F1 2014 Primer: The Changes

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In the final part of MotorSportsTalk’s preview of the 2014 Formula 1 season, we take a look at the changes that have occurred over the winter. The sport is a very different place to where we left off in Brazil last November, with new cars, new engines, new rules and even a few new drivers.


  • Official in-season testing returns in 2014, replacing the young driver tests. Three-day events will be held following races in Bahrain, Spain, Great Britain and Abu Dhabi.
  • As part of an altered penalty system, drivers now pick up ‘points’ on their superlicence, and must not exceed 12 at any one time, or they will be banned for a race. Stewards can now apply a five second penalty in races.
  • Grid drops can now carry over for one event, meaning that if a driver is demoted ten places but can only serve five, they will be demoted another five places at the next event. It can only be carried over once though.
  • Drivers are restricted to five engines to use throughout the season, but parts are interchangeable and liable to their own quota.
  • Drivers now have permanent numbers which they will use throughout their careers. You can see them here.
  • A trophy will be awarded to the driver who scores the most pole positions in 2014.
  • Double points will be awarded at the final round of the season in Abu Dhabi. The winner receives 50 points (instead of 25), second place receives 36 points (instead of 18) and so on.


  • V8 engines have been replaced by turbocharged V6s, limited to 15,000rpm. This now is part of a “power unit” that also features two forms of Energy Recovery Systems (ERS). ERS replaces KERS, meaning drivers can no longer press a button for a boost. The power units will generate a greater amount of torque.
  • Drivers are limited to 100kg of fuel within a race, a reduction from the unrestricted figure of 150kg most used last year. This will create plenty of fuel saving and lots of retirements due to over-thirsty engines.
  • The exhaust must now be placed above the rear crash structure of the car, whilst beam wings have been banned, both creating a reduction in rear downforce (i.e. less grip).
  • Front wings are 150mm narrower, with teams taking 75mm from either side of the wing on their cars.
  • The centre tip of the nose must be 185mm above the ground, down from a height of 550mm. This is the regulation that has created the ugly noses on display this season. Although it was designed to reduce the likelihood of the nose entering the cockpit, it is thought that a change to this regulation will be made for 2015.


Team change

  • Daniel Ricciardo – Toro Rosso to Red Bull
  • Kimi Raikkonen – Lotus to Ferrari
  • Pastor Maldonado – Williams to Lotus
  • Nico Hulkenberg – Sauber to Force India
  • Sergio Perez – McLaren to Force India
  • Adrian Sutil – Force India to Sauber
  • Felipe Massa – Ferrari to Williams

Entering Formula 1

  • Kevin Magnussen – McLaren (from Formula Renault 3.5 in 2013)
  • Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso (from GP3 in 2013)
  • Kamui Kobayashi – Caterham (from WEC in 2013)
  • Marcus Ericsson – Caterham (from GP2 in 2013)

Leaving Formula 1 (full-time)

  • Mark Webber – Red Bull to Porsche’s LMP1 programme in the WEC
  • Heikki Kovalainen – Caterham/Lotus to ???
  • Paul di Resta – Force India to Mercedes in DTM
  • Charles Pic – Caterham to Lotus reserve driver
  • Giedo van der Garde – Caterham to Sauber reserve driver


More of MotorSportsTalk’s 2014 F1 season preview
F1 2014 Primer: The Drivers
F1 2014 Primer: The Tracks
F1 2014 Primer: The Teams
5 storylines that could define the 2014 F1 season

Neurosurgeon discusses brain injuries such as Michael Schumacher’s

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PARIS (AP) — More than four years after a ski accident caused him a near-fatal brain injury, little is known about Michael Schumacher’s current condition. Updates on his health have been extremely scarce ever since he left hospital in September 2014 to be cared for privately at his Swiss home on the shores of Lake Geneva. Details of his specific condition and the treatment he received have been kept strictly private. The last public statement 16 months ago clarified nothing further would be said.

Colin Shieff is a retired neurosurgeon from Britain’s National Health Service and a trustee of Headway, the national brain injury charity. Although he has never treated Schumacher, or spoken with doctors who’ve treated Schumacher over the years, he has dealt with similar cases both at immediate critical-care level and further down the line in terms of long-term treatment.

