Is Formula 1 going to be ready for the fast approaching new turbo era?
8 November, 2013
With the business end of the 2013 F1 World Championship nearly done, the focus is now firmly on 2014 but some respected voices in the paddock are wondering about the true state of readiness for the revolutionary season which gets underway in just over two months, starting with testing at Jerez on 19-22 January.
Quadruple World Champion, and now Renault ambassador, Alain Prost believes that some teams may be overstretched, with the all new V6 turbo engine formula fast approaching.
Speaking to French media in Abu Dhabi, Prost said, “I believe reality is sinking in now that the 2013 season has almost run its course, now there is a wake up call as the task ahead is daunting. This time a year ago it was full steam ahead on the 2013 cars with most giving the 2014 season little real thought.”
“It’s not just about the new V6 turbo units, but also the all new energy recovery system. Plus teams have to package the all new inter-cooler, the different exhaust layout plus incorporate significant changes to aerodynamics.”
“Add to that the weight limit which in the past team’s had no issue adhering to, but now for 2014 it is a problem that needs solving. Even experienced operations such as the three engine manufacturers namely Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari will encounter problems,” ventured Prost.
McLaren sporting director Sam Michael shares Prost’s sentiments regarding the state of readiness, “We will be on the limit to get ready in time for the first test.”
Even the World Champions, Red Bull, are not immune to the looming ‘deadline’ as Adrian Newey explained to media, “We had to keep pushing and we put a lot of work into developing this year’s car, which in truth meant some compromise to the development of next year’s car, but we felt [that] we needed to do that.”
“It’s a big effort now from everyone to get the car ready for the first test,” added the sport’s most successful designer. (GP247)
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