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  1. Link to 2021 thread here Well having seen more interest than ever on VT in 2020 for F1, that was soon blown out of the water by last season's amazing season and 125 page thread. I'd say the drama on track along with the Drive to Survive drama off track probably means 2022 will be one of the most watched seasons this century. If not the most. This season also brings with it some of the most comprehensive design changes the sport has ever seen from one season to the next. Adrian Newey called them the most significant since 1983. Let's kick it all off with the usual set of variables and constants. LAUNCH DATES 1. Haas - Feb 4th (VT) 2. Red Bull - Feb 9th (VT) 3. Aston Martin - Feb 10th (VT) 4. McLaren - Feb 11th (VT) 5. AlphaTauri - Feb 14th (VT) 6. Williams - Feb 15th (VT) 7. Ferrari - Feb 17th (VT) 8. Mercedes - Feb 18th (VT) 9. Alpine - Feb 21st (VT) 10. Alfa Romeo - Feb 27th (VT) TEAM CHANGES The only change at team level is the confirmation of Honda's departure and their engines being taken over by Red Bull under 'Red Bull Powertrains'. As such, the engine in the back of the Red Bull and AlphaTauri this season will be a 'Red Bull'. DRIVER CHANGES Kimi Räikkönen leaves the sport after 19 seasons and his seat at Alfa Romeo is taken by Valtteri Bottas. George Russell moves up to partner Lewis Hamilton (assuming he comes back). Russell's place at Williams is taken by the returning Alex Albon who renounces his Red Bull contract to drive the Merc powered car. Guanyu Zhou is the only rookie, promoted from Formula 2 to take the other Alfa Romeo seat from the outgoing Italian Jesus (Giovinazzi), giving Alfa an all new line-up. The rest stay the same for now. The rumours are if Lewis doesn't return then Merc would try for Gasly and then Ocon, with the latter paving the way for serial champion Oscar Piastri at Alpine. TEAM ENGINE CHASSIS DRIVERS Mercedes Mercedes W13 Lewis Hamilton George Russell Red Bull Red Bull RB18 Max Verstappen Sergio Pérez Ferrari Ferrari F1-75 Charles Leclerc Carlos Sainz McLaren Mercedes MCL36 Lando Norris Daniel Ricciardo Alpine Renault A522 Fernando Alonso Esteban Ocon AlphaTauri Red Bull AT03 Pierre Gasly Yuki Tsunoda Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 Sebastian Vettel Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes FW44 Nicholas Latifi Alex Albon Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 Valtteri Bottas Guanyu Zhou Haas Ferrari VF-22 Mick Schumacher Nikita Mazepin CALENDAR The usual covid caveat, but currently the plan is to have 23 races. Returning are Australia, Canada, Japan & Singapore. Miami makes its debut. Portugal, Styria & Turkey are removed. They were only in to pad the covid-hit 2021 calendar. Qatar is removed but will be back in 2023. China is also removed because of covid travel restrictions. 1 Bahrain Sakhir 20/03/2022 2 Saudi Arabia Jeddah 27/03/2022 3 Australia Melbourne 10/04/2022 4 Italy Imola 24/04/2022 (s) 5 USA Miami 08/05/2022 6 Spain Barcelona 22/05/2022 7 Monaco Monte Carlo 29/05/2022 8 Azerbaijan Baku 12/06/2022 9 Canada Montreal 19/06/2022 10 Great Britain Silverstone 03/07/2022 11 Austria Red Bull Ring 10/07/2022 (s) 12 France Paul Ricard 24/07/2022 13 Hungary Budapest 31/07/2022 14 Belgium Spa-Francorchamps 28/08/2022 15 Netherlands Zandvoort 04/09/2022 16 Italy Monza 11/09/2022 17 Russia Sochi 25/09/2022 18 Singapore Marina Bay 02/10/2022 19 Japan Suzuka 09/10/2022 20 USA Austin 23/10/2022 21 Mexico Mexico City 30/10/2022 22 Brazil Interlagos 13/11/2022 (s) 23 Abu Dhabi Yas Marina 20/11/2022 (s) = sprint race TECHNICAL CHANGES The overall remit was to make the new technical regulations as restrictive as possible to prevent radical designs that would limit overtaking. A specialist work group was tasked with closing loopholes before publication of the new regs. In theory this will stop any dominance and allow for closer competition while improving the aesthetics of the cars. SPORTING CHANGES So some more