Shieff spent many years working with people with brain injuries and trauma, including at NATO field hospitals in Afghanistan an Iraq. He answered questions for The Associated Press related to the nature of Schumacher’s brain injury, pertaining to how his condition may have evolved in the time since his accident.

MORE: As F1 season begins, Michael Schumacher still fighting, far from forgotten

Q. In your opinion, what’s the likely prognosis at this stage?

A. “The nature of his injury and those bits of information that are available, and have been available, suggest that he has sustained permanent and very major damage to his brain. As a consequence his brain does not function in a fashion similar to yours or mine. The longer one goes on after an injury the more remote it is that any improvement becomes. He is almost certainly not going to change from the situation he is now.”

Q. What ongoing treatments would he be having?

A. “He will have the kind of treatment, which is care: giving him nourishment, giving him fluid. The probability is that this is given in the main – or at least as supplements – through some tube passed into his intestinal system, either through his nose or mouth, or more likely a tube in the front wall of the tummy. He will have therapy to sit him, because he won’t be able to get himself out of a bed and into a chair. He will be treated in a way that will ensure his limbs move and don’t remain rigid.”

Q. Would someone in his position receive around-the-clock treatment?

A. “He will be allowed a period of rest and sleep and relaxation, and he will be given an environment. I’m positive as I can be without knowing the facts (that) he will be living in an environment that – although it’s got artificial bits of medical kit and care and people – will mimic a caring, warm, pleasant, socially stimulating environment.”

Q. Would he be able to sense he’s in such an environment?

A. “I don’t know. There is always a technical, medical and neurological issue with defining a coma. Almost certainly he cannot express himself (in a conversation). He may well be able to indicate, or it may be apparent to those around him, that he is uncomfortable or unhappy. Or (he) is perhaps getting pleasure from seeing his children or hearing music he’s always liked, or having his hand stroked.”

Q. Are patients in his situation aware of touch and voice from family members?

A. “Absolutely. Even in the early stages, even in a critical care unit, when medicines are being given, for one individual at one time there may be an ability to discern and show response to someone they are familiar with. Respond to familiar, respond to family you’re triggered to. You hear them all your life so that’s the very, very familiar (aspect) the person is going to respond to.”

Q. Is there a chance he can make A) a full recovery? B) A partial recovery?

A. “First one, absolutely, totally no. Number one statistically, number two neurologically, and number three he’s been ill for so long. He’s lost muscle bulk, even if he opened his eyes and started talking there will have been loss of memory, there will be impact on behavior, on cognitive functions. He would not be the same person. (As for a) partial recovery, even the smallest thing that gets better is some kind of recovery. But (it depends) whether that recovery contributes to a functional improvement for him to be able to express himself – other than an evidence of saying `Yes’ or an evidence of saying `No.’ (Therefore) if he could use words of two syllables, if he could turn on the remote control for the tele. One can do, professionally, all sorts of wonderful things with electronic devices and couple them up to eye and mouth movements. Sometimes with a person in a situation called `Locked In’ or `Profoundly neurologically comprised’ – which is essentially paralysis but with continuing intellectual function – ways can be found to communicate with those people. If that had been so with Michael Schumacher I am positive we would have known that is the case, so I don’t believe it’s so for him.”

Q. This is a deeply personal decision for the family. But how long can treatment last for?

A. “In, for example, our health system we don’t have the luxury to keep maximal intervention going in a high-tech hospital environment. For Michael Schumacher’s family, I suspect they have the financial support to be able to provide those things. Therefore, for him, the future is longer but it doesn’t imply any change in the quality of it.”

Q. Some reports have estimated the cost of treatment at anything up to 200,000 euros ($245,000) per week. Is that realistic?

A. “I would personally think that’s over the top, in terms of what I reckon that might buy him. He’ll have a nurse, a therapist, a visiting doctor. There’ll be an extra pair of hands when something physical is being done, when he’s being moved to somewhere. That doesn’t add up to 150,000 euros or 200,000 euros. He needs essentially, somebody with nursing or therapeutic qualifications with him at all times. So that’s however many people you need to run a 24/7 roster. You’re talking probably eight people to provide that level of care constantly over a year’s period. That’s the number of nurses required for instance, to nurse or to staff, one critical care bed in an intensive care unit.”

More AP auto racing: https://racing.ap.org


For further details on Headway: https://www.headway.org.uk