As we move closer to the first race of the 2014 Formula One Championship the new rule changes are going to certainly shake up the results. Early testing has shown that Teams like Mercedes AMG have shown great pace and are looking very strong for 2014 while Red Bull might not be as ready to maintain their domination of previous years. And the ‘new-look’ cars are certainly creating discussion! But what are these changes and how will it effect the teams?
Well Federico Caruso has put together a concise list of the rule changes to help get you ready for the 16th March in Melbourne!
F1 2014 is introducing the biggest set of rule changes in its history in this season.
First thing, the 2.4 litre aspired V8s, which have been in use since 2006, have been replaced by 1.6 litre V6 Turbo with 8-speed semi automatic gearbox.
Turbo engines are back in F1 for the first time since 1988, and will be used as part of the Energy recovery system (ERS).
The new engines have strong acceleration, and sound different to the previous V8 engines used. Horsepower is down from 750 to 600 and the RPM limit fails from 18,000 to 15,000.
The new Engine Recovery System is now delivered to the rear wheels via the throttle, rather than activated by a button on the steering wheel. Thus, an ERS problem will have a bigger effect on the car’s performance.
Last year, the ERS was allowed to produce 60kw for up to 6.7 seconds a lap. This year, however, it can produce 150kw for 30 seconds.
This electric motor also increases the efficiency of the turbo and can be used to ensure it works the instant the driver applies the throttle.
In the past, turbo engines have always had a slight throttle lag – a delay in power while the turbo gets up to speed. This has been removed in these new engines.
Such dramatic changes mean reliability will be a major concern, certainly at the start of the season.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has said he believes failure rates in races could be as high as 50%.
Introduction of an 8-speed semi automatic gearbox.
From 2014, F1 gearboxes have an extra gear; however these eight gears must be selected before the first race of the season and then those same ratios must be used at every track on the calendar.
Therefore it’s imperative that the teams come up with a range of ratios suitable for every track – no easy task with circuits ranging from tight and twisty Monaco to flat-out Monza.
There will now be a single, central exhaust tailpipe, preventing teams from diverting hot gases into the diffuser to gain downforce.
Using exhaust gases to increase downforce was one of the key technical reasons why Red Bull has dominated F1 over the past 4 years.
With a central single exhaust pipe, which exits above the gearbox, it means the gases can no longer be harnessed in this way.
Not only engine changes affect the cars, but a series of rule changes will give the race cars a different look this year, some are saying an ugly look.
The front nose has the most drastic change.
It’s been lowered by 415mm, to 135mm above the floor of the car.
Added with a set of dimensional requirements, this mean cars resemble a giant anteater.
The front wing has been reduced from 1,800mm to 1,650 wide.
The origin of the change was to reduce punctures caused by catching the rear tyre of competitor’s car during races.
It has massive aerodynamically implications.
Whereas last year’s wider wings meant that most of the airflow could be directed around the tyres and then down the car, 2014’s narrower wings mean that a portion of air will have to be directed between the front wheel and the chassis before (hopefully) joining up with the rest of the airflow behind the tyre.
Other changes: the lower rear beam wing has been removed and the position of the exhaust has been moved.
The removal of the rear beam wing prevents teams joining up the different air-streams over the rear wing and through the car’s floor, which will make rear aerodynamics more critical and reduce overall downforce.
This has increased to 690kg without the 100kg of fuel, a 48kg difference from last year. There are fears this will not make up for the heavier engines so will benefit smaller drivers.
Teams will have an extra set of prime tyres available for each race weekend.
Several new sporting regulations will be introduced in 2014.
The penalty system will introduce a “penalty points” system for driving offences.
Penalty points will remain on a driver’s licence for twelve months, at which point they will be removed.
Another change will affect the pit stop.
Unsafe pit stops will be under the watchful eye of the stewards, after what happened in Germany last year.
When a car is released from its pit bay to the exit lane, directly into the path of an oncoming car, the driver who is released in an unsafe fashion will be given a grid penalty for the next race.
The pit lane speed will be reduced from 100 km/h (62 mph9 to 80 km/h (50 mph).
Over the course of the 2014 season, drivers will only able to use five engines, down from eight in 2013.
Drivers who use a sixth engine will start the race from the pit lane, instead of the ten-place grid penalty used last season.
Should a driver go over this quota for any individual element (turbocharger, ERS, KERS), they will incur a ten-place grid penalty.
They will receive a further five-place penalty for going over the five-unit allocation of any other element after the original ten-place penalty is applied in a bid to stop teams changing multiple elements of the engine unit after receiving a grid penalty.
Drivers will be assigned permanent numbers for the duration of their careers.
In 2014 the FIA will introduce the “Pole Trophy”, a non-championship award to the driver who qualifies on pole for the most races.
The most discussed changed rule is the double points offered to drivers for the last two races of the season.
The FIA introduced this rule to keep the championship’s fight alive for longer.
Anyway, a lot of changes have been taken for 2014.
To schedule in your agenda: March 16th 2014. Melbourne.
Start your engines!
Racing passionate, class of 1984. In love with all things that mean challenges. Even with RC. F1 occasional writer. I love the V12’s sound!