Last season saw the end of the V8 era that started back in 2006. We now have new 1.6L turbo-charged V6 engines in an attempt to make Formula 1 more environmentally friendly. This wasn’t the only regulation change his year. The most significant aesthetic change is the change in height of the noses. This has led to some ‘interesting’ solutions from teams, with various noses resembling various different objects/cartoon characters/animals.
Lets start our run through of this year’s Formula 1 cars:
Red Bull Racing, RB10
Technical Specification (from http://www.infiniti-redbullracing.com/car/rb10):
Engine: Renault Energy F1 2014. 6 cylinder, 1600CC, 15,000 RPM, 24V, 90 degree vee angle, 145kg weight.
Transmission: 8-Speed Longitudinally Mounted Gearbox with Hydraulic Clutch Operation
Wheels: OZ Racing, Front: 12in x 13in Diam, Rear: 13.7in 13in Diam
Suspension: Aluminium uprights, Carbon-composite double wishbone
Brakes: Carbon/Carbon composites discs and pads
The RB10 was brought to us at the start of the first test in Jerez (28th Jan). This, in my opinion is one of the better looking cars on the grid this season. Unlike other teams Red Bull Racing have realised that the appendage on the front does not look good and have taken the effort to hide it with a dark section of livery. The rest of the chassis looks remarkably similar to last year’s RB9, and this is a good thing.
It will be interesting to see this out in P1 at Melbourne, as up until now the Renault engines have been struggling with reliability issues in the first test in Jerez.
Mercedes AMG Petronas, W05
Photo credit: http://www.mercedesamgf1.com/en/car/f1-w05/
Technical Specification (taken from http://www.mercedesamgf1.com/en/car/f1-w05/):
Engine: 6 cylinder, 1600CC, 15,000 RPM, 24V, 60 degree vee angle, 145kg weight.
Transmission: 8-Speed Forward, 1 Reverse Gearbox with Hydraulic Clutch Operation
Wheels: Advanti forged Magnesium
Suspension: Carbon fibre wishbone. Front: push-rod activated torsion springs and rockers. Rear: pull-rod activated torsion springs and rockers.
Brakes: Carbon/Carbon composites discs and pads, Brembo calipers.
In my opinion this is the best looking car on the grid, brought to us again on 28th January for the first test in Jerez. This has one of the more attractive noses that I’ve seen. They have managed to produce something which is not so dissimilar from the 2013 noses, just with the lower height incorporated. I think that this looks fantastic and with a similar livery to last years W04 it is no huge shock on the eyes.
Scuderia Ferrari, F14 T
Photo credit: http://f14t.ferrari.com/en/#photogallery/1
Technical Specifications (from http://f14t.ferrari.com/en/#techspecs):
Engine: 6 cylinder, 1600CC, 15,000 RPM, 24V, 90 degree vee angle, 145kg weight, 53mm stroke.
Transmission: 8-Speed Forward, 1 Reverse Longitudinal Gearbox with Hydraulic Clutch Operation
Wheels: OZ Wheels, 13″
Suspension: Independent suspension, pull-rod activated torsion springs front and rear
Brakes: Carbon/Carbon composites discs and pads
Weight: 691 kg
To be driven by Kimi Raikonnen and Fernando Alonso, here is the F14 T. The name of this years car was put down to a fan vote, and strangely enough the Italians chose “F14 T” which has a striking resemblance to “Fiat”. The front of the F14 T looks like it wants to suck up all the dirt off the track. This open-mouth look is far better looking than some of the other teams’ cars but I much prefer last years cars, and that is saying something!
Lotus Renault, E22
Lotus are yet to have released information regarding the E22 on their website, and I am loathing to produce information from any other source as the car is still in its infancy. However the engine will have the same specification as that of the RB10 as they are both using the Renault Power Unit.
This year Lotus have gone out on a limb (or other body part) for their nosecone. To achieve the required single impact point for crash testing, Lotus have made one of the extrusions longer than the other which is predicted to cause understeer when turning in one direction (can’t remember which one!). My first thoughts on this car were ‘oh dear lord’, and they have not changed. Lotus have always been somewhat eccentric with their social media, but I didn’t realise this would have rubbed off onto their engineers and designers.
McLaren Mercedes, MP4-29
Photo credit: http://www.mclaren.com/formula1/car/#media
Technical Specification (from http://www.mclaren.com/formula1/car/#tech-specs):
Engine: Mercedes-Benz PU106A Hybrid, 1.6L Turbocharged V6, 15000 RPM, 90 degree vee angle, 24V
Transmission: 8-Speed Forward, 1 Reverse. Carbon/Carbon clutch
Suspension: Carbon-fibre wishbone, push-rod operated front, pull-rod operated rear springs.
