F1 Season Preview 2014: Could Be The Most Interesting Yet

Sebastian Vettel (right) assists with the Marshalls with his crippled car during the third pre-season tests in Bahrain. Could this be something to come?  [Photo by Getty Images]

With the 2014 formula one world championship just around the corner this weekend in Australia, many figure that after four consecutive world titles, Sebastian Vettel would add another, to tie the great Juan Manual Fangio with five. Unfortunately, someone forgot to mention that this year’s competition just happens to have some rule changes – – – as a matter of fact, a lot of changes.

This upcoming year changes the engines from traditional V-8’s to a lesser approach of a turbo V-6 model that is not made like the predecessor of the 1980’s, but more of a hybrid type of construction.

Despite the first three pre-season tests did a decent enough job for Mercedes and Ferrari power plants, the Renault version was not so fortunate. The French made engine only let most of the powered teams that it supply could go very little laps, with a lot of malfunctions. This could give drivers like Lewis Hamilton a clear advantage when the green light goes out this weekend. On the other hand, it could give Vettel a problem, since the German uses the Renault engines and might not see good results until the fourth race of the season in China.

Since it feels like it could be the most unpredictable season since 1998, so let us take a look at the teams for this season and see if they have any chance of doing well:

INFINITI RED BULL RACING– Vettel says put, but Mark Webber is replaced by Toro Rosso refugee Daniel Riccardo, another Australian who states that he could “beat Vettel”. But the problem is not first for the teammates, it is whether or not the car can finish after its horrible pre-test period recently. It the team can finally get going, it could start taking on Mercedes and other non-Renault powered squads, and this could be a great world championship finish.

SCUDERIA FERRARI– like Red Bull, Ferrari loses a driver and gains one. Felipe Massa leaves after many years at the wheel, and 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen comes in. It is certainly a question whether or not both drivers who have high caliber, can get along with each other and make things work for the team. If it does, Marenello could have great results, if not, things could change again and Fernando Alonso could find greener pastures—like maybe Mclaren.

AMG MERCEDES– This team must have had the best luck during the winter testing. The cars of both Hamilton and Nico Rosberg turned more laps in than any other squad and this could give both drivers a great advantage when the first race comes around. Ross Brawn now has retired, but it might not matter, because this team could go a long way in such a short time. The big question would be: when someone else challenges them, can they fight back?? The answer could be a great yes.

LOTUS– If any team had more turnaround from last season, it is this one, as many left including Kimi Raikkonen, James Allison and Eric Boullier. In turn, the team had very much debt and the only way was to get another deal which could get the team back on track, was to get more money. When the first deal with Quantum failed, the only other solution was to get a pay driver, which worked perfectly with Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado, who joins from Williams with Frenchman Romain Grosjean, who returns for a third season. At this time, Boullier’s team manager position has not been filled and considering the team’s brave face to fight hard, it needs to dig deep to really battle the top three teams of Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes.

MCLAREN– While Lotus had problems with their team, McLaren also did, and encountered the worse year in many decades in 2013. This made Ron Dennis, the CEO of the organization, do a little headhunting, which saw Martin Whitmarsh depart, to be replaced by Boullier., while Sergio Perez also vacated, and was replaced by young Dane Kevin Magnussen , son of the great Jan. Jenson Button returns again, but for one more season, so the team from Woking is getting many changes and hopefully, this could work out after all. However, look on the horizon as Vodafone is gone, but Honda comes in next season and maybe Fernando Alonso that could give this team a much needed boost to return to their glory days.

FORCE INDIA– This team might have lost their home grand prix, but the team has all new line up, with Perez coming from McLaren and Nico Hulkenberg in from Sauber. The team has had good results from the pre-season tests with their Mercedes engines, so this season, they could get the podium positions that they really deserve.

SAUBER– This Swiss team has always been in the midfield, and this year sees no change. Monisha Kaltenborn has selected Female Indycar driver Simone Di Silverstro  to test for a chance to race the following year. Esteban Gutierrez returns once again, with his Carlos Slim backed money, while German Adrian Sutil comes in from Force India.

TORO ROSSO– The unlucky Jean-Eric Vergne comes back for another year, after seeing his dream drive to Red Bull explode in his face. He should do just as well as he always does. The other driver is a pay driver, 19 year old Russian Dani Kvyat is a big gamble and many think he is too young to try this now, but only time will tell.

WILLIAMS MARTINI RACING– This is a team that did well at the pre-season tests, managed to obtain Massa from Ferrari, and keep Valterri Bottas for another year. You never know?? This team, which has been around only second to Ferrari as far as how many years in formula one, has disappointed each other in their results. Perhaps, this could be the year the team changes things and wins.

MAURISSA– Same drivers, Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton, but now Ferrari power plants. This might make them finish better, but the results could be the same.

CATERHAM– No change here either, except both drivers have to be pay drivers, and this season was no exception. Marcus Ericsson comes in for Charles Pic, but Kamui Kobyaschi, the veteran Japanese , who took one year off, returns for Guido Van De Garde and must show that he is better than the Swede.

With the season right around the corner and not many predictions very accurate, this could be the most interesting season in decades when there is really not a clear winner this year.

Share Button