rules have been tweaked. There's now a sliding scale of race points depending on how much of the race has been completed. It used to be half points or full points. Now there are no points if the lead car has not completed 2 laps without the aid of the safety car. Anything from 2 laps to <25% is a points distribution for the top 5 of 6,4,3,2,1 From 25% to 50% is a points distribution for the top 9 of 13,10,8,6,5,4,3,2,1 From >50% to 75% is a points distribution for the top 10 of 19,14,12,9,8,6,5,3,2,1 >75% is full points. Also, sprint races will now award the top 8 finishers with 8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 And the 'pole position' award goes to the person who qualifed 1st in qualifying (on the Friday) to start the sprint race first, unlike last year where 'pole position' was deemed to have been won by the winner of the sprint race who started first on the Sunday. IOW qualifying determines the 'pole position' award. The 3 sprint races are Imola, Austria & Brazil. AERODYNAMIC/BODYWORK CHANGES Ground effect makes a return since being banned in the 80s Bodywork is being simplified. These first 2 entries will make the underside of the car the primary source of aerodynamic grip. This reduces 'dirty air' for the car behind allowing closer racing. Sources say the car behind will retain 86% downforce compared to 55% previously. The bodywork changes will also reduce a team's ability to control the airflow around the front wheels, reducing the 'wake' behind the car. Front wing and end plates are being simplified, reducing the complexity and amount of different elements. The front wing must now be directly connected to the nosecone thereby encouraging airflow under the car by way of the wing's larger surface area and the nose's increased height. Rear wings will be wider and higher. Restrictions will be placed on using exhaust gas to generate downforce. Bodywork will be coated in rubber to reduce risk of debris on track. POWER UNIT CHANGES While many proposals were made, including removing the extremely complicated MGU-H, ultimately none were adopted. The only change here is the addition of the exhaust to the quota system. A maximum of 6 exhausts can now be used through a season. STANDARDISED COMPONENTS CHANGES These will now be regarded as 'standardised components' from 2022. Gearbox Fuel system Car floor front tray Tyre warmers A 'standard' part is a part that all teams must use. There are more but I haven't found a list. I also don't think they're right if they say Ferrari and Merc are using the same gearbox. It'll probably all come out early on in a preview. TYRE/WHEEL CHANGES One of the bigger changes is moving from 13" rims to 18" rims. Anyone watching Formula 2 for the past 2 years will be used to it by now. Only 65 45 days to the first race
  2. Link to 2020 thread here I think I saw more VillaTalk interest in Formula One last season than I have in living memory on here, which is great to see. Whether it was positive or negative, either way people cared enough to comment and I see that as a positive. So without further ado, let's kick off this year's iteration with the usual mixture of facts, changes, calendars and a bit of opinion etc etc. It's early this year because I'm motivated, and also I know how much @bickster loves seeing this thread in OT Firstly we'll start with the launch dates 1. McLaren - Feb 15th (VT) 2. AlphaTauri - Feb 19th (VT) 3. Alfa Romeo - Feb 22nd (VT) 4. Red Bull - Feb 23rd (VT) 5. Mercedes - Mar 2nd (VT) 6. Alpine - Mar 2nd (VT) 7. Aston Martin - Mar 3rd (VT) 8. Haas - Mar 4th (VT) 9. Williams - Mar 5th (VT) 10. Ferrari - Mar 10th (VT) TEAM CHANGES 1. Renault are re-branding their F1 team from, eh, Renault ... to their recently re-launched legendary racing brand - Alpine (Al-peen). They also seem to have nicked Suzuki's very highly rated title-winning MotoGP team boss Davide Brivio to run the operation, although at time of writing this has not yet been confirmed. 