We’re big fans of Formula One here at T W White & Sons, and like to get behind our local lads (and lasses) over at McLaren HQ in Woking.
But it’s all change for the pinnacle of world motorsport in 2014, with big rule changes afoot. So for our regular Motorsport Monday slot, we thought we’d recap exactly what the differences will be for Formula One 2014 compared to last season.
Last year’s screaming 2.4-litre V8 engines, revving to a heady 18,000rpm, will be replaced by even smaller 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged units. More emphasis will be replaced on energy recovery systems, too, with a larger boost of horsepower allowed for longer.
Power should be similar though, so don’t expect the engine changes to mean F1 cars will be slower. The speed will still be there, even if the ear-piercing cry of the V8s won’t be – we’re still looking forward to the gruffer-sounding V6s though.
Only three major engine manufacturers will be on the grid in 2014: Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari and Renault. However, Honda will join them a year later in 2015.
Each driver will only be able to use a maximum of five engines per season, as opposed to 2013 rules, which allowed eight.
If a driver is forced to use more than his or her allotted five units, they’ll have to start the race from the pit lane.
If you change important parts like a turbocharger, you’ll receive a 10-place grid penalty for the race.
Formula One’s governing body – the FIA – has put a focus on reducing aerodynamic grip in 2014 to try and make the racing more exciting.
As a result, the cars’ front wings are now 75mm narrower, while the maximum height of the nose stands at 185mm – quite a significant difference compared to today’s 550mm nose height.
Clever exhaust trickery is not only forbidden but it’ll be extremely difficult to make work due to the single turbo’s central-exit exhaust pipe.
The rear wing will be 20mm lower than it was last year, with no lower rear wing element at all. Compared to the 2013 specification, it’s estimated the new cars will produce around 30-40% less downforce.
We mentioned above that the FIA has placed a greater focus on efficiency in F1 and therefore allowed more to be made of energy recovery systems.
From 2014, the heat energy recovery systems fitted to F1 cars will be able to deliver a 160hp burst (twice that delivered in 2013) from an electric motor for 33 seconds. This should help keep things interesting.
There were more than a few incidents caused by questionable driving during the 2013 Formula One season, so the FIA has introduced a new penalty points scheme, just like a regular driving licence.
Drivers who accrue more than 12 points on their race licence will be banned – this makes it scarily like a rod licence, except the F1 drivers’ ban is for just one race.
There’ll also be a new five-second penalty brought into force for minor mistakes that don’t warrant a full 10-second penalty.
The 2014 F1 calendar will remain at 19 races. However, there have been some substitutions.
Both the Korean and Indian Grand Prixs have been given the boot in favour of a race in Russia – the first time F1 has ever visited the country – and a return to Austria at the Red Bull ring.
There’ll also be double points available at the final race of the season in a bid to make the title go right down to the wire.
Looking back at previous seasons, if these rules were in place during 2008, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa would have beaten Lewis Hamilton – driving for McLaren at the time – to the world title.
The same would have happened between Alonso and Vettel in 2012.
We want to know what you think of the new rule changes. Do you think it’ll make F1 more exciting, or is it needless meddling by the FIA. Let us know your opinion on Twitter @twwwhiteandsons or on our Facebook page here.