The Motorsport off-season is finally over as the 2014 season of Formula 1 kicks off this weekend with the Australian grand prix. There are new cars, new drivers, new rules and a new level of dedication towards the sports greatest, Michael Schumacher. Ahead of the season opening race, we start a series of F1 articles that will highlight our favourite races, our favourite past drivers, the most spectacular crashes and of course our picks for different events. Today we will start with a quick overview of the changes and the teams.
There has been a change to the tyre rules that often saw Q3 an under supported session of qualifying as teams looked to conserve tyres. The change means that your race tyres will be the ones from session 2, which I think is a good rule change. There is also the new nose cones that have a much lower clearance from the road and on many of the cars looks like something you would find on the Ann Summers website rather than a racing car. We will also see more economical engines that should lower the cost and probably lower the speed too, but to negate that there are now two recovery systems. This will aid the performance of the cars so that we are still watching beasts around the track.
In 2014 the Formula 1 drivers finally get to follow their dreams of being international footballers, well to a slight degree at least, as they get to pick the number that goes on the car. Vettel of course keeps number 1 as World champion (His career number he chose is 5), while Hamilton and Alonso both chose their first racing number. Rosberg chose his fiance’s lucky number while Maldonado dons the no 13 as an omen to how many accidents he will cause this year?
A formula 1 car is a thing of beauty, well at least it is supposed to be. But in 2014 with the new features and trying to lose weight to keep the car as close to the 691kg minimal weight we have established an era of aesthetic ugly. The nose on the cars has been described as an ant-eater, a proboscis or just something phallic like. Read this article on Red Bull South Africa’s website for a truly fantastic view on the new cars
There are a lot of changes in this seasons Formula 1 line-ups, but there are only two brand new drivers into the fold. Those two are Magnusen at Mclaren, who if he is asked to better Perez from 2013 does not need to achieve much and Kyvat at Toro Rosso. Vettel has a new team-mate for the first time in ages after Webber left. I think their team-mate wars were fun to be honest. Ferrari have Kimi Raikkonen on board now which makes them the strongest line-up on paper and Massa somehow secured another drive despite being rank average. Mclaren of course are still led by Jenson Button which means, like Stoke City, the best we (yes I support Mclaren) could aim for is mid table.Double #@!$ Points
Amidst all the excitement, and some fine new rules, comes quite obviously the worst rule in the history of sport. Yes, one race in the year is going to count twice as much as any other. Essentially crashing out in the last race of the year could cost you quite a few places in the standings. It’s a ridiculous notion that, quite honestly, will give voice to many F1 naysayers again. It just leaves me with a horrible feeling of Oi Vey!
Getting excited for the first race as we see if Alonso can win, if Hamilton can command or if anyone can stop the train that is Sebastien Vettel. F1 is back!