Brakes: Akebono calipers.
The first of what I will politely call the ‘platypus noses’, the McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 is in a fresh new livery this year after losing their title sponsor Vodafone. Their poor performances in the constructors championship drove many McLaren fans (including myself) to despair! This year the car has a sleek new look and the earliest reports are suggesting that this could be a strong title contender. Thank god.
Sahara Force-India Mercedes, VJM07
Sahara Force India are yet to release any full technical specifications, however they use the Mercedes power unit, so the engine will be the same as the Mercedes AMG Petronas W05.
Firstly wow, that livery. I’m yet to come across anyone who hasn’t fallen in love with the livery. However for me, this is as far as the positives go. I mean what is that on the front? (Children cover your eyes). With a strong driver line up this year of Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez and Nico Hulkenberg the VJM07 has potential to finish on the podium this season.
Sauber Ferrari, C33
Photo credit: http://www.sauberf1team.com/en/car/sauber-c33-ferrari/
Technical Specifications (from http://www.sauberf1team.com/en/car/sauber-c33-ferrari/):
Chassis: Carbon-fibre monocoque
Suspension: Wishbone with front push and rear pull activation.
Brakes: Six-piston brake calipers, carbon-fibre pads and discs.
Transmission: Ferrari 8-speed longitudinal gearbox, carbon-fibre clutch.
Weight: 691 kg
Personally I think that the Sauber C33 is a very good looking car, with a very similar livery to last year’s car. The nose is ugly as per the rest of the 2014 cars, however I think they have sculpted it very well such that it doesn’t look too awful. I will look forward to see how the C33 performs this year as I have a bit of a soft spot for Sauber.
Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari, STR9
As yet STR Ferrari have not released any technical specifications, however the power unit is the same as that in the Scuderia Ferrari F14 T.
There isn’t a lot to say about the STR9, it has a similarly shaped nose to most of the other cars on the grid, and the bodywork is very similar to that in the 2013 season.
Technical specification (from: http://www.williamsf1.com/Team/Car/Technical-Spec/)
Chassis: Monocoque construction laminated from carbon epoxy and honeycomb.
Front suspension: Double wishbone, push-rod activated springs and anti-roll bar
Rear suspension: Double wishbone, pull-rod activated springs and anti-roll bar
Transmission: Williams eight speed sequential semi-automatic shift plus reverse gear, gear selection electro-hydraulically actuated. Carbon clutch.
Wheels: RAYS forged magnesium
Engine: Mercedes-Benz PU106A Hybrid , Internal Combustion Engine : Capacity 1.6 litres, Cylinders Six, Bank angle 90, No of valves 24, Max rpm ICE 15,000 rpm
It is important to note that firstly the image shown is that in the testing livery only. The finalised livery is due for release prior to the first race in Melbourne. Williams are set to partner up with Martini for an exciting new era. This livery should be exceptional! The Williams was the first car to be released where we could see the nose. This was the start of ‘nosegate’, however I wouldn’t say its the worst looking car out there. With a clever livery it could even be one of the best looking. I wait in anticipation to see how the FW36 performs this year.
Monocoque: Carbon-fibre composite
Front suspension: Carbon-fibre wishbone and pushrod suspension elements operating inboard torsion bar and damper system
Rear Suspension: Carbon-fibre wishbone and pullrod suspension elements operating inboard torsion bar and damper system
Brake system: Carbon/carbon discs and pads with rear brake by wire system. AP Racing calipers
The Marussia MR03 is remarkably similar to most of the other cars on the grid. It will be good to see Marussia put in some good performances. With no rookies in their team this year, Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi will be given another opportunity to live up to their potential. Hopefully the MR03 is the car for them.
Technical Specification (from http://www.caterhamf1.com/cars/the-car):
Engine: Renault V6 RS34
Suspension: Twin non-parallel wishbone, Pullrod actuated.
Transmission: 8 Speed forward, 1 reverse gearbox. AP racing clutch.
I’ll try and hold back my vomit as I look at the front of this monstrosity. As an engineering student I understand aerodynamics, and no. Just no. Not really sure what is going on at the front there, it looks like last year’s car with some sort of growth out the front of it.
Well there we are, that’s the 2014 Formula 1 Grid. I can’t say that I’m overawed by this year’s cars but hey, what can I do? Will be interesting to see the first race in Melbourne!