Caterham Ferrari Formula 1 Lotus McLaren Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing Toro Rosso

Quick reference guide to the 2014 F1 season

We’re just a couple of sleeps away from the start to the most unpredictable Formula 1 season in recent memory. Is anyone else excited?!

Judging by pre-season testing form we’ll be lucky if half of the 22 cars entered in Melbourne finish the race. Remember, too, there’s just five complete power units available per driver all year, so we suspect reliability will have a big say in the outcome of both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships.

After the break you’ll find a full calendar with start Australian Eastern start times, a list of all the drivers and their new permanent numbers along with links to all of the new cars for 2104.

Right now it looks like the Mercedes power unit is the weapon of choice, with Renault proving the least reliable. Let’s see what happens between now and 23 November when double points are up for grabs at the final race in Abu Dhabi.

For easy reference be sure to save this link:

Formula 1 Red Bull Racing Video

Red Bull’s guide to the 2014 F1 season

Daniel Ricciardo

Red Bull Racing has put together this nifty video guide for the 2014 F1 season. You’ll see our Daniel and their Sebastian go through the key points of difference between the 2013 cars and the new and so far troublesome RB10. If only the team’s pre-season testing went as smoothly as this!

Caterham F1 in pictures Ferrari Lotus McLaren Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing Toro Rosso

F1 winter testing: Bahrain I in pictures

The design of the latest crop of Formula 1 cars, in response to new aero and crash regulations, has certainly encouraged plenty of discussion. The twin-tusk nose of the Lotus E22 (above) is certainly one of the most bizarre design solutions in the history of the sport.

Once the racing starts the novelty gawking at these god awful designs should ease and we can focus on what we love most, and that’s racing. In the meantime we bring you a gallery of 66 images from the recent pre-season test in Bahrain, six photos each of all 11 cars, that show you the class of 2014 in their best and worst angles.

A small pat on the back, too, goes to Eric Gandelin, the man responsible for the Sauber C33. We think that’s the best looking car of 2014. Although, a nod of appreciation also goes to the Williams FW36.

Those responsible for the horrors of the Caterham CT05 and Force India VJM07 should hang their heads in shame. As for the rest, a good hard look at themselves wouldn’t hurt!

Formula 1

Who is to blame for ugly F1 cars?

2014 Caterham CT05

Aside from the reliability concerns facing teams this year, especially those with Renault power, the big story from Formula 1 pre-season has been the ugliness of the cars. While the variety of designs is welcome, the results are, in the main, just terrible to look at.

The teams say it’s a result of the regulations, which has made us think a few times why on earth would the FIA sign-off on regs that result in such comedy? Either they have no foresight, or the current crop of designers is way too pragmatic, putting performance ahead of aesthetics and the sport in general.

In an article for Autosport+ (subscription required) Peter Stevens, designer of the McLaren F1 and Jaguar XJR-15, shares his thoughts on the matter.

Stevens starts by pointing his finger at the FIA, stating: “well-paid rule-makers seem to have been unable to foresee the consequences of their mandates“.

Yet, it’s the engineers from the teams who have been dealt the most savage criticism. In the past, Stevens explains, an F1 car was drawn on paper and then a trained pattern maker was engaged to transform the drawing into three-dimensional form. There was, of course, a skill in that process which required the maker to interpret and understand body surfacing.

Now that most everything design-related in F1 these days is handled by engineers and CAD systems Stevens sees the weak point, in what he describes as: “the work of under-trained or insensitive engineers”.

More blunty he concludes: “We are expected to endure 2014 shapes defined by an engineering CAD programme with limited surface development capabilities in the hands of pure rationalists. This is simply not good enough.”

Hear, hear.

[Source: Autosport+ (subscription)]

Caterham Ferrari Formula 1 McLaren Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing Toro Rosso

F1 winter testing: Jerez days 1 and 2

Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel

After two days of winter testing in Jerez what have we learned about the Formula 1 class of 2014, specifically these horrid looking new cars? Well, not a lot to be honest.

