Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W05

The past few days, Formula 1 has taken over the motorsports scene once again. The teams have been busy revealing their 2014 racers and testing them in Jerez, Spain. Having brought you the 2014 Ferrari F14 T already, we have decided to compile all the cars in this post. For those who choose teams based on the cars this might be a good opportunity for you to compare.

Rule Changes

Perhaps the best place to start is by explaining the rule changes for the 2014 season. The biggest change is probably the downsizing of the 2.4-litre naturally aspirated V8’s, in use since 2006. These have been replaced by a more efficient 1.6-litre V6 turbos.

With the increased efficiency, fuel weight ratings will also be decreased. It now sits at 100 kg or about 130 litres compared to the 150 kg allowed for the previous season. To further increase efficiency, a Ers system has been introduced which stands for ‘energy recovery system’. It includes the Kers system and a second electric motor fitted to the turbo.

The Ers system harnesses kinetic energy from the turbo system which can be used for acceleration. The Kers system has also been beefed up, whereas it was allowed to produce 60kw for up to 6.7 seconds a lap. This year, it can produce 150kw for 30 seconds. In a sense, the latest generation of cars are hybrid. As a result, reliability will be key to this seasons tables.

From a design perspective, the front nose has been lowered by 415mm for safety reasons, to just 135mm above the floor of the car. ‘Vanity panels’ were an option and some teams have chosen to use them. The safety element is that the nose is now so low that when a car is t-boned, it becomes less of a danger to drivers. The front suspension is also lower for the same reason.

The front wings have been narrowed by 150mm and the exhaust position has now been changed. The blown diffuser has now disappeared after defining the last few seasons.

In terms of technical rules, a sliding scale has now been introduced with penalties related to the relative severity of the infringement. Finally, double points will be awarded at the final race.

Expect a lot of red flagging at the Jerez Circuit as the teams embark in the pre-season testing. The engines have undergone all the necessary testing but due to their new nature, there will be all sorts of lessons to be learnt. In no particular order:

1. McLaren Mercedes MP4-29

Just like all the other racers and in accordance to the new FIA technical regulations, it features a 1.6-litre V6 power-unit that weighs 145kg. The Mercedes-Benz PU106A Hybrid unit is then mated to an 8-speed transmission featuring an epicyclic differential with multi-plate limited-slip clutch. The front suspension comes with a carbon-fibre wishbone and pushrod suspension elements operating inboard torsion bar and damper system while the rear is served by a pullrod of the same nature. It will run on Pirelli P Zero with the stopping grip being served by the Akebono calipers cylinders.

2. Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W05

Launched at a time when the company is celebrating 120 years of motorsports, and the 80th anniversary of the silver arrows, the new F1 W05 comes with the same Mercedes-Benz PU106A Hybrid unit found in the McLaren MP4-29. The racecar has a better fuel economy and Lewis Hamilton took it to the track today in Jerez. The No.44 car was later reported to have suffered a front wing failure, the cause of the failure is still under investigation.

3. Ferrari F14 T

Visually, the Ferrari F14 T is very different from all Ferrari Formula 1 cars ever produced. The most notable visual change compared to last year’s competitor is the new front end, which incorporates a much narrower and lower nose section as mandated by the FIA to improve driver safety. It is powered by a 1.6-liter V6 turbocharged unit delivering a total of 750 hp when combined with the two energy recovery systems dubbed MGU-K and MGU-H.

4. Force India VJM07

Force India’s new VJM07 F1 racer has caused a heated debate especially to its fans, good thing is the team acknowledges the not so appealing nose; they say its the launch spec and that an updated front end will be fitted once the tests at Jerez are completed. Sergio Perez and teammate Nico Hulkenberg revealed the VJM07 in Jerez today ahead of their tests on Tuesday. While other teams are having each driver take on two consecutive test days, Force India has decided to alternate the order.

5. Red Bull Racing RB10

Being one of the most successful F1 teams, Red Bull racing unveiled their RB10 racer today at the Jerez Circuit. The car is still powered by Renault and they are now looking for their fifth consecutive F1 championship.

6. Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9

Sister team to Red Bull Racing which are both owned by Red Bull, the Italian team also revealed their new racer- the STR9 at the Jerez Circuit today ahead of their test days. They are now hopeful of a better season ahead with the new car, but the design of the STR9 is the one that caused the hottest fuss on social media with its extra long nose. Jean-Eric Vergne alongside the new rookie Daniil Kvyat will be testing in the course of the week.

7. Williams F1 FW36

Williams have also revealed their new F1 racer dubbed as the FW36, apart from the obvious new changes in design, they have now utilized technology borrowed from the Mercedes F1 team in a deal that was signed last year. It is a whole new direction for the team, starting with the new partnership to even using an eight speed transmission for the first time in their racing history.

8. Sauber C33-Ferrari

The Sauber F1 Team also revealed their new C33-Ferrari racer which they will use in the 2014 F1 season. The car which will also be testing at the Jerez Circuit comes with a 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 power unit, backed up by an energy recovery system (ERS) similar to the other F1 racers. The design changes which incorporate the low noses are supposed to reduce the risks incase of a nose to rear wheel accident or a T-Bone accident.

9. Lotus F1 E22

Lotus also revealed their new E22 challenger, which is also taking part in the pre-season tests at the Jerez circuit, the car does not raise any serious debates in terms of the nose as it looks quite different from the trend. The team says that they passed all the necessary crash tests and is very confident that their design complies with all the FIA legal requirements.

10. Caterham CT05 Renault

The Caterham F1 Team had their first test today at the Jerez Circuit with their new CT05 Renault driven by Marcus Ericsson. The car features the new all-green 2014 livery, its powered by Renault Sport F1 for the fourth year now, benefiting from the new Renault Energy F1 engine mated to a Red Bull Technology gearbox.

Mark Smith, Technical Director, Caterham F1 Team:

Despite the major rule changes introduced this season, our design philosophy was actually only slightly different to usual for a totally new car. We have still sought to maximise aero and mechanical performance within the regulations but there has been more emphasis than usual placed upon weight reduction and, bearing in mind how critical reliability will be this year, we have been slightly more conservative in the areas around the new power unit – cooling systems, exhausts, heat management etc.

11. Marussia MR03

Marussia will utilize their new MR03 for the 2014 season, the car is powered by a Ferrari motor, ditching the Cosworth motor which was used in the MR02. The MR03 is the first one designed by Marussia, the team however suffered a misfortune earlier on today citing a hitch in their new car. As a result they delayed their debut test at Jerez Circuit.

They tweeted: “The #MR03’s testing debut is subject to a delay while we resolve a small but frustrating technical issue”

They later tweeted: “Very pleased to report that the #MR03 is now on its way to #Jerez. Well done Team for resolving the issue. Our garage awaits you!”

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