F1 2014 rules an opportunity for small teams believes Capelli

5 December, 2013

Ivan Capelli

Ivan Capelli

Former grand prix driver Ivan Capelli thinks that 2014 could be an opportunity for Formula 1′s smaller teams to compete with their powerful rivals.

Some believe that with the sweeping rule changes, the teams with the biggest budgets, best resources and most experience will tower over their smaller competitors even more than in 2013, at the end of a period of relative stability.

But Capelli, a Formula 1 driver in the 80′s and 90′s turned commentator for Italian television, is not so sure.

Referring to the change of engines, turbos, gearboxes, aerodynamics and energy recovery systems, he told Italy’s blogFormula 1.it: “The big challenge will be to put it all together.

“This may be an opportunity for smaller teams to get closer to the top of the standings.

“Perhaps it’s a little like the 80′s, with what Leyton House did when I was driving, or Minardi with Martini, or the Tyrrell of Alesi.

“A revolution like this can mix the cards up a lot and give rise to this sort of beautiful thing that has been missing in Formula 1 for a long time,” added Capelli.

The 50-year-old Italian acknowledged, however, that arguably the more likely outcome is that Formula 1′s genius designer, Adrian Newey, sets the pace yet again with the next Red Bull.

Newey, while confident, is not complacent.

“The biggest problem for next year’s car,” he told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, “is the narrower front wing.

“150 millimetres may not sound like much, but it is a huge difference when you have to put the endplates in the middle of the front tyres.

“The second challenge is the new engine – the installation is at least two or three times more difficult than the V8.”

Newey also admitted that another of Red Bull’s advantages in the recent era – in the area of the diffuser and exhaust – will be difficult to replicate under the new rules.

“We managed to integrate the exhaust with our aerodynamics better than most other teams,” he acknowledged, “so that means we also have the most to lose.

“On the other hand, I have also made cars when there was no blowing onto the diffuser, and they also seemed to work. So, I’ll try it again,” the Briton smiled. (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.


  • GreenHell

    “Perhaps it’s a little like the 80s, with what Leyton House did when I was driving, or Minardi with Martini, or the Tyrrell of Alesi.”

    Well, the March Leyton House was positively influenced by Adrian Newey (!) and the Tyrrell (the first car with the high front wing) was the creation of Dr. Postlethwaite – two of the very best engineers F1 got in the past decades.

    Hopefully, Ivan will be true, but I am in serious doubt. The golden era of F1 he mentioned is gone, with all the diverse concepts, V8-, V10, V12-engines, relatively “cheap” car development costs without enormous wind tunnels, simulators, etc.

    There was in fact room for success even for smaller teams (with brilliant engineers) – but times have changed.

  • matthew

    I agree 100% F1 is never going to be as good as it was back then. Too bad because with todays technology, can you imagine the amazing machines that would be built with the 1980s rules?

  • JR

    The big 3 teams have a stranglehold on F1, from taking most of the money to deciding on what rules and regulations benefit them the most, and consequently hinder their mid-field rivals the most.

  • drift

    One of the real shortcoming of modern F1 is that only the top 10 drivers earn points and anybody else gets away with nothing.

    Furthermore, the backmarker teams aren’t treated the same way as the better teams: There’s no point-system and one lucky punch from a backmarker team profiting from a freak-incident race will put it on top of the other backmarker, even if it was outperformed overall.

  • Kimi4WDC

    No, current rule set does not allow for such radical variations in design. So expect teams with greater resources, optimize whatever is coming way faster.

  • captain tortuga

    Mr Capelli can think whatever he wants.. but more likely is that someone payed him a small fee, to say something positive about next year, because most people are complaining (with justified reason btw)
    Next year will be no different, it might be that at the start Merc is the faster one, but considering that Aero has become more important im axpecting RB to lead the WCC easily by Hungary.

    Why Aero has become more important, well, the spoilers are getting smaller, and the rules more restricted.
    This means it is “Advantage RB” becaue 1)they have the best reference (RB9) but also Newey usually finds more downforce, considering it gets harder for the teams to find the downforce, im expecting RB to sail to anohter WCC.

    F1= dead.

    Real racers don’t race F1.
    As we all know, Newey is not ‘brilliant’ for his aero-designs, but more for his unscrupulous way of finding loopholes in the regs. This is a skill also, but much overrated

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