2. Lawrence Stroll's Racing Point team have finalised their re-brand to Aston Martin. 3. McLaren have switched power units and will now have a Mercedes in the back of the car instead of a Renault. 4. ... and finally Williams will also use a Mercedes gearbox along with the existing Mercedes power unit instead of building their own one, in a move which has been seen as pragmatism over idealism. DRIVER CHANGES There have been plenty of changes up and down the grid in terms of bums on seats. Compared to only 2 changes last season, we have 8 changes this season, with 3 of those being incoming rookies, 4 switcheroos, 1 significant prodigal son and the return of a famous surname. To start off the domino action. Fernando Alonso returns to F1 with Alpine taking over the seat vacated by ... Daniel Ricciardo's switch to McLaren, because of ... Carlos Sainz's move to Ferrari, which necessitated/co-incided with ... Sebastian Vettel's moves to Aston Martin, which meant a frantic last minute move for ... Sergio Perez to Red Bull, resulting in ... Alex Albon being placed in the DTM series by Red Bull for 2021. The only non-domino affected moves were the 3 rookie drivers moving up from Formula 2. Haas moves both Kevin Magnussen & Romain Grosjean out of F1 in place of the new Formula 2 Champion and one Mick Schumacher, and his even more headline grabbing team-mate (if that was even possible...) in the young Russian hot shot head, Nikita Mazepin. Last but not least, Daniil Kvyat makes way at AlphaTauri for young Japanese ace Yuki Tsunoda. TEAM ENGINE CHASSIS DRIVERS Mercedes Mercedes W12E Lewis Hamilton Valtteri Bottas Red Bull Honda RB16B Max Verstappen Sergio Pérez McLaren Mercedes MCL35M Daniel Ricciardo Lando Norris Aston Martin Mercedes AMR21 Sebastian Vettel Lance Stroll Alpine Renault A521 Fernando Alonso Esteban Ocon Ferrari Ferrari SF21 Charles Leclerc Carlos Sainz Jr. AlphaTauri Honda AT02 Pierre Gasly Yuki Tsunoda Alfa Romeo Ferrari C41 Kimi Räikkönen Antonio Giovinazzi Haas Ferrari VF-21 Mick Schumacher Nikita Mazepin Williams Mercedes FW43B George Russell Nicholas Latifi CALENDAR Obviously this whole thing will exist under one giant asterisk until we live in more certain times, but they've sure picked a hell of a year to try and have the largest Formula One calendar in history. They're aiming for 23 races, and already the original season opener in Australian has moved to November due to very tough COVID-19 sanctions around sporting events in Australia, so Bahrain kicks off the season. There is also a yet-to-be-scheduled race 4 in the calendar with places like Mugello and Portimao in Portugal having been mooted to fill that slot. Imola has replaced China at race 3 and China may yet be re-scheduled but is currently off the calendar. 1. Bahrain Sakhir 28/03/2021 2. Italy Imola 18/04/2021 3. Portugal Algarve 02/05/2021 4. Spain Barcelona 09/05/2021 5. Monaco Monte Carlo 23/05/2021 6. Azerbaijan Baku City 06/06/2021 7. Canada Montreal 13/06/2021 8. France Paul Ricard 27/06/2021 9. Austria Red Bull Ring 04/07/2021 10. G Britain Silverstone 18/07/2021 11. Hungary Budapest 01/08/2021 12. Belgium Spa-Francorchamps 29/08/2021 13. Netherlands Zandvoort 05/09/2021 14. Italy Monza 12/09/2021 15. Russia Sochi 26/09/2021 16. Singapore Marina Bay 03/10/2021 17. Japan Suzuka 10/10/2021 18. USA Austin 24/10/2021 19. Mexico Mexico City 31/10/2021 20. Brazil Interlagos 07/11/2021 21. Australia Melbourne 21/11/2021 22. Saudi Arabia Jeddah 05/12/2021 23. Abu Dhabi Yas Marina 12/12/2021 **. China Shanghai T.B.D. Massive rule changes originally scheduled for 2021 have been put back to 2022 meaning this season is a much more stable playing field than it would have been, but it still has its fair share of modifications below. SPORTING REGULATIONS 1. Teams are required to allow a driver who has competed in fewer than 2 Formula One Grand Prix in his career to replace one of their race drivers on one Friday practice session over the course of a season. This criteria is automatically satisfied if one of your drivers is a rookie. 