As Formula 1 embarks on a new V6 powered era, Jenson Button expects the new cars to only be slightly ahead of the unchanged GP2 machines.
During the first few days of testing concerns were growing over just how much slower the new 2014 cars would be compared to their predecessors. However, on the third day Kevin Magnussen got the gap between the fastest time last year and this down to around six seconds.
Most predictions had the new cars being around five seconds per lap slower this season but despite that there is still some who believe GP2 could match F1.
“They will be a lot closer on certain circuits,” 2009 world champion Button is quoted by Motorsport as saying.
“We’ll be quicker, but not that much quicker.”
The issue most drivers have is while they like the increased torque from the new V6 engines, less revs and a much less downforce mean the cars are a lot slower in the corners.
One thing that is expected however is a huge development race which will see the new cars possibly finding seconds in time over the course of a few races, certainly that six second gap from Jerez is expected to be less in Bahrain, then much less again in Melbourne for the opening race.
“And three races in there will be another chunk in terms of laptime,” Button added.
“By the end of the year we might not be that far off (2013 pace), maybe a couple of seconds, which will be pretty good when we get a real handle on where we are.”
The chances of making up all the ground lost to the 2013 cars is unlikely as the increase in weight from 640kg to 691kg is expected to add over a second, while Pirelli’s harder but more durable tyres are also said to be around half a second slower.
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