Start, 2013 German Grand Prix, Nurburgring,

How the 2014 F1 season is shaping up

2014 F1 season

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Start, 2013 German Grand Prix, Nurburgring,The 2014 F1 season will be a year of profound change for Formula One as a major and long-awaited overhaul in the engine regulations finally takes place.

But the switch from 2.4-litre V8 to 1.6-litre V6 engines with uprated Energy Recovery Systems is just one of the anticipated changes for 2014.

The impending departure of Mark Webber from Red Bull means we have the rare situation of a vacancy at the reigning (multiple) world championship-winning team.

Just six drivers are believed to be in place for next year: the McLaren and Mercedes pairs plus Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull and Fernando Alonso at Ferrari. With Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus contract up for renewal it’s no surprise he has been tipped for a move to Red Bull, who sponsored his rallying efforts during his two-year break from F1.

The overhaul in the engine rules has led three teams to change supplier for next year. Williams will ditch Renault engines for Mercedes, the former will go to Toro Rosso and their Ferrari engine deal will be picked up by Marussia.

That will leave Mercedes supplying four of the eleven teams in the field, and F1 down to three engine suppliers with the departure of Cosworth. But both will only be temporary as McLaren are set to reunite with Honda in 2015.

On the calendar front several venues are vying for inclusion on the 2014 calendar. The Jersey Grand Prix, which was supposed to take place for the first time two months ago, is on the schedule again though given this year’s postponement there is some scepticism over whether it will take place.

Russia is due to hold its first F1 race at the Winter Olympic venue Sochi near the end of the year. And last month the return of the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring (formerly the Osterreichring and latterly the A1-Ring) was announced.

The Indian Grand Prix will disappear from the calendar next year – theoretically taking a break before returning in 2015. But even so if the three other events materialises it would stretch the schedule beyond its previous maximum of 20 races. Team principals have already indicated that is their upper limit, so there is still some bargaining and deal-making to be done to set the calendar for next year.

Follow all the developments for next year on the 2014 F1 season pages:

2014 F1 season

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 82 comments on “How the 2014 F1 season is shaping up”

    1. is perez really confirmed? does he have a multi-year contract?

        1. I guess Perez has a performance clause in his contract and the McLaren performance so far could make him available for other teams for free. So what if Ferrari knocks on his door?

          But that’s just a wild speculation based on no facts whatsoever to fill the summer break :).

          1. If McLaren doesn’t want Perez, neither will Ferrari.

            1. It’s the other way around – “performance clause” means he can exit the contract.

          2. Everything is possible but if the rumors are true the Ferrari engines will not be as good as the Mercedes ones, and he would be wasting the opportunity to drive the only Honda powered car in 2015 which is going to be a huge advantage in my opinion.
            The future championships could well be: 2014->Mercedes, 2015->Mclaren

            1. I dont know how some can predict the Ferrari engines are not gonna be as good as the Merc engines in 2014… We have nt even seen the engines in action yet..

            2. @mantresx @puneethvb it’s weird indeed.

              I still remember people (even team owners) saying that Toro Rosso could finish on podium at Bahrain in 2006 as they kept the V10s instead of the “worse” V8s…

              shows that you need to see it before saying much. Specially from such an early stage.

            3. Shreyas Mohanty (@)
              12th August 2013, 18:20

              @mantresx I simply don’t understand the basis of your “rumour” – or are you saying that cause Merc released the engine’s rev audio and ferrari didn’t? Lol. Don’t you think it’s too early to assume that? Let winter testing come, at least.

            4. @fer-no65 @shreyasf1fan lol I didn’t made that up! I read it somewhere (F1 break, sorry) maybe people think that Ferrari will have less resources than the other two manufacturers to develop the new engine, and they do seem to be a bit lost at the moment, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

            5. Never heard of this apparent rumor till now.
              Moreover, this is probably the most absurd rumor in the paddock.

            6. The only difference I see is rather about previous knowledge … Mercedes and Renault are more likely to have studied this kind of engine before while Ferrari probably never has. But that’s all we can say for now. And as far as I know none of them actually build this kind of engine before thus that makes them almost equal on experience.

