The new 2014 Formula One season has got off to a cracking start and many of the eleven teams and twenty-two drivers will be making the necessary changes to their strategies, setups, race management and driving styles and techniques despite much testing before hand, as real world racing can bring up many unforeseen issues and challenges.
However, the controversial FIA imposed rules and regulations will take some time for the teams and drivers to get used to and many are not happy with these changes, including Bernie Ecclestone who has already stated that the new Formula One’s fuel rules are “a joke”. Many teams are also having technical teething problems with engine faults and reliability issues, as well as electrical malfunctions and design restrictions.
With such controversy and uncertainty, this year’s Formula One results are now wide open to debate and it is any one’s bet on which drivers or constructor will make it through the season and end up on top. Why not take a look at the current formula 1 William Hill betting odds.
Some of the 2014 F1 changes include:
1.6 litre V6 engines
The new engines are 1.6 litre V6 turbocharged 600bhp engines, down from 750bhp from the old 2.4 litre V8’s. The fuel has also been limited to 100kg (160kg’s last year), consumed at less than 100kg per hour. Although in theory these changes shouldn’t be a major problem, as the cars also get the use of the ERS (Energy Recovery System), which combines the use of the KERS system and second electric motor. The new setup for the KERS see’s an increase from 80bhp to 160bhp over last years and can now be used for 33 seconds as opposed to 6.7 seconds previously. The second electric motor uses energy gained from the engine turbo and can be used straightaway with no turbo lag or it can even be stored in the battery. The new 1.6 litre engines must also last twice as long as the previous 2.4 litre engines before being replaced.
Cars design and setup
The cars design has much emphasis placed on safety, with a new nose, narrower front wings, removal of the lower beam wing, lowering of the car, moving the exhaust (which can no longer aid in down force) and other such changes. All will have an effect on aerodynamics and the way in which the teams can work around such changes. The cars gear ratio must also be chosen before the first race at the beginning of the season and kept throughout the whole season.
Rules and regulations
The race rules have also seen a few changes, such as new qualifying rules, a new points system, a sliding penalty system, which also includes a 12 point per calendar year race ban similar to that of regular driving licence holders and the ability for the race stewards to be able to issue a 5 second penalty if a drive through penalty is deemed to be too severe. Drivers will also be issued with a permanent race number to be kept for their entire career in F1.