dinsdag 28 januari 2014

Formula 1 in 2014 - the challengers

And with the first test day at Jerez (Spain) today, formula one has taken off again.  In what is to become a radical new season with the new regulations, the biggest one being the change to v6 Turbo engines, it is staring into the desert to see where everyone stands.

Another change that has a big impact is the lowering of the nose height, and this has resulted in one of two design philosophies: either a 'broken' flat nose that bends down heavily towards the front, or an 'ant-eater' style small middle nose section.

It seems though the 'broken nose' way is the way to go, as the top-3 teams of last year, Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari took that route.  And then there are Lotus and Caterham with completely different designs, that could either be a hit or a big failure...

The best looking car to be presented has been the Red Bull, Adrian Newey did a spectacular job and the nose is elegant compared to the other two big teams.  Something tells me they are once again going to be the team to beat.

The second most beautiful car for me, and first of the 'ant eaters' is the Sauber.  I always had a soft spot for the swiss team, being a small operation going strong.

Third in looks, the Lotus.  It's nose is rather different from anyone, even though it still has to go 'live' as they are absent from the Jerez test.  Using a split fork style, and elegant curves, this might be an outsider, or sink in the midfield.
At first this afternoon I thought it was hideous, but for some odd reason the past hours the design has been 'growing' on me.  Caterham took a complete different approach then most teams, combining the ant eater nose cone with the stepped bodywork of past season, and together with the striking green livery (I guess the yellow will follow?) and the fact I loved them ever since they came back in F1 (for me, they are still the real, original Lotus risen from it's ashes) I adored their cars.  On the PS I even won a GP in one ;-)

On the other hand, I cried when I saw the car of Il Cavalino Rampante, my beloved Ferrari's.  even though Kimi topped tables today, it is still a LONG way to go before a decent idea can be formed how competitive everyone is.  But the broken nose is just to bend, it looks like an elephant went down to sit on it...

Both McLaren and Mercedes have the more classic style as well, and especially the nosearray of the McLaren is different then most other teams.  The livery probably will be painted on later, but I wouldn't be suprised it will be their last season in silver as they return to Honda power next year.  Return of the infamous white and red colours?

Of the other teams, I think the Williams looks the best with only a short small cone at the front. 

Torro Rosso now really looks different then it's bigger brother, even though it is the first year they are also Renault powered like Red Bull instead of using Ferrari client motors.  This means they will have 4 sets of data to analyze (let's not kid anyone, we all know they will be working together as they are one concern) and makes Red Bull even a bigger favorite for me.
They can now actually compare the aerodynamic features of both sorts of nose that have been developped!  Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I'll bet if one nose proves better then the other, BOTH teams of the red bull logo will be mounting the same one come the GP of Australia.

Force India (the former Jordan) has been a consistant midfielder the past seasons, and they'll probably be that again as Hulkenberg is a good move (though I would never have swapped 'reliable' DiResta for the 'all or nothing' Perez) , but I'm not that wild of their switch from white to black in their livery
Which leaves us only with one missing car: the Marussia, who hasn't been able to make the tests yet due to a technical glitch discovered earlier this week.  But I can only hope Caterham can make the jump at last and leave the now Ferrari powered other 'new team' (if that is still relevant, as both go into their 5th season!), and I wonder how the balances have been reshaken.

If day one of testing is anything to go by, nothing can be learned as only 8 drivers went on track and Lewis put his Mercedes in the wall, causing a red flag... but still held second place.  For the rest there where HUGE gaps between each posting as special tests where performed, Caterham only doing a maiden lap for presentation for one, Red Bull only outing shortly, and Bottas showing some good starting pace.

1. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1m 27.104s, 31 laps
2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes , 1m 27.820s, 18 laps
3. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1m 30.082s, 7 laps
4. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1m 33.161s, 11 laps
5. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, 1m 36.530s, 15 laps
6. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, 1m 42.257s, 7 laps
7. Sebastian Vettel , Red Bull, No time, 3 laps
8. Marcus Ericsson, Caterham, No time, 1 lap

The comming days might learn more, but it is still 45 days before the real test: Melbourne...

1 opmerking:

  1. mooimooi, zocht al even een pagina met fotos van alle wagens naast elkaar :)