    2. It’s quite a sad moment for cosworth

      1. Anyway…. :-)

      2. Agreed.

        1. Cosworth has powered most minnows for decades.

          1. Well I think your parting shot at Cosworth is a little less than generous considering their illustrious history and lineage which still features at the cutting edge of world motorsport. Forty Eight years – 67 teams, 167 F1 GP victories God knows how many world titles, and most importantly, the V8 that sits in today’s F1 car is a direct descendent of Keith Duckworth and Mike Costin’s genius the DFV as they are all still built on the original DVF form factor – the stressed member. Before Cosworth, everyone ran tube chassis and heavy engine framesand it was Colin Chapmans sharp thinking that combined this vital engineering leap to the monocoque chassis and the modern F1 car was born.

            And who was responsible for designing the current successful F1 Mercedes engine? None other than Mario Illien who started his professional engine designing career at, you guessed it, Cosworth.

            So, raise a glass and say thanks to a company who almost single handedly (with the help of Colin Chapman of course) kicked F1 well into the future.

            Thanks guys…

      3. “Jeanrien” Ferrari probably have never studied this kind of engine before? While Mercedes have? I think you’ve got that 180 degrees the wrong way around sir. Ferrari won the 1983 Constructors Title with a very similar motor albeit with one more turbo. And as Renault virtually invented the V6 F1 Turbo engine singlehandedly back in the ’80’s, I am looking for a very strong performance from them as well as Ferrari. Mercedes? No history with this Formula so they are the dark horses, however they do have “Super Mario” who could make a difference but again, his main expertise has been in NA motors.

        It will be fun watching engine battles again after years of enforced stagnation.

    3. I believe that 2014 is the beginning of the end for F1. I don’t know about you but I want V flipping 10 engines!

      1. Only V10? We should have V18 engines by now!!

        1. Yes! At least 1000 bhp and ground effect.

        2. Why not, actually. I know that Ferrari wanted to build a 3.0 L W18 somwhere around 1970. Also, VW experimented with some W18’s engines back in the late 90’s. Add a quad-turbocharger system to that and we’ve got the beasts we wanted. (They’ll probably just blow up in the first 5 laps, but it would be pretty fun). :)

      2. I think for the sport’s health, this is probably one of the best things that has happened to the sport in recent years. Car manufacturers want to promote themselves by saying that the technology they use in F1 is applied to their road cars, and well… to be honest for all brands but Ferrari the relevance is as non-existent as Massa’s 2014 Ferrari contract.

        The exodus from the sport at the beginning of the global crisis (BMW, Toyota, Honda) was a clear sign that something needed to change. The V6 turbos are way more relevant to the current road car market than a V10 or a V12. It doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t want to hear a creaming V12 powering through Eau Rouge of course: I just want the sport to survive and get out of the mess it’s currently in stronger.

        Hence I’m really looking forward to 2014: it will shake things up again, hopefully with less tyre-dominated races than we now have. Fuel saving is a real worry though… I hope that won’t cause drivers to cruise during the races. We will see.

        1. to be honest for all brands but Ferrari the relevance is as non-existent as Massa’s 2014 Ferrari contract.

          Ouch :P

          But I agree, whilst I would love to hear the sounds of the screaming V10’s and V12’s, or even keep the sound of the V8, what we’re going to is certainly better for the sports health, and is necessary for it’s survival, and I think it will all turn out rather well too.

        2. @andae23

          I absolutely agree with everything you say. I’d rather have a slightly slower and quieter F1 than no F1 at all.

        3. @andae23 – exactly, F1 became pretty irrelevant for real life application and looking at the WEC, turbo and hybrid technology is what manufacturers seem to be interested in. At least enough to attract Honda, so I see this as a positive change.

        4. a creaming V12

          lol, screaming :P

      3. Please. F1 has ran under F2 rules, the BMW turbos in the 80s were in-line 4 cylinder engines from a BMW 2002 which were reportedly urinated on by factory workers, we’ve had grooved tyres which were even ditched by GP2, we’ve had Indy 2005, we’ve had Crashgate, we’ve had Austria 2002, we’ve had Spygate, we’ve had technology banned within a single race weekend and we’ve had a posthumous world champion.

        You think a smaller engine formula is going to kill F1? Irrelevance is what could kill F1 in a few years. Just do a look around of current auto manufactures building V12 engines. Take a look at what kind of cars they’re driving in WRC, WTCC or national cups. I’d much prefer to see the current drivers in 1979 cars, but it’s not going to happen, much like I’ll never see a 400+bhp Ferrari in Group B rally. Much like I won’t see the sport implode because of a lack of investment or revenue.

