The 2014 F1 season will be a year of profound change for Formula One as a major and long-awaited overhaul in the engine regulations finally takes place.
But the switch from 2.4-litre V8 to 1.6-litre V6 engines with uprated Energy Recovery Systems is just one of the anticipated changes for 2014.
The impending departure of Mark Webber from Red Bull means we have the rare situation of a vacancy at the reigning (multiple) world championship-winning team.
Just six drivers are believed to be in place for next year: the McLaren and Mercedes pairs plus Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull and Fernando Alonso at Ferrari. With Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus contract up for renewal it’s no surprise he has been tipped for a move to Red Bull, who sponsored his rallying efforts during his two-year break from F1.
The overhaul in the engine rules has led three teams to change supplier for next year. Williams will ditch Renault engines for Mercedes, the former will go to Toro Rosso and their Ferrari engine deal will be picked up by Marussia.
That will leave Mercedes supplying four of the eleven teams in the field, and F1 down to three engine suppliers with the departure of Cosworth. But both will only be temporary as McLaren are set to reunite with Honda in 2015.
On the calendar front several venues are vying for inclusion on the 2014 calendar. The Jersey Grand Prix, which was supposed to take place for the first time two months ago, is on the schedule again though given this year’s postponement there is some scepticism over whether it will take place.
Russia is due to hold its first F1 race at the Winter Olympic venue Sochi near the end of the year. And last month the return of the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring (formerly the Osterreichring and latterly the A1-Ring) was announced.
The Indian Grand Prix will disappear from the calendar next year – theoretically taking a break before returning in 2015. But even so if the three other events materialises it would stretch the schedule beyond its previous maximum of 20 races. Team principals have already indicated that is their upper limit, so there is still some bargaining and deal-making to be done to set the calendar for next year.
Follow all the developments for next year on the 2014 F1 season pages:
2014 F1 season
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