As well as switching to new 1.6-litre turbocharged engines with more powerful energy recovery systems, the aerodynamic rules include several changes, some of which are knock-on effects from the new engines.
“The narrower front wing, no rear lower wing, completely different cooling characteristics for the turbo, lower chassis – there’s a number of pretty first-order fundamentals that are changing on the chassis,” said Michael during a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes phone-in.
“Everyone’s busy going round the loop to try and understand how the flow mechanisms are working with the new rules to extract as much performance before the first race.
“The slope you get on when you have such a big rule change is very steep compared to normal. So I think during the course of next season as well the development race to try and claw back as much downforce as you can will be a significant part of the 2014 season.
“And probably one other point is the exhaust-blowing’s gone because of the position of the tailpipe. So there’s a lot to do there.”
Michael expects to see more reliability problems next year as the teams develop the new technologies: “You’re not going to have the same reliability as what you have on the current cars,” he said.
“Do I think it’ll mix things up? Probably. I’m sure there’ll be different results that wouldn’t have occurred or stood like they do now.
“It’s another thing that’s just part of the rule changes. It’s something you have to cope with. As well as performance you have to get reliability as quickly as possible.”
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Image ?é?® McLaren/Hoch Zwei