The 2014 regulation changes has everyone guessing as to what could happen this year. Some have argued that half the field will DNF in Australia to yet another boring Vettel domination. We thought we’d ask F1B staff to offer their top 5 predictions for the 2014 season and here they are:
Williams will win again!
First 3rd of the season is Williams chance to reassert itself in the big leagues, the Association with Mercedes has been a massive boon to the team. Also their experience with hybrid technologies seems to really be paying off.
Lotus will spiral down to be the Williams of 2014!
With a car slow to show up and slow to get going RoGro may be leaning on “Uncle Eric” to get him a new job.
Lewis or Nico for Champion!
This will be a tough fight and a very interesting one at that, I’m leaning towards Nico for his smoother style to control those Torquey motors.
Quali will be Mega!
As we spoke of during the podcast the new tyre allocation will really get qualifying back to where it should be with Q3 setting itself up to be an all out brawl for pole, magic.
ERS will be invisible
With all the build up to the new rules it will be quite difficult to see the technology actually working with no button to push the drama that was KERS will be harder to follow (TIC), that is unless the programmers and F1 have a way of accessing this info on a real time basis (not holding my breath NBC Sports). Perhaps it will only be in evidence when it fails, and we may see a bit of that in Australia
Mark McArdle (Twitter’s Fake Charlie Whiting)
1. The first race will be one of great drama.
Somebody (McLaren or Mercedes) will show up with something new and Christian Horner will sprint to Charlie Whiting’s office with a stack of protest papers. Charlie will lock the door and pretend he’s not home. He’s on to Christian this time. During Qualifying, the new rules will confuse several teams, who will incorrectly sit out of Q2. Lessons will be learned.
During the first race, there will be smoke and then tears. Or maybe tears and then smoke. And then more tears. Pastor Maldonado will break things. Many things.
The BBC will do a deep technical review of this year’s cars, but it will be done in crayon. And using sock puppets. The sock puppets will be wearing Man U shirts for no apparent reason. Gary Anderson, watching from home, will chuck something at his TV.
Bernie will be visible in the Paddock for 4 minutes and 22 seconds. He will then disappear.
There will be several Martin Whitmarsh sightings. None will be real. Martin is locked in a bespoke carbon fibre box in the basement of the McLaren Technology Centre. There is an air hole in the box for each of his Championships (one). It’s a truly beautiful box.
Lotus will have a meeting with Mansoor Ijaz at their hotel. He’ll leave them with the drinks bill. Force India will be selling heavily discounted Paul Di Resta caps. The Pirelli tires used in the race will be drama free. In fact, everyone will complain the new tires have destroyed the excitement of the sport. Paul Hembery will then be seen opening a bottle of Barossa and crying himself to sleep.
Jean Todt will be in the Paddock. He’ll be mumbling “ze cost control” while sipping Champagne and eating foie gras.
2. Medical Concerns over New Technology
Over the course of the season, FOM’s new on-board graphics showing when ERS-K, ERS-H, DRS and Turbo is being used will cause 27 people to have seizures. Thousands of fans will head to their doctor for hearing tests after attending a race and discovering they no longer hear the wail of an F1 car.
3. Financial Strain Continues
One team will declare bankruptcy before the 10th lap of the 4th race, but will find $40M under Bernie’s motorhome and will dust itself off and Carry On. Bernie’s legal bills declare their intention to enter a team in F1. FOTA memorabilia reaches an all time high on eBay.
4. A New Champion is Crowned
Nico Rosberg will win the first race, and the Championship Lewis will be P3. He may or may not have a girlfriend. There will be pictures of his dogs tweeted.
5. There Will Be Progress and Not Progress
Williams will finish in the top 5. Over the entire season, no one at Ferrari smiles, continuing their 6 year perfect record. Meanwhile, Red Bull will try to make the first race worth half-points. They’ll reach a compromise by scoring none. Subsequently, Adrian Newey will squint his eyes and the head of engineering at Renault will disappear, forever. In Sochi, Putin declares the inaugural F1 race weekend a success by invading Poland. Shirtless.
I shall watch in awe, wondering how all of this came to be. And then I’ll remind myself, it’s Formula One.
Dave Mortimore (MIE)
1. Complex cars to work on
One thing test has shown is the complexity of the mechanics job with this new generation of cars. As a result I would expect to see teams trying to do as much as possible in FP1 and FP2 on the Friday, leaving the Saturday morning and FP3 clear so that teams are not rushing around changing components before qualifying. Anyone who has a problem in FP3 may not be able to get out for the reduced 18 minutes of Q1, and will have to start from the pitlane.