2. Rules around incorrect tyres have been modified. Teams who fit a mixed compound or the wrong driver's tyres to a car will be allowed to complete 2 laps before the driver must pit to correct the error, or face a penalty. This used to be a likely disqualification and is in response to Mercedes' Sakhir blunder resulting from a technical malfunction outside of their control. 3. Red flagged race time limit has been reduced from 4 hours to 3 hours. TECHNICAL REGULATIONS 1. A limited list of components which can be modified has been drawn up as a cost cutting measure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 2. Adjustments to the outer floor to reduce downforce however have been mandated by the FIA 3. Special dispensation can be applied for in the above list e.g. McLaren needing to accommodate a new power unit. 4. This has led to a 'token' system whereby each team gets tokens (time and money) that can be spent on certain areas of their car. This has proven controversial as some teams think other teams have an advantage by not needing to spend tokens on certain areas of their car that get resolved/provided for by parent teams or customer parts. RACE WEEKEND STRUCTURE 4 day race weekends are now 3, with Thursday's media and promotional work being moved to the Friday morning. This will be accommodated by the time between existing Friday activities being reduced. Cars will be under Parc Fermé rules from practice 3 now instead of after qualifying, reducing the time cars can be modified. The Formula W series will be one of the supporting racing series this season alongside the existing Formula 2, Formula 3 and Porsche Supercup. And that's about the size of it for now peeps. This thread is a living, breathing thing which will grow and change over time. Only 73 days to go (to Australia though ...)
  3. With 4 days until the first official team launch of the season at Ferrari, it's high time we created this season's Formula 1 thread - to enormous cheers around the Off Topic arena. Don't mention it guys, really, it was my pleasure Firstly we'll start with the launch dates 1. Ferrari 11th Feb 2. Renault 12th Feb 3. Red Bull 12th Feb 4. McLaren 13th Feb 5. Mercedes 14th Feb 6. Alpha Tauri 14th Feb 7. Racing Point 17th Feb 8. Williams 17th Feb 9. Haas 19th Feb 10. Alfa Romeo 19th Feb TEAM CHANGES The first thing you'll notice from the above list is no Toro Rosso, but someone called Alpha Tauri. Red Bull have renamed their junior team in-line with their Alpha Tauri fashion label. From the team changes point of view that's the only one on the grid this season. There are no engine supplier changes this season either. All the teams are using the same provider they had in 2019. DRIVER CHANGES It's a very stable grid from a driver line-up point of view as well. Only 2 changes and no swapping around. Esteban Ocon returns to the grid after his enforced hiatus and replaces the outgoing Nico Hülkenberg at Renault. The only rookie of the season, 24 year old Canadian, Nicholas Latifi comes in at Williams alongside George Russell, replacing Robert Kubica. Latifi came runner-up in F2 to Nyck De Vries last season (NDV heads to Formula E). Kubica will become reserve driver for Alfa Romeo. TEAM DRIVERS Mercedes Lewis Hamilton Valtteri Bottas Ferrari Charles Leclerc Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Max Verstappen Alexander Albon McLaren Carlos Sainz Jr. Lando Norris Renault Daniel Ricciardo Esteban Ocon Alpha Tauri Pierre Gasly Daniil Kvyat Racing Point Sergio Pérez Lance Stroll Alfa Romeo Kimi Räikkönen Antonio Giovinazzi Haas Kevin Magnussen Romain Grosjean Williams George Russell Nicholas Latifi CALENDAR The calendar is currently expanded to 22 races with a coronavirus-shaped asterisk beside the Chinese GP in April. New venues this season are Vietnam and a return of Zandvoort and the Dutch GP for the first time in 35 years. Very disappointingly there will be no German GP this year. 1. Australia Melbourne 15/03/2020 2. Bahrain