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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:

Paul Charsley

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).

 

Tom Firth

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.

 

Tony Greene

 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.

 

Johnpierre Rivera

 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.

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Rapierman

    1. Red Bull Racing will drop like a boulder off a tall, steep mountain, even if Newey somehow figures out how to build a better mousetrap. This leads to….

    2. Renault Sport F1 engines being declared an explosive hazard and are thus ordered by the International Criminal Court to be destroyed. This leads to…

    3. The Federation Internationale l’Automobile telling all the ‘greenies” to “SHUT UP!!!”

    4. Mercedes AMG F1 will take the championship on the strength of more dead cars than the average demolition derby that is usually held in small US towns.

    5. As a result, Nico Rosberg will record his first F1 season championship win.

    • Rapierman

      Speaking of which……Todd, where’s yours?

  • Once again, we are dealing with 22 drivers, 11 teams and 19 races. And several billion Euros invested in what? In madness. Pride, politics, pressures, espionage and we still continue to like Formula 1. What is wrong with ourselves?

    After pre-season tests, we are trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Some teams do not see it yet.

    Red Bull.

    Many laugh in their sleeves because of the issues they had during tests, but, when they will overcome the challenges, we believe that the Red Bull car will once again be the most competitive and most admired by everyone. Aerodynamics is still crucial in F1, although not as much as in the past. We credit the Red Bull team with at least one victory this year, and the battle within the team will be dominated by Vettel, but we would argue that not as categorical as expected by some.

    Mercedes

    It is true that things are looking very good for the Germans, and not only for them, but for all teams powered by them. We see at least 3 victories in their repertoire this year, and we believe that the fight between pilots will be one as close as last year, but with a good chance of being dominated by Rosberg. We are expecting them to make the most progress during the year.

    Ferrari

    More on news.playf1.net

    • uh…ok. Not exactly how I would introduce myself on your site but then I’m just a crass, smart-ass American so what do I know. ;)

  • Craig (Honda Hero)

    As a semi staff member (did I just type that?!) I hereby predict;

    Red Bull will arrive in Melbourne with a compromised aero body addressing some of their cooling issues and will finish just inside the top 10. By mid season they’ll be regularly in the top ten but will fail to catch up to challenge either championship.

    McLaren will end up being the strongest Merc powered team & KM will be a title contender by the end.

    Lotus will implode with poor results and may struggle to even turn up by August due to cash flow drying up.

  • Craig (Honda Hero)

    Benie will be gone and the succession will be in place, being apparent that it had been planned for some yrs.

    We will be looking at a Nico in a completely different light.

  • AntioBob

    Prior to the pre-season tests I wasn’t convinced that RedBull would be “the team to beat.” I’m suspicious of claims of future performance based on pedigree, history or resources alone. If this were true McLaren would have won 3 or 4 races last year. I’m also cautious in going with received wisdom regarding drivers and their strengths and weaknesses.

    My predictions:

    1) RedBull will never fully recover. The Renault PU working reliably will not match the Merc, and reliability is months away. RedBull will have to have a great recovery to finish on the top 3 in the constructors. I predict 5th.

    2) Lewis will take the WDC.

    Note: By the second half of the season these cars will be much more sorted out (especially the Merc machines), and fast aggressive driving and controlling the race from the start will still be rewarded (Nico and Jenson will be good but not disproportionately rewarded for brains or style).

    3) Lewis will do something that infuriates many fans while leading the championship, booing at some race(s) will happen (think Vettel). Massa in the newly resurgent Williams will become the most beloved “good guy” in F1 (think Webber).

    4) Vettel will throw a hissy fit. He may resemble Hamilton circa 2011 on track. The “it’s only the car” debate will live on for another season.

    Note: If he has a great sense of humor he’ll rip his right shoe and sock off after the race so he has enough digits to thrust in the air to signify his finishing position at the end of a race.

    5) Marussia will score it’s first point in Melbourne.

  • jiji the cat

    1. Martin Whitmarsh has been frozen in carbonite (Star Wars style) and on display in Woking.

    2. Ross Brawn will catch a trophy size Salmon and the pics will go viral, leading to his own Fishing TV show. Apparently the name of his favourite rod is Christine, go figure.

    3. Renault Sport will be putting on BBQ’s at every race, apparently the new engine cooks very well.

    4. Fernando Alonso will add an extra layer to his race suit, apparently he’s feeling the cold of The Iceman and the Roman senate has been seen sharpening its knives. “Et Tu Kimi?”

    5. Daniel Ricciardo will still be smiling.

  • Nkiddo

    I agree with that the first two races will have a large number of cars not finishing the race due to reliability issues. I suspect that the first two or three races will be the best chance for Caterham and Marussia to score their first points ever. But I aIso expect that both Kabayashi and Bianchi become make themselves more noticeable during the races, regardless of the Ferrari motor having the advantage over the Renault motor.

    I am hoping that both Williams and Force India do gain podiums this year. I recon the first half of the year will be very much in their favor. I don’t expect Renault to solve their issues by the time we begin the European races. Therefore I imagine Red Bull will only be able to show its true potential by May or June.

