: “I'm not going to quote precise figures for CR-5, but I can tell you that it's the highest-revving engine Cosworth Racing has ever built. High rpm is a good thing for the simple reason that it gives you more bangs per minute - which in turn provides more power; more top- end power, that is. But, again, it's a question of compromise - because sky-high rpm figures can have a detrimental effect on reliability. So, it's a compromise.”

The Jaguar R4 was tested last week at Ford Motor Company's proving ground in Lommel, Belgium. Initial tests provided encouragement for Jaguar Racing, but most observers in the F1 paddock are uncertain of the relatively inexperienced driver pairing of Australian Mark Webber and Brazilian Antonia Pizzonia.

Webber has at least done a year in F1 before - impressing at Minardi during 2002 - and the Australian is expecting to lead the famous marque's revival.

“I'm really confident,” he said. “It's something that I've been looking forward to for a long time. It's the first time I've really had a team preparing everything for me as a driver.

“I'm excited by the new R4. It's going to be a tough year for us but I'm very confident that we can go forward after what happened last year,” Webber added.

“I'm expecting a difficult season, there's a lot of work to be done here and it's always difficult when you are a newcomer as well,” Pizzonia, a former test driver for Williams BMW, said. “I have a lot to learn, but it should be quite interesting as well. I'm looking forward to it.”

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