Hamilton and Alonso hoping new regulations hurt Red Bull

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Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton have both said that they are hoping the new raft of regulations set to come into force for the 2014 Formula One season cause Red Bull to lose the advantage that they have enjoyed as everyone “starts from zero”.

Ever since the last set of changes to the regulations in 2009, Red Bull have dominated the sport by winning the last four consecutive drivers’ and constructors’ championships. However, a shake-up of the rules in 2014 – the biggest change being the downsize in engines – could allow Mercedes and Ferrari to be competitive once again.

“We are competitive people,” Fernando Alonso explained during the drivers’ press conference on Thursday. “We want to win. This year it was not possible but next year we start from zero.”

With just one world championship to his name, Lewis Hamilton has not enjoyed the groundbreaking career that many expected him to. However, he is confident that the rules changes could allow him to push Vettel next season, but the foundations will be laid by finish this year strongly also.

“I think that a lot of the stuff that you develop on this year’s car, upgrades that we do bring to this year’s hopefully will have an effect on next year’s car,” Hamilton said. “It’s kind of similar but some teams obviously can turn their focus a little bit earlier and some a little bit later, but hopefully, ultimately, we’ll still be competitive next year with these guys.”

However, with Red Bull having little left to play for in the remaining three races, it is likely that they will already have shifted attention to the 2014 car as they look to extend their reign as world champions next season.

Here’s who were picking to win the Indy 500 — who are YOU picking?

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Several members of the NBC Sports motorsports staff have made their predictions on who will win Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Of the six voters, two are going with 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden, while two others are going with Helio Castroneves to win a fourth 500, which would tie him with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

Here’s our picks. Who are YOU picking?

Leigh Diffey: Helio Castroneves — He drives the place better than anyone else. For me (for what its worth) he deserves a fourth 500 ring for the frustration he went through never getting the IndyCar title!

Townsend Bell: Josef Newgarden

Nate Ryan: Simon Pagenaud — All of his 2018 misfortune on the track has disappeared in May, and it culminates in the biggest victory of his career.

Jerry Bonkowski: Helio Castroneves – There’s no pressure as he pursues his fourth Indy 500 win. All Helio has to do, as late NFL owner Al Davis would say, is “Just win, baby!” (But if Helio falls short, watch for Marco Andretti)

Kyle Lavigne: Josef Newgarden — I think he has everything he needs to get it done this year.

Dan Beaver: Robert Wickens – Has driven like anything except a rookie and his second-place finish at Phoenix proves he’s just as good on an oval as the road courses.

Follow: Jerry Bonkowski