Cars bolting faster than 150 kmph, screeching tyres, breathtaking turns and lightning quick pit stops- Formula One is back!
The high adrenaline sport kick started on 16th of March in Australia with Nico Rosberg of Mercedes taking the pole position. However, this season is not only about speed. With new F1 regulations in place, the high speeds have been tamed to make way for more skillful and tactical driving.
The most notable changes this season are the two extra races, and the inception of in-season testing. In 2014, F1 goes old-school as the turbo-charged engines return to the tracks for the first time since 1988 with 1.6 litre V6 engine replacing the 2.4 litre V8 engine. Also, the cars will now carry 100 kg of fuel at the start of the race rather than 150 kg like last year. Therefore, the engineers face the challenge increasing efficiency while maintaining the power output of the machine.
The Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) has been replaced by the improved Energy Recovery System(ERS). The KERS system makes use of electrical systems in the motor generator installed in the car’s transmission, converting mechanical energy into electrical energy and vice versa. The harnessed energy gets stored in the battery and is released when required by a push of the button. This produces a maximum of 80 hp boost over 6.6 s of a lap. The ERS system can store ten times more energy than the KERS system and harnesses energy from the electrical machine attached to the turbocharger and the heat converter. This system produces a boost of up to 161 hp for a massive 33 s per lap. This will contribute to a significant reduction in lap time.
This season will also see the penalty points system replace the Grid-Place penalty. If a driver collects 12 penalty points, he will be banned from the ongoing Grand Prix. The introduction of in-season testing might prove to be a boon for teams looking to improve their cars in between the season. F1 teams will remain at the race venue for a two-day test with one car after four European Grand Prix.
The 2014 F1 season shall be the longest ever with 21 races planned, putting the drivers and the entire teams to the ultimate test of stamina and persistence. With the new guidelines in place, this season is expected to be the perfect balance of adrenaline and speed, and a battle of wits.