2014 Formula 1 Pre-Season Roundup

By . 26 March 2014

The 2014 Formula 1 season is now upon us and with 19 races running right through to November its set to be a cracking year. If you are a lover of F1 as I am you will be looking forward to the speed and adrenaline that is the hallmark of F1. So whats in store for us this year?

FIA Regulation Changes

The 2014 Formula 1 season sees some significant changes to the cars with smaller front and back wings, a lower profile nose, a new power unit and new fuel limitations. In fact, the fuel limitations have already caused some controversy from the initial race in Australia where one of the teams chose to trust their own readings rather that the FIA supplied fuel flow monitoring equipment.

The new power units are probably the most notable, and most talked about, change with reintroduction of turbos fitted to the engine; a feature of Formula 1 not seen since the 1980's. The old 4L V8 engines which have been used for a number of years have now been downsized to 1.6L V8 turbocharged engines. The kinetic energy recovery system, KERS is now replaced with ERS; the system of kinetic energy recovery combined with additional power produced by the turbo. In fact the new ERS will provide more power for longer than KERS alone, resulting in more overtaking opportunities.

Some manufacturers have welcomed the changes but others who relied more on their aerodynamic design are naturally more unhappy. FIA imposed changes in aerodynamics will lessen the advantage this can provide and shift the focus more on engine performance.

The Tracks

2014 sees the Formula 1 Championship visiting 19 tracks as in 2013. However, the visits to Korea and India will be replaced with the Austrian and Russian Grand Prix. The season commenced with the Australian Grand Prix on the 16th March and will run right through to the end of November culminating in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Who will win the 2014 F1 Championship?

Naturally, the 4 time Championship winner Sebastian Vettel will be eager to defend his crown, however the first race in Australia left the Red Bulls with no points with the new power unit failing on Vettel's car early in the race and Ricciardo disqualified due to exceeding the maximum fuel flow rate.

The podium places were all taken by Mercedes powered cars (Mercedes 1st with McLaren 2nd and 3rd); maybe an early indication that Mercedes are getting to grips with the new power units. However, Mercedes Exec. Director admits that the team came away from Melbourne with plenty to think about, despite the win, so its clear that all teams are on a steep learning curve to master the new power units and aerodynamic challenges of the redesigned cars.

Of course the season has only just begun and the upcoming Malaysian race shows early signs of Red Bull faring better.

The bookies favourites to take the crown currently look to be Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

Who is your favourite to win the title this year?