Sakhir 22/03/2020 3. Vietnam Hanoi 05/04/2020 4. China Shanghai 19/04/2020 * (race postponed) 5. Netherlands Zandvoort 03/05/2020 6. Spain Barcelona 10/05/2020 7. Monaco Monte Carlo 24/05/2020 8. Azerbaijan Baku City 07/06/2020 9. Canada Montreal 14/06/2020 10. France Paul Ricard 28/06/2020 11. Austria Red Bull Ring 05/07/2020 12. G Britain Silverstone 19/07/2020 13. Hungary Budapest 02/08/2020 14. Belgium Spa-Francorchamps 30/08/2020 15. Italy Monza 06/09/2020 16. Singapore Marina Bay 20/09/2020 17. Russia Sochi 27/09/2020 18. Japan Suzuka 11/10/2020 19. USA Austin 25/10/2020 20. Mexico Mexico City 01/11/2020 21. Brazil Interlagos 15/11/2020 22. Abu Dhabi Yas Marina 29/11/2020 * Depends on coronavirus outbreak Rule changes this year are relatively small with the 2021 season on the horizon where the sport will change massively on and off the track. SPORTING REGULATIONS 1. The expanded calendar means teams are allowed to use 3 MGU-Ks over the course of the season now, up from 2 in 2019. 2. The bigger calendar also means reduced testing. Pre-season testing in Barcelona is down from 4 days to 3, and the mid-season testing has been abolished altogether. 3. Teams will no longer be able to hide their cars during testing (using screens) and the window where mechanics cannot work on the car has gone up from 8 hours to 9. 4. Free practice sessions can be used towards super licence points with 100km per session equalling 1 super licence point, up to 10 points per season. 5. There will no longer be any electronic chequered flag, after last season's Japanese booboo which saw it go off a lap early. Back to real flags only. Proper order! 6. Weighbridge and jump start penalties have been relaxed, allowing for more steward discretion. TECHNICAL REGULATIONS 1. To reduce risk of punctures, the outside 50mm of front wings can no longer contain any metal. 2. Brake ducts must be designed by the constructor and not out-sourced i.e. they are now a 'listed part'. 3. The amount of fuel in the car that is not within the fuel tank has been reduced from 2,000ml to 250ml. 4. Driver aids at the start line have also been reduced. 90% of torque is now down to the driver's command, and clutches must be 'pull-type'. 5. There will be a new little sharkfin on the rear of the engine cover with the driver's number on it for ease of identity for fans.
  4. May aswell start this one off. Channel 4 will only have 1 live race this season. The British GP. Sky will be showing all races. Rookie drivers for 2019 George Russell - Williams Lando Norris - McLaren Alex Albon - Toro Rosso Antonio Giovinazzi - Alfa Romeo OK, technically Antonio stood in for all of 2 races midway through 2017, but he's still effectively a rookie. Two and a half of the other 3 are Brits, with British-born Albon driving under the flag of Thailand. I have very high hopes for George Russell. He seems to be coming into F1 extremely well prepared. Consecutive GP3 & F2 champion. OK he's coming into a team bottom of the heap, but with Kubica alongside him, they look to have the kind of line-up that could make waves if they're given a half decent car. Hopefully he can do something akin to Leclerc in 2018. Team changes Bye bye Force India, hello Racing Point - and even that's potentially a placeholder for another name change before the start of the season. Bye bye Sauber. Hello Alfa Romeo Racing. The Sauber name gets dropped and the title sponsor takes over Red Bull join their development team by being powered by Honda. All other engine suppliers remain the same. Driver changes Huge changes. 