The 2014 Formula 1 season is upon us, with the opening round this weekend in Australia. With it, we present the Enthusiast's Guide To The 2014 Formula 1 Season!
Formula1 has always been the absolute pinnacle of motorsport; it absorbs the best of drivers, the best of teams, and the most money. Huge budgets do not always equal great racing, and the last couple of years have been dominated by Red Bull. Leading into this season, indications are that the new regulations will throw a wrench in the works, and it just might be anybody's game.
See the brief history, this season's changes, car details, race schedule, drivers, and find out how to watch on Hooniverse.com.
Without Formula 1, there would be a much less interesting history to international motorsport. F1 is the original professional motorsport which exists only for the enjoyment of the fan. The cars are constructed and shipped all around the world simply for the fact that people enjoy it. Outside of soccer, more people in the world watch Formula One than any other sport that exists; there are hundreds of soccer matches in a year, and only 19 F1 Grands Prix.
Currently ran under the Federacion Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) banner of intercontinental racing championships, Formula 1 has existed as a championship since the 1950s. The rules change almost every year, and over the years several manufacturers have come to the forefront, be they road car manufacturers like Ferrari, Renault, Mercedes, Peugeot, Honda, and Toyota, or privateer constructors like McLaren, Williams, and Sauber.
In recent years Formula 1 has been ruled by a few very brilliant people. Bernie Ecclestone went from an average car salesman to a very wealthy man by selling something which did not expressly belong to him, the television rights to broadcast Formula 1. He is the current CEO of Formula One Management, making him the single most influential man in the sport. The current head of the FIA, Jean Todt, also has a say in how F1 is run, as the president of it's sanctioning body.
There are so many changes this year, it is difficult to know where to start. The FIA has completely torn up the rulebook
After almost a decade of the stalwart 2.4 liter naturally aspirated V8 engines, artificially limited to 18,000 RPM, they are being replaced by a new-design 1.6 liter V6 turbo which are now limited to 15,000 RPM. The new engines are in response to the FIA requiring a more efficient racing series, now limiting each car to 100Kg of fuel per race, where the old V8 would consume around 150Kg of fuel in a race. Where the 2013 engines produced around 750 horsepower, the 2014 spec turbo engine will only make about 600 horsepower. The new engines are not as piercing as the old high-rev V8s, but they do have a certain sound that isn't necessarily unpleasant, just different.
Some of the power lost in the engine regulation change has been won back with the increased power of the new spec Energy Recovery System. In addition to a system similar to last year's KERS, the new system also introduces "electric turbocharger technology" that captures waste exhaust pressure to help charge the batteries. Interestingly, the turbochargers can also be actuated electrically to reduce the boost threshold (commonly referred to as "turbo lag") coming out of slow corners and between gear changes.
The KERS system takes wasted kinetic energy produced during deceleration and stores it in a battery pack, which is then used to power rear-axle electric motors again under acceleration. In past years, KERS was allowed to be deployed for up to 6.7 seconds per lap, and could only produce 60kw worth of forward motion force. For 2014, the power output has been increased to 150kw, and it can be used for up to 30 seconds per lap. Recent years have seen the drivers "deploy" their KERS via a "push to pass" style button, but this year, the extra energy boost will be built into the engine mapping, backfilling the gaps in power at lower revs and aiding with acceleration automatically. This means less work for the drivers, and it will be much less gimmicky than it used to be.
Read the rest on Hooniverse.com.