McLaren sporting director Sam Michael expects to see more cars breaking down in 2014 as teams get to grips with the new engine regulations.
“Although we’re a world away from where we were 20 years ago in terms of preparation, ultimately until you get out there and run properly you’re not going to have as much reliability as you do on the current cars,” said Michael during a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in.
“Do I think it will mix things up? Probably.”
“There’ll be different results that wouldn’t occur like they do now. It’s just another thing that’s part of rule changes and it’s something you have to cope with.”
The change to 1.6-liter V6 turbo engines next year will be the first overhaul in the engine regulations since the current V8 units were introduced in 2006.
Michael added teams’ attempts to avoid having unreliability problems will inevitably by tempered by the desire to achieve maximum performance.
“When you’ve have such a big change to the powertrain from a mechanical side, you will build in more margin than what you would have done previously,” he said.
“You’ll be in one of two positions [in 2014]. Either you’ve pushed it too far and you’ll be unreliable or you’ll be too heavy and you’ll want to take some weight out of the car. Both of those things take time.
“You won’t have got it bang on in all areas of the car, so everyone will be in the same game.”