It is obvious many people that ever hear the term “Formula 1” can relate it to motor racing, because F1 is the fastest and most technologically involved motor sport in the world. It is the sport where the most skilled, and most fearless drivers in the world are pinned against one another for ultimate glory. So, as the title suggests, why is 2014 so significant? Allow me to explain.
As it happens, the 2014 season brings the biggest change in regulations we have seen in many years, and it all starts with the cars’ power plants. Out goes the 2.4 liter V8 and in comes the new 1.6 liter turbocharged V6 engine. Also, Formula One cars will now be more dependent on their KERS systems, which is effectively an electric system which boosts the power output of the engine. Since the new engines are smaller, the new KERS system will have to play a much more significant role in the race and in qualifying.
Other changes also take place in the outside of the cars, starting with the nose, which will be lowered drastically for safety reasons, in contrast with the high noses of the previous V8-powered cars. Also, the side air intakes will be larger to feed air into that turbo and also to help cool that KERS system which also creates high temperatures.
The question now is, what does this mean for the drivers? Well, for starters, the cars will be a bit more of a handful, since the turbocharged power plant will produce four times the torque than the previous machines, which will make them far more susceptible to spinning off. Also, the higher dependency on the KERS system means that the drivers will have to strategize in what part of the track it will be best to use that system.
What does it mean for fans like me? Thankfully, it means a big shake up in the grid. The last four F1 seasons have been won by Sebastian Vettel and dominated by his Red Bull-Renault team, which has made the sport very predictable, and – not to insult the greatness of Vettel and Red Bull – kind of boring. Thus, this big change in regulation should bring some new expectations and also some new hope for fans of other teams which have been subordinates to the utter dominant Red Bull.
There are some that are worried that the cars will be too ugly, or that the racing will be too slow in comparison to how it was, and thus unexciting. I beg to differ, though. To me, the most exciting era of Formula 1 was the early 90s, the era where the great Ayrton Senna began his reign as the king of F1. And during that era, the cars had very low noses, and most importantly, turbocharged V6 engines, just like they will have again this year. This brings me hope that this new era of F1 will at least come with flashbacks of the brilliant racing we saw in the early 1990s.