As F1 grapples with the challenges of new smaller V6 turbo power units, the drivers will experience higher top speeds along the straights.
That is the prediction of Force India’s technical chief Andrew Green as he and his team get to work with the new 2014 regulations.
While it is obvious that the new V6 engines will carry less power than their V8 predecessors the addition of a turbo and a much more powerful Energy Recovery System (ERS) means the actual output will not be far from the 750bhp roughly put out by the naturally aspirated V8.
What is also different in 2014 is a substantial lose in aerodynamic performance as skinnier wings and the end of blown diffusers will cause levels of grip to reduce to levels not seen since 1998.
The amount of downforce is also expected to be at levels seen at the start of the 2009 season, the last time the fundamental design of the cars was changed, however, Green believes this year’s changes have some major differences compared to 2009.
“The downforce loss is in the same region and is quite significant,” he told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport.
“But this time the drag has also been dramatically reduced, where in the past the drag stayed the same while downforce was going down.”
Asked if that means top speeds will be higher in 2014, Green agreed: “Yes. I expect the cars to be about 15kph faster.”
Another key difference is the large increase in weight as the 2014 cars must weigh a minimum of 691kg compared to 640kg last year; this too will have a dramatic effect on handling.
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