Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2012

Designers say unreliability could decide 2014 titles

2014 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2012F1 car designers believe unreliability will be a much bigger factor in 2014 and could decide the outcome of the championships.

Car failures have fallen to a record low in recent seasons. Last year just 7.7% of all starts ended due to a car failure, less than half the level it was at six years ago.

“The cars are hugely complex compared to the cars we have been used to,” said Newey of the 2014 designs.

“The level of reliability everyone is achieving now is a result of a lot of evolution on what actually looks a relatively simple product compared to what we’re facing next year. So I think reliability is going to be quite an issue for the teams.”

“Could well be a deciding factor in the championship, who knows?” he added.

McLaren sporting director Sam Michael said he was “sure you’ll see different levels of reliability” in 2014.

“Even though teams are much better now than what they used to be ten, fifteen years ago with dynos and simulation etc… there’s nothing that has anywhere near… you can’t replicate the almost decade of powertrain mileage on the track across different teams.”

“So I think that’s going to be a big player in next year and potentially a bit longer.”

Ferrari technical director James Allison added: “I would imagine that the first half of next year is likely to be heavily affected by reliability”.

“Next year’s rule changes are big enough just in terms of the configuration of the car but they also place a much, much higher burden of reliability on us.”

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