        1. The size of the engine doesn’t worry me. Artificially degrading tyres do. Strict rules are what breaks F1. When it’s not for safety of the driver/public, it doesn’t belong in the book.

          1. this year they seem to have this under control now and Pirelli already said they gonna stay conservative next year. So I don’t think that this will be much of an issue in the near future.

          2. Without strict rules, the engineers of F1 will be left to bring insane technology into F1 which could only be afforded by the richest of teams. And that too, only barely. After the top 2 or 3 teams, the rest of them will have to pack up and say goodbye. Is that the kind of F1 that you want? F1 will become and shoot out between Ferrari, Redbull and Mercedes.

            1. With strict rules, the engine would still be in front of the driver.

          3. “Strict rules are what breaks F1.”

            Because of your comment, my wife and I have decided to name our firstborn @eljueta

            1. I am deeply honored by that, and also your child will probably the first one whose name starts with an ‘@’

        2. Jack (@jackisthestig)
          12th August 2013, 18:13

          Spot on, the sport has survived an awful lot. A change in the engine formula which has already attracted one more major car manufacturer than the V8 formula did is hardly going to kill off Formula One. If anything will be the death of the sport in the near future it will be pay-TV and extortionate ticket prices.

          1. @jackisthestig
            Hear, Hear!!
            A new formula in my view is a positive thing; it means there are more potential innovations possible, so it is more technically interesting, and anyway, the sound clips of the Renault and Mercedes engines sound awesome quite frankly.

            1. @xjr15jaaag agreed, I really don’t know why everyone is complaining so vocally. They are lacking slightly on ultimate revs and are a bit too quiet on downshift but the noise in all the other ranges I’d say is comparable to – if not better than – the V8’s. It’s a very nice throaty growl, it just sounds powerful!

            2. @vettel1
              And that’s the noise on the test bench, which always makes the engines sound worse than they will when they are put in the GP cars.
              I adore the sound of the turbo too.
              All they need is a wastegate chattering away a la Audi Quattro S1 (Group B rally car) and they’ve got a pretty much perfect noise

            3. @xjr15jaaag I forgot to mention the fact they were on the test bench in my original response! Absolutely – the gasses are essentially being sucked out of the exhaust and of course the noise is confined to a relatively small space so the noise of course will not be fully representative of a V6 turbo roaring in the Ardennes.

              All they need is a wastegate chattering away a la Audi Quattro S1

              Remember, F1 isn’t shown after the watershed – that might be bordering on adult content ;)

    4. Sorry but I have not read the new rules so someone please clarify there a ban on tire warmers also in 2014?..n what about the 8-speed gearbox?

      1. I don’t think the tyre blanket ban materialized, but yes, there will be 8 forward gear ratios.

        1. FlyingLobster27
          12th August 2013, 14:27

          The number of forward gears is like the number of blades on a razor – you could tell things were getting a little silly when Wilkinson-Sword launched a four-blader. I already don’t understand why they have seven gears, no practical road car has 7 gears as far as I know. I think it’ll be more road-relevant to allow CVT rather than run infinitesimal approximations of it!

          1. Most new auto-gearboxes have 7 or 8 ratios.

        2. Is one of those 8 the pit-lane gear? Or is there an 8 speed gearbox as well as the pit-lane gear?

          1. @philereid – it’s 8 forward ratios. there is no pit-lane gear. They push a limiter which is like cruise control not a separate gear-ratio.

            1. @tmf42 It’s just I heard there would be a separate gear for the pit-lane, instead of what they have now with the limiter.

            2. @philereid – never heard of it and it makes little sense since speed limits can’t be enforced with a gear, they’d still need a limiter.

              What will change is that the gear ratios stay the same all year and can only be changed once – but I suspect the differential ratios to be open for adjustments

            3. @tmf42 Yeah, I didn’t think it made much sense, which is why I was questioning it.

              I hope that the whole gearing situation leads to a better range of overtaking, rather than having some teams down on top speed still so they can’t overtake, and others so high on top speed it’s too easy for them. Might make DRS slightly better.

      2. Just learned that they will have fixed gear ratios all year long – not sure how that will work on the various tracks.

        1. One of the possibilities is that we will see teams ‘specializing’, like Force India in 2009: if you have very long gear ratios, you will gain a massive advantage at circuits such as Spa and Monza, while being awful at all the other tracks. Of course this is not an option for the Red Bulls and Ferraris, but a team like Sauber or Williams…

          1. Possible but the engines will change during the season and given the frozen engine maps for lower rpms it’s kind of an intriguing challenge.