12 in total. Only 2 teams retain their line-up from last year. Mercedes & Haas. 4 teams have 2 new drivers. McLaren, Alfa Romeo, Toro Rosso & Williams. Whereas Ferrari, Red Bull, Renault & Racing Point have 1 new driver each. Mercedes Lewis Hamilton Valtteri Bottas Ferrari Sebastian Vettel Charles Leclerc Red Bull Max Verstappen Pierre Gasly Renault Daniel Ricciardo Nico Hülkenberg Haas Kevin Magnussen Romain Grosjean McLaren Carlos Sainz Jr. Lando Norris Racing Point Sergio Pérez Lance Stroll Alfa Romeo Kimi Räikkönen Antonio Giovinazzi Toro Rosso Daniil Kvyat Alexander Albon Williams Robert Kubica George Russell Launch dates Feb 7 Haas (livery only) (post) Feb 11 Williams (livery only) (post) Feb 11 Toro Rosso (post) Feb 12 Renault (post) Feb 13 Racing Point (post) Feb 13 Mercedes (post) Feb 13 Red Bull (post) Feb 14 McLaren (post) Feb 15 Ferrari (post) Feb 18 Alfa Romeo Testing dates Feb 18-21 @ Barcelona Feb 26-Mar 1 @ Barcelona Design changes New aerodynamic changes to the front and rear wings in an attempt to improve overtaking. Front wing endplates are reshaped to alter the airflow, but it's rumoured the teams have already found design solutions to counteract the reduction in downforce. The rear-wing slot will be widened to increase the effectiveness of that wanky DRS system. Smaller bargeboards and limited rear wing end plane development. Fuel limits to be raised by 5kg to reduce requirement to fuel save. Driver weight is no longer part of the weight of the car, so as not to disadvantage larger drivers. Drivers must now weigh 80kg and anything less will get ballast added to the car around the driver cell. Tyre changes Simplification of the 3 designations each weekend. No matter the actual compound, they will be designated soft, medium and hard. These 3 compounds will be chosen from a set of 5 or 6 possibles (to be decided after pre-season testing). Calendar 1 - Australia - Melbourne - 17/03/2019 2 - Bahrain - Sakhir - 31/03/2019 3 - China - Shanghai - 14/04/2019 4 - Azerbaijan - Baku City Circuit - 28/04/2019 5 - Spain - Barcelona - 12/05/2019 6 - Monaco - Monte Carlo - 26/05/2019 7 - Canada - Montreal - 09/06/2019 8 - France - Paul Ricard - 23/06/2019 9 - Austria - Red Bull Ring - 30/06/2019 10 - Great Britain - Silverstone - 14/07/2019 11 - Germany - Hockenheim - 28/07/2019 12 - Hungary - Budapest - 04/08/2019 13 - Belgium - Spa-Francorchamps - 01/09/2019 14 - Italy - Monza - 08/09/2019 15 - Singapore - Marina Bay - 22/09/2019 16 - Russia - Sochi - 29/09/2019 17 - Japan - Suzuka - 13/10/2019 18 - Mexico - Mexico City - 27/10/2019 19 - USA - Austin - 03/11/2019 20 - Brazil - Interlagos - 17/11/2019 21 - Abu Dhabi - Yas Marina - 01/12/2019
  5. With the new season just over a month away (25/03) I figure it's high time we take a look at what's changed from last year to this. We'll start with the hilarious news that Liberty Media, in their attempts to be all modern and progressive, have fired over 400 women and brought in grid kids instead. This clear step forward for womens' rights - which I mistakenly thought meant they had the right to work wherever and wear whatever they wanted - means that F1 will be using children now, who you would presume are too young to be paid (cha-ching!). Some of the countries F1 visits positively encourage child labour, but I'd have thought on balance this is a case of meaning well but shooting one's self in the foot. One common sense change that has been made is around the starting time of the races. European races have been brought back 1hr and all races have been brought back by a further ten minutes. So now your 1pm BST start is a 2:10pm BST start. The hour is to make the majority of European races more appealing across the various timezones, and the extra 10 minutes is because most TV networks start their programming on the hour, so now they'll at least get 10 minutes of build-up and grid walking instead of literally tuning in for the warm-up lap. The one significant visual change to each car is the new Halo. This controversial addition to the cockpit is designed to protect the driver's head from the majority of what might come their way over the course of a race. One vertical bar directly in front of the driver supporting a ring that encompasses the cockpit. On the team front we have McLaren leaving the Honda engine and teaming up with Renault. It'll be interesting to see just how far up the grid this engine change can bring