Formula One racing is going through an offseason transformation. With rule changes, an exciting new driver, and blockbuster team and driver changes, 2014 will provide a fresh look for fans. With less than six weeks to go before the kickoff in Australia, here are some reasons to watch in 2014:
- The minimum weight has been increased from 642k to 690k to accommodate expanded weight limits in the powertrain.
- The V8 2.4 engines are being traded for a 1.6 litre V6 turbo engine.
- Fuel will be limited to 100kg per race. Today teams use about 160kg per race, so this will introduce interesting pit strategies… in the interest of fuel conservation, of course.
- The Energy Recovery System (ERS), which captures and reuses wasted energy created during braking, will be responsible for more power. According to F1.com, “ERS comprise two energy recovery systems (Motor Generator Unit – Kinetic [MGU-K] and Motor Generator Unit – Heat [MGU-H]), plus an Energy Store (ES) and control electronics. “
- New rules to increase safety based on continual research, including reducing the nose height.
A Danish 21 year old is joining the Legendary McLaren crew. This could be the story of the year. His name is Kevin Magnussen, and he is joining the McLaren team that made Lewis Hamilton a star in his rookie year. With so many rule changes, the landscape is perfect timing for a new entrant. Following an epic four year run for Sebastian Vettel, watch for Magnussen to challenge in 2014.
Beginning with the McLaren addition of a rookie phenom to the fan favorite and F1 champion Jenson Button, the grid will look much different in 2014 than it did in 2013.
- Force India matches Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez.
- The Championship Red Bull team has added Daniel Ricciardo to fill the spot left by the “retiring” (leaving for greener pastures, racing for Porsche) Mark Webber.
- Ferrari brings back champion Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen to be “#2” to Fernando Alonso… this should be fun.
- Lotus replaces Raikkonen with Pastor Maldonado.
- Sauber adds Sergey Sirotkin… watch this move, he will be aggressive.
- Williams has added former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa, who is ready win.
- Sauber has added Adrian Sutil, an experienced and exciting driver.
I would really like to be telling you all about the new US race in 2014… we were supposed to have a race in New Jersey this year, helping F1 continue to regain it’s American audience. That isn’t going to happen this year, so the best we have is Austin, Texas, a track that is a driver favorite.
Even so, with the new rules, an exciting rookie, and plenty of team changes, the 2014 season is looking like perfect timing for a new entrant… Best of luck to the returning champion, the rookie, and everyone else on the grid.