Going into the 2014 season, the teams will have to cope with a plenty of different rule changes. So what can we expect to see in the coming year?
Well firstly we are likely to see the emergence of McLaren back at the front of the grid. After enduring their worse season since 1980 and failing to score a single podium, McLaren will be eager to bounce back.
They finished the 2012 season with the fastest car; however they completely changed their design for 2013. It soon became apparent that their car was uncompetitive and they switched their attention to 2014 back in June.
This gave McLaren a head start over other teams, such as Red Bull, who had to keep their attention focused on 2013 and fighting for the championship.
McLaren will also be using the Mercedes power-unit for 2014, until Honda’s return in 2015. Paddock rumour suggests that Mercedes currently have an advantage, something which will help McLaren.
Another expectation for 2014 is that there will be more engine failures in races. Next year will see the introduction of V6 turbo engines. This will undoubtedly lead to a decrease in reliability and an increase in retirements.
In the last turbo-era, retirements were more common, suggesting that the same will happen next year. However, engineering has come on leaps and bounds, so retirements may not occur to the extent as was previously the case.
Due to the change in engines, the cars will sound very different too. Engine manufacturers have released clips of what the engines may sound like.
The cars are believed to sound much quieter due to exhaust restrictions.
In terms of the racing, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa have all said that the cars will be different and trickier to drive next year.
Button has said the there will be an increase in torque and a reduction in the levels of downforce on the cars. This makes it difficult for drivers to put the power down when exiting a corner. Putting the power down too quickly will cause the car to spin, rather than understeer off of the track.
So we could potentially see more cars spinning on track next year, as the drivers get used to driving them.
Button also believes that the cars will also produce closer racing:
“The racing will still be exciting, but I think it will be more close and there will be more fighting. There is a lot anyway but the way the cars will be, with less downforce, harder tyres and more torque, you'll get close racing a bit like GP2 because it will be so much easier to make a mistake."
In terms of who this change will benefit, it could either go one of two ways. It could either benefit the rookie drivers because everybody has to start again and learn how to drive the cars. Or it could potentially benefit the more experienced drivers.
One thing which is almost certain to remain the same is that Sebastian Vettel will be the man to beat. He has the talent and skill to adapt to the changes and with the intellect of Adrian Newey designing the car, Red Bull should still be at the front of the pack.
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