    Till then, Mercedes seem to have the advantage among the rest, possibly with Hamilton and Rosberg taking the lions share of race wins and Ferrari, Williams, McLaren and Force India nibbling on podium glory.

    Hopefully Lotus will not nose dive completely. Unfortunately I suspect they will be fighting hard to keep ahead of Sauber and Toro Rosso and quite possibly Marussia.

    I expect that the double points on the last race will spoil the championship in most peoples minds, should any team actually benefit from the gimmick.

  • Charles

    My prediction is that the Russian F1 race should never take place as long as russian troops are still in the Ukraine.You may noticed I spelt russia in lower case,because it is a low country.Screw off putin

  • None of the cars will make it into Q3 in Melbourne because the Renaults will all catch fire in Q1 and the Mercs and Ferraris will all catch fire in Q2.

    Because of no Q3, the cars will all be allowed to use the allotted Q3 time to remove all bodywork for the race to prevent any more overheating and they will start single file at 5 second intervals in alphabetical order of manufacturer.

    No points will be awarded for Melbourne to keep the playing field as level as possible. The maximum speed for the race will be fixed at 100 kph to keep the field bunched together and no passing will be permitted at any time.

  • Gilly

    1. Massa Will win 2014 Crown and Williams construction title
    2. Red bull will finish 5th in Construction title
    3. Button will retire at the end of this season
    4. Vettel will move to other team for 2015 season
    5. Alonso will resign fro Ferrari

  • Christian

    1. Neither a Mercedes nor a Williams will see the chequered flag in Australia
    2. The win will instead be taken by Alonso, who will stay at the top of the championship table up to the very last race in which…
    3. Vettel, after struggling mightily at the beginning of the season and a dominant second half will snatch the WDC away from FA due to the double points.
    4. A lot of booing and crying will occur.
    5. Bernie Ecclestone will make a deal with North Korea for a North Korean GP race, call Kim Jong-un a great leader and express his agreement with him on key political questions.

  • Tom

    1) Both Red Bull and Renault will come around eventually and be competitive.

    2) It will however not be in time for Vettel to reclaim the championship, despite double points.

    3) Lotus will also come around, but not to the degree of Red Bull, so it will be too late to have a serious impact on the constructors’ championship.

    4) It will be a tight fight between Mercedes and Ferrari for both driver and team championship.

    5) Williams will start out well but won’t be able to keep up in the development fight.

    6) McLaren will start out badly, fighting with Force India for fourth place behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams, but they will improve as the year goes on, ultimately beating Williams to third place thanks to double points in Bahrain…although depending on how quickly Newey builds a car with enough cooling on it, Red Bull might actually be in the fight for third place as well, but I don’t see them catching either Mercedes or Ferrari.

    7) Caterham vs. Marussia will once again be an interesting fight. Marussia seems to be much quicker, but Caterham has reliability on its side. Particularly early on in the season, Caterham might luck into some points for the mere reason that they’ll be able to finish a race…provided the can get by the 107% rule.

    8) Team to watch: Force India. If their updates for Australia are as good as they hope, we might well see Hülkenberg on the podium. In the long run, I don’t see them as a serious contender though, too muddy is their financial situation.

  • raithrover

    1. I must visit and post on F1b more often
    2. I must visit and post on F1b more often
    3. I must visit and post on F1b more often
    4. I must visit and post on F1b more often
    5. I must visit and post on F1b more often

  • shareef

    i think kimi will win this years titil by beating lewis in the end of the year .

  • jeff

    1. That for the Aus GP, UK-broadcasters will mention Chilton’s ’13 finishing record at least 3 times.

    2. That there will be a minor incident on or offtrack that leads to reported Vettel-Ricciardo tension (their SKYF1 interview is gold)

    3. That Sutil will blame anyone and everyone but himself for each stroke of misfortune.

    4. That, surprisingly for me, Alonso/Raikkonen’s relationship is formal, but remains cordial.

    5. That 2014 is the most exciting F1 season in recent memory, and positively-surprising us F1 “purists.”

  • Just thought of something – is the electrical current in Australia the same as everywhere else in the world? If it’s less, we could be in for a long race.

    These experimental machines are fuel limited but will they be able to pit for more volts?

    To assist with the artificial passing program, instead of the winged DRS why don’t all the cars drag metallic grounding strips to bleed off 15 percent of their wattage, and then simply be allowed to reel the strip in off the pavement for that 15 percent boost to overtake?

    Would it not be possible to run an overhead electrical grid around the race track that that could be tapped into like public transit street cars do via a retractable extension coming up out of the battery box? Usage could be allocated as a boost to any cars in danger of being lapped more than 5 times.

    • MIE

      I’m sure Ohms law still applies, even in Australia (Jack Flash will confirm).
      As for charging from tram lines, we may need to wait for Singapore for that, Red Bull historically having had problems with induced current causing issues at certain points on the track.