Audi officially reveals 2014 R18 e-tron quattro

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NEW 2014 VERSION (Photo: Audi)

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2013 VERSION (Photo: Getty Images)

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Meet the new Audi, which basically looks the same as the old one.

New worldwide LMP1 regulations focusing on efficiency for 2014 means manufacturers and teams have to reveal new cars, and at first glance, the 2014 Audi R18 e-tron quattro looks remarkably similar to the 2012 and 2013 version.

The main differences appear in the rear wing complex and air scoop above the cockpit. Headlights on the new 2014 car, which retains the same R18 e-tron quattro nomenclature, have also been altered.

Secret tests had done previously, and later this month the 2014 car will run at Sebring for the first time.

Unfortunately, Audi’s LMP1 program bid adieu to the 12 Hours of Sebring after this year’s race with the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship not accepting LMP1 machinery for 2014. Audi will instead focus on its works LMP1 program in the FIA World Endurance Championship, head-to-head with Toyota and new entrant Porsche, while supporting customer R8 GT Daytona programs in the TUDOR Championship.

That means the only chance American fans will have to see the new 2014 LMP1 prototypes on U.S. soil will be at the joint WEC/TUDOR weekend at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas, slated for Sept. 18-20, 2014.

F1 2017 driver review: Max Verstappen

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Max Verstappen

Team: Red Bull Racing
Car No.: 33
Races: 20
Wins: 2
Podiums (excluding wins): 2
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 1
Points: 168
Laps Led: 133
Championship Position: 6th

Max Verstappen rise as a once-in-a-generation talent continued through the 2017 Formula 1 season, even if reliability issues meant we were made to wait for his best form to arrive.

Verstappen stole the show in a wet-dry Chinese Grand Prix by charging from 16th to seventh in the opening lap before ultimately finishing third for Red Bull, yet he would not grace the podium again until the Malaysian Grand Prix at the start of October.

A combination of power unit problems and on-track clashes saw Verstappen retire from seven of the 12 races in the intermittent period, with incidents in Spain and Austria being avoidable.

Perhaps most embarrassing of all was his stoppage due to a power unit failure in front of a grandstand swathed in orange at the Belgian Grand Prix, a race tens of thousands of Dutch fans had attended to cheer Verstappen on.

But when Verstappen got things right, it was – as he frequently quoted – simply, simply lovely. There was plenty left in the tank, as proven by his sheer domination of the races in Malaysia and Mexico as he took the second and third wins of his career.

Perhaps even more impressive was Verstappen’s victory over Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo in the qualifying head-to-head battle this year, an area the Australian has traditionally been strong in. Verstappen outqualifed his teammate 13-7 – it wasn’t even close…

All in all, Verstappen once again proved that on his day, he is one of the finest talents to grace F1 in recent years. With the right car underneath him next year, a title fight is certainly possible and will be the target – but there is always room for improvement.

And that is the scary part: Verstappen is only going to get better and better.

Season High: Dominating in Malaysia after an early pass on Lewis Hamilton.

Season Low: Crashing out on Lap 1 in Austria.