        2. @tmf42
          If that’s the case, then I predict Red Bull to be the best next year; RBR are very good with imaginative thinking, which almost always turns out to turn out as well in practice as it does in theory, and are very good at finding loopholes.

        3. You can change the gear ratios once.
          From the rulebook, 9.6.2: Each competitor must nominate the forward gear ratios (calculated from engine crankshaft to drive shafts) to be employed within their gearbox. These nominations must be declared to the FIA technical delegate at or before the first Event of the Championship. For 2014 only, a competitor may re-nominate these ratios once within the Championship season, in which case
          the original nomination becomes immediately void. Ratio re-nominations must be declared as a set and may only be effected by the substitution of change gears.

    5. Does anyone know what happened to PURE? It seems they’ve disappeared off the planet but I’ve not heard anything confirming them giving up on F1.

      1. No one wanted PURE engines so I think they quietly shut down. Who wanted to work with Craig Pollock anyway…

        1. It was lack of investments. They reached the stage of piecing together its 3D design, but that was the end of it. Pollack apparently has a company now aimed at funding younger drivers…

      2. @jackysteeg, The 12 month delay and change from 4 to 6 cylinders, killed the project.

        1. yes they were screwed over big time. How on earth F1 thinks it can attract companies and then change the goal posts at the last minute is beyond me.

    6. Nick Jarvis (@)
      12th August 2013, 15:11

      Aren’t the front wings getting narrowed slightly, too?
      Are there any images online showing what the cars might look like?

        1. Nick Jarvis (@)
          12th August 2013, 17:26

          That’s great, thanks a lot.

    7. Isn’t Russia out?

    8. 2014 promises to be a landmark year for F1, let’s hope it is for good reasons. Out of all the new regs the ones that concern me the most are the fuel regs. Obviously the new engines produce more power while using less fuel, but will that be enough? Will we see cars running out of fuel or turning down the wick toward the end of the race to avoid running out of fuel. With the tire wear issues sorted for 2014 will we now see groups of cars slowing down like tortoises whilst running on fumes and trying to keep the hares with enough fuel behind them until the checkered comes out?

      Without enough technical info or math skills it is difficult to know how the fuel regs will affect the racing. Will we see competing strategies of early race fuel conservation versus late race fuel conservation? Is this what we want to see? Or, will the fuel regs not be that big of a deal and we can expect to see drivers racing hard all race?

      1. Running out of fuel isn’t an issue; the cars can carry as much as they want. The issue is the fuel flow rate at higher revs; the car can only USE 100 kg of fuel for the race and fuel flow is restricted.
        From the FIA 2014 Engine Regulations:
        5.1.4 Fuel mass flow must not exceed 100kg/h.

        1. What happens if the use more than the allowed 100 kg? After race disqualifications, penalties or demotions?

          1. @bullmello I’ve never understood why the regulations are written like that – the maximum flow rate is 100kg/h but you can only use 100kg’s in the duration of a race – I don’t think there are any races on the calendar that last under an hour. So one can only presume provided you don’t break the fuel flow limit then you can be classified at the finish even if you’ve used over the 100kg limit and then simply take a drive through penalty or something (so 20s or something).

            Can you shed any light on the issue @keithcollantine?

            1. Well, you would only use a 100 kg of fuel in an hour if you were able to run full throttle (or more accurate – at full fuel flow levels) ALL that time @vettel1

              As you have to brake and get off the power during cornering, not to mention have to cruise in the pitlane etc, that is never reached. Not exactly sure about the exact numbers, but aren’t they currently running full throttle on about 60% of the lap?

              THe numbers could change a bit, as the engines are lighter, on the other hand we can expect the electrical power they can use to help get them accelerating, saving a bit of fuel flow.

            2. @bascb yea it makes sense to me now – I wasn’t fully aware that the 100kg/h only applied to over 10500rpm! I figured I initially since it was written deliberately as per hour that they were just measuring the total fuel flow over that period hence the confusion as to why the overall limit was also 100kg (as naturally you’d have to run under 100kg/h if the race was over an hour).

