Formula 1


Formula 1 won't be competitive in 2014, says designers

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Leading F1 figures admit next year may not be the closest battle for the championship as a result of the large amount of technical and aerodynamic changes coming for 2014.

Some believe this year's season could also be decided in the next few races as teams will have to decide whether to continue focus on 2013 or shift all attention to 2014 after the summer break in August.

"I think many people will then move their focus to the championship of next year," Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali is quoted as saying.

Though Mercedes' Niki Lauda doesn't agree.

"Among the big teams, everyone will keep trying to make their cars faster until the end of the championship," said the Austrian.

Lauda continued saying it was simplistic to believe the championship will be over by August, though he did admit: "If Sebastian (Vettel) can make his lead even bigger, it will be very difficult to stop him being a four times straight world champion."

Should that happen it would make more sense for the teams to switch focus with the new engine formula, new ERS (Energy Recovery System) and adjusted aerodynamic rules.

Looking ahead to those changes some believe it will widen the gaps up and down the grid at least for the first year.

"Yes," agreed Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn, "we are facing several major engineering challenges and someone is likely to find solutions that are more efficient.

"I hope it's us," said the Briton.

Sauber's engineering chief Giampaolo Dall'ara added: "Now, with the stability of the regulations, when someone comes up with something novel, it's not so difficult for everyone to copy it.

"But next year, incorporating the winning solutions discovered by the others will probably necessitate a car redesign, which will mean waiting for the following season."

One man that will be looked to, to produce a radical interpretation of the new rules is Red Bull's Adrian Newey and he admitted: "We could see one team dominating the (2014) championship."

Even the FIA's deputy race director Herbie Blash concedes that 2014 might not stage the closest on-track battle.

"Whenever there is a conceptual review of the technical regulations, as we will have next year," he said to reporters, "the first year is not so competitive."

Indeed 2009 proved Blash's point when the leading teams from 2008, McLaren and Ferrari were late developing a new car for the change in regulations for the following year. 

As a result they dropped towards the back early in 2009 while former midfield teams, notably Honda, which became Brawn, and Red Bull took advantage switching focus early and moved to the front of the grid.

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