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04 December 2013 Written by 

Formula One 2014 A Brave New World


FIAThe 2014 season will bring with it some of the biggest changes to Formula One racing’s technical regulations. Some people will applaud the new technical regulations issued by the sport's governing body the FIA.  Others such as Red Bull Racing not so much. Red Bull have put a glossy media spin on it giving it the old "relish the challenge" and "nature of our technical sport" sound bites, but quietly behind closed doors they must be a bit sick after their domination with Vettel over the past few years. Don't get me wrong, they have deserved their success in recent years and they have adapted to each seasons small technical changes but between now and January it has blown the field open with drastic changes for the upcoming season.

There are no fewer than Nine main areas of change for the 2014 Season with drastic changes to the Aerodynamics and Power plant. Below is an overview of the changes by section:

Vue_moteurVue_moteurEngine -
It's time to go back to the Turbo engine for 2014 good for race fuel economy as Formula One continues to push it's green credentials.  However with a short time to test between now and the start of the season, Engine manufactures may struggle with reliability running 600bhp through a V6 Turbo.  It may end up like the last time Turbo power was in Formula One in the late 1980's - it's fast until you blow it up! So it’s out with 2.4-litre normally-aspirated V8 engines and in with 1.6-litre V6 turbo engines, revving to a maximum of 15,000rpm. The current engines produce more than 750bhp, whilst the 2014 units will produce around 600bhp with additional power coming from Energy Recovery Systems (see below).

Gearbox -  
In 2014 the FIA have stipulated that gearboxes are to have eight forward ratios - rather than the current seven - which each team must nominate ahead of the season. Again this ties in nicely with the Formula One going green. However I doubt the addition of an extra gear will have much bearing on the performance of the new cars.

engine-supply-split.engine-supply-split.Energy Recovery Systems (ERS) -
in 2014, a larger proportion of each car’s power will come from ERS, which, together with the engine, make up the power train or power unit. As well as generating energy under braking, ERS units will also generate power using waste heat from the engine’s turbocharger. Unlike the current KERS - which give drivers an extra 80bhp for six seconds per lap - the 2014 ERS will give drivers around 160bhp for 33 seconds per lap. To compensate for the extra power being generated under braking by ERS, teams will be allowed to use an electronic rear brake control system. Although this is a major change in alternative energy harvesting on the car the main area of interest is electronic rear braking systems should be interesting how dramatic the rear of the car can get with punchy turbo and an extra 160bhp dropped into the mix should be a few funny spins early in the season.

Fuel -
to promote fuel efficiency, fuel will be limited to 100kg per race. At the moment fuel is unlimited, but teams typically use around 160kg per race. Again, the promotion on fuel efficiency is a key part of all top level motorsport with Audi going Diesel at Le Mans a few years back.  But let's not get carried away using 60kg less fuel for a race for 2014 may sound impressive but the 1.6-litre V6 turbo will not be half as thirsty as the 2013 season 2.4-litre normally-aspirated V8 engines.

F1TechnicalF1TechnicalMinimum weight -
to compensate for the increased weight of the 2014 power train, minimum weight has been increased from the current 642kg to 690kg.

Exhaust -
unlike today where two exhaust tailpipes are used, the 2014 regulations mandate the use of a single tailpipe which must be angled upwards to prevent the exhaust flow being used for aerodynamic effect. Additionally, bodywork is not allowed to be placed behind the tailpipe.

Nose height  -
for safety reasons the height of noses will be reduced in 2014. The maximum height is currently 550mm, whereas next year it’s 185mm.

Front wing -
front wings will be a little narrower next year with the width reduced from 1800mm to 1650mm.

Rear wing -
the rear wing will also look a little different in 2014 compared to this year’s models. The lower beam wing is being outlawed and the main flap will be slightly shallower in profile.

With all the changes in 2014, it should prove for an interesting season.  

My Predictions for 2014

My predictions would be McLaren to do well with Honda partnering back up to supply engines in 2015.

I also agree that Mercedes are in with a great chance.

I predict Ferrari to struggle but we will see in time.

As for Red Bull Racing you can never write them off because their Chief Designer is a Genius.

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