          2. That’s a good question. I researched the regs to see if I had misunderstood something, but it’s pretty clear: 100 kg fuel and 100 kg/hr maximum fuel flow above 10,500 rpm. The flow rate below 10,500 rpm is limited to (rpm)(.009) + 5.5 kg/hr. At 8000 rpm, for example, the flow rate would be 77.5 kg/hr. Maybe we will see economy racing but I hope not. Also, it’s too bad the engine design is so constrained, with bore (and hence stroke), c.g., cylinder spacing and V angle, weight, mounting points, turbo location, etc. etc. so defined there doesn’t seem to be much room for the designer.

            1. 100 kg fuel and 100 kg/hr maximum fuel flow above 10,500 rpm. The flow rate below 10,500 rpm is limited to (rpm)(.009) + 5.5 kg/hr.

              Perhaps you have actually unknowingly answered the question there: the fuel flow limit I gather the impression only applies above 10500rpm from your comment, so perhaps the ultimate fuel use over the course of an hour may be less than 100kg.

              I guess we’ll see how it all pans out though – I would think after they’ve had some time to tinker with the engines they’ll be perfectly capable of having the required efficiency to use less than 100kg over the course of a race (after all, they are only 1.6’s compared to the current 2.4’s (2/3 the capacity) and the current engines use around 160kg a race – 2/3rd’s would equate to ~107kg which when coupled with double the energy recovery for five times the duration should reduce that figure to below the magic hundred in theory).

            2. I was just gonna say something about that….
              You’re never at WOT 100% of the time and therefore are obviously going to net less than 100kg/hr.

            3. @beejis60 it would seem strange therefore though to put the fuel flow limit as 100kg/h – one would think it would be a far more efficient means of policing the rate to define it as 0.03kg/s over 10500rpm, with 100kg’s for the total race distance. Some of the FIA’s regulations confuse me…

            4. “economy racing” Good description, but hope we don’t see that either.

              It does make sense they would not revving over 10500rpm the whole race and hence have less average fuel consumption than 100kg/hr. Since most races are closer to 2 hours and it is impossible to know at this time (for us average race F1 fans in particular) what the average fuel flow rate would be on any given track. And, whether it would be likely to finish a race within the allowed fuel limit without fuel saving “economy racing”.

              Reading the fuel regs multiple times like a tax form or legal brief, yet still not completely understanding how they are supposed to work in a real race situation led me to pose my original question. The main questions I still have are how will this affect racing and what happens if the regs are violated. Thanks for the replies @vettel1 @beejis60 & SteveR. I’m sure the engine builders have put a lot of thought and efficient design into their engine packages to maximize fuel consumption and power. I also wonder how much the improved energy recovery systems could play into better fuel economy.

    9. I have to say if there’s a major difference in the look of the cars I’ll miss this year’s. ’09 was a bit of a shock but I think these designs have matured nicely.

      The new engine is going to be interesting, it might shake up the driver rankings if some manage to adapt better than others, especially in the rain.

      1. Yes, I don’t understand why people hate these deigns, in my mind they look better than the ’08 cars.

        1. I’d prefer if the rear wings were a bit lower and the front wings a bit narrower (we’re halfway there in 2014) but otherwise I agree @full-throttle-f1 – they look far sleeker now than in 2008.

    10. Pic has a “Multi year deal”, Maldonado’s safe, and Bob Fearnly revealed that Di Resta has at least an option for next year, if not a full contract. I’m most excited about all of the driver changes, I’d love Kimi to go to Red Bull! The engine’s will be ok, but obviously not as good as they are now…

      1. @jmc200 honestly I don’t agree – I think these engines are a vast improvement over the current ones. I always felt energy recovery was a wasted avenue for F1 and that is now being remedied. Besides that, these engines will produce significantly more low-end torque which will create more of a challenge for the drivers on slow corner exit and the power is predicted to be slightly higher than the current engines (which coupled with the 8 gear ratios should mean that top speeds theoretically remain broadly similar).

        The noise isn’t too bad either – I think they sound very similar to the 80’s engines which is not bad at all and it is definitely worth bearing in mind an engine on the test bench will naturally not sound as good as when it is coupled with an F1 chassis roaring through the Ardennes. If you’re worried about the volume, simply turn up your tv!

        1. But no one wants to hear Martin Brundle at full volume :p

          1. @beejis60 – true, there is always Sky race control though ;)

            1. Fortunately, I’m not british so I don’t have that handy little tool/device/thing to change what I’m watching.

            2. @beejis60 I rarely use it during races but often it proves terribly useful for qualifying due to the FOM directors often missing coverage of key laps. I only really play about with it in the race if it’s mid-stint and nothing is really happening ;)

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