On day 1 most teams struggled and only 93 laps were completed by the teams in attendance, and none at all by McLaren. Kimi Raikkonen (1:27.104) was fastest in his return for Ferrari and ran the most number laps on the day at just 31. Lewis Hamilton (1:27.820) sent his Mercedes towards the top of the lap charts in his 18 laps before sending it into the wall after a front wing failure.

“We had a lot of new things to learn today,” Raikkonen said afterwards. “Even if we would have liked to do more laps, I think that for a first day it was alright. Towards the end, when the track was damp, we chose not to take any risks. Now we have a lot of work ahead of us, but all in all, we are pleased with our first day.”

After the leading two drivers times spread out with not much insight to be gained, other than there’s a lot of work to do. Sebastian Vettel and Marcus Ericsson, for example, only ran installation laps and didn’t set any times at all.

Things have become a little clearer on day 2, with all Renault powered teams experiencing problems while Ferrari and Mercedes powered cars gained an early advantage. Overnight rain saw Pirelli bring forward their designated wet weather session and trucks were sent out to ensure the track had sufficient water for testing purposes.

Jenson Button and McLaren had a good day, registering the fastest time in the morning’s wet session and also in the afternoon (1:24.165) when the track was dry.

The 2009 world champion spoke enthusiastically about the MP4-29 afterwards, too. “Of course, it’s still early days, and there’s a lot of work ahead of us,” Button said. “We need to work on both braking and traction; but that excites me, because there’s a lot of potential to adjust those parameters.

“The new braking system is very complicated, and getting it right will be tough. But these are all things we can work on: there’s nothing about the car that unsettles me, and there’s plenty of scope to explore the set-up. It will just take time.”

Kimi Raikkonen (1:24.812) was on the pace again during his 47 laps, cutting more than 2 seconds from his day 1 best. Valtteri Bottas (1:25.344) has had limited running during his two days, just 12 laps in all, but he has been third quickest on both days.

While only fourth fastest on day 2, Nico Rosberg (1:25.588) and Mercedes were happy with their lot. Rosberg racked up an impressive 97 laps, 44 more than his nearest rival, including some beneficial long runs.

“Every lap is important to get used to the new systems and it helped a lot that I have worked on this already in the simulator,” explained Rosberg. “We don’t know yet where we are compared to the other teams, but we can be quite happy after the first two days of testing here in Spain. Now I look forward to getting back in the car on Friday.”

Meanwhile the Renault powered cars managed just 19 laps between them (11 for Caterham, 8 for Red Bull and 0 for Toro Rosso). On day 1 only 19 laps were registered for the Renault runners as well (15 for Toro Rosso, 3 for Red Bull, 1 for Caterham), which will be cause for early concern.

Lotus isn’t an attendance at all for the Jerez test, choosing to wait until testing moves to Bahrain. Marussia is hoping to run its car tonight.

Photos and lap times are available after the break.

UPDATE: Pics from day 2 have now been added below.

Formula 1 Red Bull Racing

2014 Red Bull Racing RB10 revealed

2014 Red Bull RB10

Red Bull Racing has just released studio images of its 2014 F1 car, the RB10. Yes, it has an anteater nose, but thankfully, Adrian Newey has overseen a clever use of paint and carbon fibre to help hide the ugly snout.

Overall, we think this is the best looking car we’ve seen so far in 2014. Thanks only to the disguised nose.

Not only because it is the defending world champion, Red Bull will be the team to watch in 2014. The arrival of Daniel Ricciardo will, of course, keep Australian interest high in the Milton Keynes outfit. It will be fascinating to see how well Daniel manages the step into the team and the expectations that come with.

Red Bull’s approach to the release of info for the RB10 has been low key and after a small series of images there’s an even smaller press release complemented by a quartet of video interviews with Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Adrian Newey and Christian Horner.

It’s also worth noting the press release states the car you’re looking at now is the “first interpretation of F1’s radical new technical regulations”.