The official Formula 1 season runs from March 14th all the way until November 23rd, meaning this weekend is the world’s top international racing circuit’s debut. With it comes a revolutionary new car, that’s designed to be safer, smarter, and more efficient.
Unfortunately, there’s still no cup holders for your KFC “Go Cups.”
2014’s Biggest Changes:
- New lower nose and chassis
REASON: To prevent cars from becoming airborne when bumped from behind. Nose have apparently gotten higher over the years in an effort to increased airflow into the engine, while chassis heights have gone up to create more downforce by sending more air underneath the car. Go figure — more downforce means more cars going up.
- No more rear “beam wing”
REASON: Once again, less downforce.
- Smaller front wing
REASON: To reduce the amount of tire punctures caused by the sharp protrusion that is the front wing.
- An extra gear
REASON: 30% smaller fuel tanks (100kg) are a move towards fewer carbon emissions (we shouldn’t have to explain what greenhouse gasses are), while the new 8th gear will make cars more fuel efficient.
- Smaller, smarter engines
REASON: A change from a V-8 to a V-6 drops bph output to 600 from 750 last year, but will be hedged by more two powerful Energy Recovery Systems, which basically are the cars’ electronic turbo boosters (we think). Those will produced an addition 160 bph, which (obviously) helps with fuel efficiency, and adds an additional strategic component to fuel conservation during the race, as drivers will tactically switch between the two power systems.
The video below does a great job explaining what’s going down this year, featuring Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel, who drive around in CGI cars as if it was an IMAX movie about Forumla 1. Very cool.