Inside F1 in 2014

I had the opportunity of attending Singapore Grand Prix last September. The new era of turbocharged V6 engines was coming soon and I knew I needed to witness the outgoing naturally aspirated, 2.4 litre V8 engines for the first and last time. I can tell you it was nothing short of an amazing, yet deafening, experience.

This last week’s testing at Jerez has shown us what is here to stay. Formula 1 has made a number changes for 2014′s engine formula by mandating a 1.6 litre turbo-charged V6. FIA has restricted fuel flow to 100 kg/h and limited engine revs to a mere 15,000 rpm. Prominent design changes include lower noses which does away with the stepped nose design in favour of safety.

2014 Red Bull RB10, Sebastian Vettel - Jerez
2014 Red Bull RB10, Sebastian Vettel – Jerez

Alongside these changes, new energy recovery systems will have a greater role in F1. What we knew as KERS is now ERS-K. A new heat-based energy recovery system, ERS-H, will capture previously wasted energy via heat expelled from the turbocharger and deliver up to 161 bhp for up to 33 seconds per lap to the driver. The previous KERS system used until last season offered the driver up to 80 bhp for six seconds per lap.

2014 McLaren MP4-29, Kevin Magnussen - Jerez
2014 McLaren MP4-29, Kevin Magnussen – Jerez

Now, just in case I lost you and none of this makes sense… Renault has provided an excellent overview of their new Energy F1 engine and ERS technology for 2014.

I hope under race conditions these engines sound something like Formula 1. No matter what, 2014 is shaping up to be exciting given the new technology and it’s assurances to sometimes fail. Looking at you, Red Bull.

The next pre-season test date is 19 February in Bahrain, followed by the Australian Grand Prix on 16 March.

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