2. Qualifying poor for Renault
When it comes to Qualifying, I expect all those eliminated in Q1 to be powered by Renault. As a result I predict Marusssia will be in Q2 on merit.
3. But good for Mercedes
Those getting through to the top ten will be the four Mercedes powered teams and the two works Ferrari cars. Pole will be a fight between Williams and Mercedes.
4. Poor finishing in Australia
Come the race, I think Sauber, Marussia, Lotus, Red Bull and Toro Rosso may struggle to finish, with at most only one car from each team seeing the chequered flag. On the other hand, I predict that Caterham will get to the end, and if the attrition has been sufficient among the other teams they may even score a point.
5. Fuel saving will produce some different tactics
In the race we may see some odd tactics as drivers are desperate to save fuel. Those teams with contracted number two drivers (or teams in Toro Rosso’s case) may see the number two having to act as a sacrificial ‘hare’ to encourage other teams to follow them to use their 100kg of fuel too quickly, while the lead driver plays the ‘tortoise’ in the slipstream of the pack, hoping to pick up pace come the end of the race. Alternatively we may see a breakaway pack of drivers acting as a cycling peloton with drivers taking it in turns to lead the pack while the others save fuel close behind (we may need to wait until Monza to see the true return of this sort of slipstreaming).
1. Red Bull’s season of pain will be over by the time we get to the teams home Grand Prix in Austria where Vettel scores a podium.
2. All of the Renault powered cars will start from the pit-lane for the Australian Grand Prix.
3. Red Bull will dominate the double points race in Abu Dhabi. Redeeming many of the teams issues.
4. Lotus will retire both cars out of the first three races of the season.
5. Kevin Magnussen will win a race in the final part of the 2014 season.
1. Red Bull will struggle mightily from Australia and on through the first several rounds. Midway through the season, Newey will retire in order to concentrate on designing a better paper airplane. The team will be bought out by a resurgent Forti Corse just before the Italian Grand Prix and, in an odd but modern move, a Facebook campaign will be launched by the team, leading to Perry McCarthy being brought in to replace Vettel on the strength of the Brit having received more Likes than the German received Shares.
2. Kimi will buy Fernando an ice cream before each race. Brain freeze=slower lap times. It’s science.
3. RoGro will ReGrow the AfRo and the entire Lotus team will begin sporting earrings, but only in their left ears in order to further accentuate that totally awesome, asymmetrical ‘80s look. Then they will proceed to rock down to Electrical Issues Avenue, all caused by Pastor Maldonado.
4. A Catarham will win in Australia, using USF1’s front wing and inspiration garnered from a framed poster of Jimmy Clark.
5. Niki Lauda will have an opinion on something.
1. Lewis Hamilton will win in Oz and he will secure more poles than anyone else this season. I have said may times to anyone who will listen LH, over one lap is faster than anyone. As of right now with everything that is known, you would have to say Hamilton is the favorite for the championship. That opinion could change dramatically after the first two GP’s it must be said.
2. Fernando Alonso and/or Kimi Raikkonen will also be regular podium visitors and for what it is worth FA will out race KR, however not by much when all is said and done. Also look for Ferrari to actually develop their car throughout the season relevant to the rest of the [top] teams now that track work correlates to their updated wind tunnel work. I am expecting one of the Ferrari’s to occupy one of the three steps in Melbourne.
3. As I predicted in a post for F1blog, William’s will reach the podium and when the conditions are right will even take a victory or two and Oz is one of these races where they should enjoy the reliability that they have demonstrated so far. If any hiccup befalls either Mercedes, McLaren or Ferrari the winning team picture on Sunday night will be a much needed boost for everyone from Grove.
4. McLaren and Mercedes will throughout the year end up fighting with each for race wins with Kevin Magnussen out performing Jenson Button half of the time or even a little bit more. Although McLaren faded some in the final test they will undoubtedly be a force this year. FA once said no one can develop the car like McLaren (this prior to the magic Adrian and Co. displayed the last couple of years) and they have shown that on numerous occasions.
5. Unlike years past, a driver and car combination that qualify’s well on Saturday will not necessarily reach the podium on Sunday. Now more than ever F1 racing is really about the entire package; driver, car, reliability, strategy, add to that fuel economy, and lastly the drivers touch on the pedal to keep the rear end from stepping out. This year will challenge all the drivers and we will see a greater separation between the top drivers and the rest of the field. It will not be good enough to just be fast, every part of the race weekend will have to be perfect and the team and drivers that can consistently do this will collect the nice shiny trophies in November.
Now those are some of F1B’s staff prediction, what are your top 5 predictions for the 2014 Formula 1 season? Let us know in the comments section below.