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- V8 engines have been replaced by turbocharged V6s, limited to 15,000rpm.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.
- 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
Haas Formula 1 driver Romain Grosjean may be one of the sport’s most promising talents on-track, but he also has a burning passion off it: cooking.
Grosjean may have been spent a good part of this year cooking his brakes, but you’ll now be able to cook bakes instead…
F1’s resident foodie is set to release a cookbook alongside wife Marion Jolles in the coming weeks, as announced on his Facebook page.
Grosjean currently sits 13th in the F1 drivers’ championship with 18 points to his name, helping Haas to match the points total from its debut season after just 10 races in 2017.
Mercedes Formula 1 engine chief Andy Cowell has warned against underestimating the threat of Honda despite its ongoing power unit struggles, tipping the Japanese manufacturer to bounce back in the near future.
Honda returned to F1 as a manufacturer in 2015, supplying V6 turbo power units to the McLaren team, but has struggled for either performance or reliability through that period.
The struggles have led McLaren – currently sat bottom of the constructors’ championship – to consider cutting ties for 2018 given how far adrift compared to the other three engine suppliers Honda has been.
Mercedes has been the benchmark for engine performance since the change in regulation for 2014, but Cowell feels that Honda could make up ground quickly, with the removal of the token system for 2017 helping performance to converge through the field.
“I think collectively we’ve helped with convergence in Formula 1 in the opening season, performance development through the year,” Cowell said.
“But then the opportunity to do a big change with Honda coming in, we all agreed that Honda could have that same opportunity to change everything in the first year and then the request came from manufacturers in addition to Honda saying ‘please can we take this crazy token table away because it’s bad for the sport?’
“It’s bad if somebody can’t train to get better and so we agreed, yeah, take the table away because it’s better for the sport because it means that you can innovate, you can introduce whatever you like.
“I think none of us should underestimate the technical prowess of Honda and of McLaren and I think my money is on that combination coming good and coming good pretty quickly. No pressure…”
Williams is happy to “hold off” on making a decision on its Formula 1 driver line-up for 2018 as it focuses on improving its on-track displays after a tough start to the season.
Williams currently fields Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll, a mix of experience and youth, but has failed to keep up with midfield front-runner Force India through the first half of the year.
Force India sits fourth in the constructors’ championship with more than double the points of Williams, who leads a tight-knit group down to Renault in eighth place, 15 points adrift.
While Stroll looks set to continue with Williams and Massa has hinted he may look to continue through to 2018 despite initially planning to retire at the end of last season, deputy team boss Claire Williams has confirmed that no decision about next year’s line-up will come any time soon.
“There’s a lot of talk already isn’t there, about drivers across the paddock. For us, we’ve decided we’re going to hold off a bit on our driver decision,” Williams said.
“We’ve got a fight on our hands on the race track at the moment and to be distracted by those kinds of conversations isn’t something that we want to be happening at the moment.
“[Force India’s] got a nice points haul on us at the moment we need to focus on, rather than anything else.”
2016 Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg is considering study options at Stanford University after visiting the college earlier this week as part of his tour around California.
Rosberg sensationally announced his retirement from F1 just five days after winning his maiden world title last November, wanting to spend more time with his young family.
The German has been enjoying his retirement, recently embarking on a tour of Silicon Valley and California that saw him hold meetings with electric car giant Tesla, among other companies.
In a video posted to his Twitter account on Sunday, Rosberg spoke warmly about a visit to Stanford, revealing that he is considering some study options in the near future at the historic institution.
Rosberg was previously offered a scholarship to study engineering at Imperial College London when he was younger, only to turn it down in order to embark on a racing career. He also reportedly holds the highest ever score on Williams’ engineering aptitude test.
Should Nico sign up to a course at Stanford, we imagine he’d take things one class at a time…