F1 2014 Rule Changes
2014 marks one of the largest technical changes in the last decade of F1.
Engines – V6 Turbo
The biggest and most demanding change on the sport is the switch from the much loved V8’s to the new eco-friendly (ish) V6 Turbo engines. The new engines have much higher demands on efficiency which are required to last at least 4,000 km (twice the v8’s lifespan) but whilst still remaining within five seconds of the 2010 laptimes.
These engines will also have a restricted fuel flow, encouraging the design of efficient engines.
KERS to ERS-K
The energy recovery system is also getting an overhaul. The new layout adds a heat-based energy recovery system to the exhaust to capture the heat and convert it to an energy. This is combined with the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (the traditional KERS system) on the braking to create an electrical speed boost of up to 160 bhp for over 30 seconds of a lap – the rough equivalent of three Nissan Micra’s.
This extra kit also bumps up the weight limit to three quarters of a ton.
The tip of the nose on the car can now be no higher than 18.5cm (previously 55cm), also stepped noses will be gone as teams have to ensure the transition is gradual rather than requiring a step. Early indications show that the rule book does encourage some rather ugly variations for the optimal layout.
Double points for last race
In a surprise move the last race of the season will now be worth double points. Hopes are for this to encourage a final showdown at the last race of the year.
Permanent Driver Numbers
In order to make drivers identities more globally known the numbers for each driver will now last for their entire Formula One career. Each driver can select a number between #2 and #99 with the World Champion Vettel able to opt for the coveted #1.
5 second penalty – In Race
In Brazil the stewards played a vital role in deciding the fate of Ferrari’s battle with Mercedes. Felipe Massa was given a drive through penalty for crossing the white line which identifies the pit-lane entrance on too many occasions. The same punishment was given to Lewis Hamilton for forcing a driver – Bottas – off the road.
In these cases the punishment for Massa seems far too strict. In 2014 it’s possible that the stewards could punish similar infractions with a 5 second penalty which would have had a far smaller influence on the title race. In 2013 this could well have given Ferrari the ticket to the 2nd place in the championship.
License Penalty Points
Like any other driver on the roads, racing drivers will now pickup points on their licence, repeat offenders will receive a race ban after gaining 12 points, then a further 5 points for next time. Grosjean and Maldonado need to take note of this one.
Slower pitstops and more testing
The teams have agreed to lower the pitlane speed limit to 50mph.
Teams will also receive an extra set of tyres for the first thirty minutes of Friday practice to encourage testing in an otherwise barren period. Testing during the season will also return with four mid-season tests after the races.