Fernando & Stoffel. I suspect a lot. Toro Rosso in turn have left Renault and gone the other way. While this looks like a bit of a disaster for them, Honda won't be terrible forever, and as the development team on the grid this makes sense to me. It's a free hit for both. Finally, a smaller but no less significant change, with Sauber extending a deal with Ferrari resulting in them getting the current spec engine instead of a year old one. Hopefully this brings another back marker into contention for points. Driver-wise, as part of the STR/Honda/Renault deal, Red Bull have agreed to loan Carlos Sainz Jr. to Renault, giving them a very strong looking line-up. Williams have hired Russian rookie, Sergey Sorotkin to partner Lance Stroll. How quick the Russian will be remains to be seen. The interesting one is the other rookie. 20 year old Monégasque racer, Charles Leclerc who has joined Sauber. He is the 2017 F2 Champion, the 2016 GP3 Champion, the 2015 Macau runner up & 4th in his F3 Euro debut, and 2014 Formula Renault 2.0 Runner up in his debut year as a 16 year old and he's been Ferrari's test driver this past 2 years. There are high hopes on him. I suspect Sauber's new improved engine deal is linked to Ferrari's desire to see exactly what Charlie is capable of in a competitive motor. Regarding the calendar, the Paul Ricard circuit is back for the French GP. Germany is also back with Hockenheim, and Malaysia is gone. Full calendar I'll be back later with the sporting and technical changes, but suffice to say there's nothing majorly different from a spectacle POV on the regulations front. Or you can read them for yourself here at wiki.
  6. Anyone else within the VT community a fan of BTCC?
  7. It's about time we started this season's F1 thread It's taken a while but here's my take on the details and changes from last season to this. Pre-season Testing dates 28/01-31/01 - Jerez 19/02-22/02 - Bahrain 27/02-02/03 - Bahrain Launch dates TBC - Marussia 22/01 - Force India VJM07 first look 23/01 - Williams FW36 first look 24/01 - McLaren MP4-29, Lotus E22 first look 25/01 - Ferrari F14 T 26/01 - Sauber C33 (online launch) 27/01 - Toro Rosso STR9 28/01 - Mercedes F1 W05, Caterham, Red Bull RB10 Team changes. 1. Cosworth have dropped out of F1 meaning Marussia are now powered by Ferrari. 2. Toro Rosso have joined parent company Red Bull by being supplied by Renault 3. Meanwhile Williams have moved away from Renault and have joined up with Mercedes. Driver changes 1. Kimi Raikkonen is the highest profile mover of the winter as he moves from Lotus to Ferrari. 2. Felipe Massa has made way at Ferrari and moved to Williams to partner Valtteri Bottas. 3. Pastor Maldonado left that Williams seat to take Raikkonen's empty seat at Lotus. 4. Mark Webber has left Formula One and his seat at Red Bull has been taken up by Toro Rosso driver and fellow-Aussie Daniel Ricciardo. 5. Ricciardo's seat at Toro Rosso has been given to the highly-rated Russian and 2013 GP3 champion Daniil Kvyat. 6. McLaren have dropped Sergio Perez in favour of Kevin Magnussen, son of former F1 racer Jan Magnussen. 7. Perez is part of a new-for-2014 line-up at Force India that includes prodigal son Nico Hulkenberg who moves there from Sauber. 8. Sauber have taken Adrian Sutil from Force India and stuck by Esteban Gutierrez who needs to up his game. 9. Paul di Resta rather disappointingly misses out on a drive in 2014. 10. Caterham bring back popular Japanese racer, Kamui Kobayashi and partner him with rookie Marcus Eriksson, Sweden's first F1 pilot since Stefan Johanssen in 1991. Sporting changes taken from wikipedia. 1. There is a limited return to mid-season testing. 2. The 'penalty points' system for drivers will be upgraded and 12pts gets you a ban 3. Unsafe pit releases now get a grid penalty for the next race. 4. Drivers can only use 5 engines per season (down from 8). The engine also includes turbo, ERS & KERS all of which can only have 5 per season. There are various penalties for going beyond that number. 