Rule Changes in F1 2014
With only 4 weeks to go until the first race of the 2014 F1 season, we thought it would be a good idea to look at the main rule changes that have been introduced for 2014.
The main change for the coming season in F1 is the move over to a 1.6-litre V6 turbo engine. I don’t intend to go into too much technical details regarding the new engines as this was covered in more detail in an earlier post regarding them.
One of the main reasons for the move over to the V6 turbo is because this is the first time in seven years that engine development in F1 has been agreed. Also it now allows the new engines to take full advantage of more up to date technological advances in engine design and build.
The new V6 engines have been developed to use less fuel and therefore does in some way help improve F1’s green credentials. In the coming season each car will only be allowed to use 100kg of fuel for each race. This is a 50kg reduction from last year, as the engines can make use of more power from the hybrid technology of Ers.
The drivers and their teams will now have to manage the power output to the fuel consumption rate. Using too much fuel early in the race could mean they will empty their tanks before they reach the finishing line.
The other issue that drivers will have to come to terms with; is that since the introduction of the V8 engines, they have become used to the refinements that have been made over the previous years. With the new engines they will not have this refinement. This will make driving the new cars more of a challenge for them.
The V6 engines will also produce more power than the V8, so watching how different drivers not only handle this new power, but how they use the extra power against their opponents in a race will be exciting, to say the least.
It is not only the engines that have people talking; there has been some radical redesigning of the bodywork to the cars as well.
The nose of the cars has been dropped by 415mm for safety reasons. The reasons for dropping the height of the nose are:
- It will reduce the dangers to a driver if they are T-boned. This is where the front of one car hits the side of another car. With the nose not as high there is less chance of a driver being hit.
- The dropped nose will also prevent a car from being launched into the air if it hits the rear wheels of the car in front of it.
The front wing has also been made narrower which will make it harder for teams to direct the airflow around the front tyres. This change has the affect of altering the entire aerodynamic down force on the car.
The lower rear beam has also been removed, stopping teams from linking up the different airstreams flowing over the rear wing and through the car’s floor. This overall effect will reduce the down force and as a result will make rear aerodynamics more critical for teams.
The biggest impact of the redesign changes though has to be the new positioning of the exhaust. The new rules state that teams can only have a single, central exhaust pipe, which will exit above the gear box. This puts an end to “exhaust-blown-floors”. This was where teams such as Red Bull used the exhaust gases to boost down force on the car, and was one of the main reason they dominated F1 in recent seasons.
If the ground breaking technical changes were not enough on their own, one of the most controversial talking points has been the decision to award double points for the final race. As you are aware, this was dreamed up by Bernie Ecclestone to try and prevent championships being decided too early in the season.
To me this seems the same as locking the gate once the horse has bolted. Just because one driver seems to be running away with the championship, awarding double points for the last race does not mean that another driver will win, and therefore get the points. If a driver is winning the majority of races in a season, there is a good chance they will win the last race and pick up double points.
There is also going to be the introduction of a 5 second penalty for minor offences. Points will be given to drivers for misdemeanours, and any driver who picks up 12 points in a calendar year will receive an automatic race ban.
Another less controversial change is that drivers will now be able to choose their car number for their entire career, although number one will be reserved for use by the reigning world champion, if they want to use it.
F1 Weekly Round Up
2015 Budget Cap
Bernie Ecclestone is looking to offer a reward of 1 million euros to anyone that provides evidence of teams who break the budget cap, which is set to come into force in 2015. Beginning next season all teams will have to stick to a $200 million budget cap. This is being implemented to cut the costs of competing in F1.
There is a rumour being circulated that Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton are teaming up to try and stop Sebastian Vettel from claiming his fifth world title this season. However the real truth is that the McLaren and Mercedes teams are sharing information to make sure they are as ready as possible for the start of the season.
Jenson Button put it in to more believable context when he said “
Lotus Boosts Renaults Hopes
Lotus completed their first test of their new car at Jerez on Saturday, without any major problems. Lotus managed to run the car for the maximum 100km without any major incident. Renault said that it had fitted the car with developments aimed at fixing the problems experienced by other teams at the Jerez test. This is good new for Renault with the testing in Bahrain that is due to take place next week.
Honda to Return to F1
Honda are set to make a return to F1 next season with its V6 engine powering the McLaren team. They have already set up their Formula One European operations head quarters in Milton Keynes and have powered the McLaren team to 4 consecutive championship doubles between 1988 and 1991.