Formula One is the pinnacle of motorsports engineering. It is said a modern formula one car generates enough downforce that it could theoretically drive upside down. Unfortunately, those technological advances have come at a price. The reliance upon downforce has made passing much more difficult, as a trailing car “looses the front end” from the disrupted air of the leading car. Additionally, we no longer witness drivers power sliding through corners. That may change this year though, as there will be less downforce, harder tires, and no blown diffusers to keep tire temperatures up. Coupled with the re-introduction of turbos, and the resulting higher torque, the cars will be more challenging to drive. This was evident at the recent Jerez test, as drivers experienced much lower grip levels than in recent years. Sauber driver Adrian Sutil compared it to driving on ice.
The 2014 rule changes have met with some criticism, but we at Drive Kulture welcome them. Will the new changes disrupt Red Bull’s dominance? Will we witness drivers sliding their cars more? We’ll have to wait until Australia next month to see, but we can hope for racing closer to the epic Gilles Villenueve/Rene Arnoux fight at Dijon in 1979 (see link) rather than some of the Red Bull-led parades recently.