5. The FIA have granted themselves the power to change tyre regulations immediately if the need arises (after 2013's disasters) 6. Pit lane speed limit down from 100kmh to 80kmh 7. First free practice extended by 30 minutes in a bid to encourage teams to use rookie drivers. It will include an extra set of tyres that can only be used in first 30 mins of that session. 8. Drivers will be assigned a number that will follow them for the rest of their careers using a system similar to that in MotoGP. #1 is there for the champion IF he chooses to use it. There are other stipulations around the visibility of the number on the car and around qualification places where number used to dictate place. 9. There's a new 'pole trophy' for the driver who gets the most pole positions. 10. The final race of the season will offer double championship points. This is the most revolutionary change from one season to the next that I can remember in F1. (Summarised) Technical changes taken from wikipedia 1. Engines are now 1.6 litre V6 turbo 2. KERS is now ERS-K, it is integrated into the engine and is more powerful. It's place as a supplimentary system has been taken over by ERS which will capture waste heat from the turbo exhaust. Both systems together will give an extra 161bhp for 33 seconds per lap (!) compared to the KERS which used to give 80bhp for 6 seconds. 3. Teams will be permitted to use electronic braking systems to brake the rear wheels. This is because the power from the ERS-K makes it much more difficult to regulate brake bias. 4. For safety, car noses are lower. Down from 550mm in 2012 to 185mm in 2014. Stepped noses have been outlawed requiring a genuine design rather than a workaround. 5. Fuel flow will be restricted above 10,500rpm in order to promote fuel efficiency. 6. Exhausts will angle upwards towards the wing in order to make exhaust-blown diffusers extremely difficult to achieve. 7. Minimum weight increases from 642kg to 690kg. 8. False camera mountings are now banned. This closes a loophole around benefitting from extra aerodynamic pieces masquerading as cameras. Calendar Red Bull have brought the Austrian GP back to F1 after a 10 year absence. Bahrain will join Abu Dhabi as a twilight race. India miss out but they'll be back for 2015. Korea, Mexico & GP of America miss out after being in the provisional calendar. Russia is new to the calendar. It's the first Russian GP in a century and the first F1 race in the country. The US GP was moved to accommodate a University of Texas American Football game. 1 Australia - Melbourne - 16/3/14 2 Malaysia - Sepang - 30/3/14 3 Bahrain - Sakhir - 6/4/14 4 China - Shanghai - 20/4/14 5 Spain - Barcelona - 11/5/14 6 Monaco - Monte Carlo - 25/5/14 7 Canada - Montreal - 8/6/14 8 Austria - Red Bull Ring - 22/6/14 9 Great Britain - Silverstone - 6/7/14 10 Germany - Hockenheim - 20/7/14 11 Hungary - Budapest - 27/7/14 12 Belgium - Spa-Francorchamps - 24/8/14 13 Italy - Monza - 7/9/14 14 Singapore - Singapore - 21/9/14 15 Japan - Suzuka - 5/10/14 16 Russia - Sochi - 12/10/14 17 USA - Austin - 2/11/14 18 Brazil - Interlagos - 9/11/14 19 Abu Dhabi - Yas Marina - 23/11/14 So there you have it. That's what we're in store for in 2014. I usually take note of all pre-season testing and do a rudimentary 'analysis' of it that creates a pretend-WCC at the end. 'They' say you shouldn't take too much notice of pre-season testing and yet according to my table last season, the final WCC was fairly representative of what went on in January & February, so maybe I'll take a little more notice this year. For informational purposes here is the order the WCC finished last season with my pre-season ranking alongside it. Only Ferrari (predictably) were really sandbagging in the end. WCC - TEAM - Pre-season 1. Red Bull 2 2. Mercedes 1 3. Ferrari 6 4. Lotus 3 5. McLaren 4 6. Force India 5 7. Sauber 7 8. Toro Rosso 8 9. Williams 9 10. Marussia 10 11. Caterham 11
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