The 2014 Formula One race year is definitely shaping up to be a “Silly Season” due to all the driver changes taking place. It seems that 2014 may also be a “Silly Season” due to some very significant rule changes passed down by the FIA on 9 December 2013, after being approved by the Formula One Strategy Group and the Formula One Commission. Here is a recap of two of the more significant changes that are taking place.
Double Points for Last Race: The decision has been made to double the points value of the last race of the season creating a last race bonus opportunity for race teams fighting for the title. The hope is that by awarding a double points kicker in the last race that the championship will come down to the wire. The other races in the season will still be referred to as grands prix, with the season finale becoming a grand epreuve, a term used in early grand prix racing to denote those events with added championship weight. Concerns exist as to how this new rule will effect situations such as mechanical failure during the last race of the season. Under the new rules, mechanical failure during the last race of the season will be twice as damaging to the championship points as a mechanical failure that happens earlier in the season.
Introduction of Mandatory Cost Cap for 2015: This is without a doubt the single most important rule change to be made in quite some time. Race teams and the governing body of Formula One have six months to figure out just how the cap will be enforced, and what the spending limits will be for the first year and whether those spending limits will remain the same for future years going forward. We anticipate that race teams will be very passionate about expressing their concerns over how these cost restrictions should be implemented. Expect well-funded teams like Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull to be extremely expressive towards their concerns about leveling the playing field when it comes to money.
So far 18 drivers have been confirmed for the 2014 Formula One season leaving only 4 seats vacant.
Confirmed Drivers For the 2014 Season:
Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Renault (Signed deal for 2014 season)
Danill Kvyat Russia Toro Rosso-Renault
Adrian Sutil Germany Sauber-Ferrari (Signed deal this month to move to Sauber)
Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes (Singed multi-year deal to re-join Force India this month)
Sergio Perez Mexico Force India Mercedes (Singed multi-year deal with Force India this month)
Kevin Magnussen Denmark McLaren-Mercedes (Signed with McLaren in November 2013)
Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes (Continuing multi-year deal signed in 2011)
Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Lotus-Renault (Signed deal for 2014)
Romain Grosjean French Lotus-Renault (Signed deal for 2014)
Kimi Raikkonen Finland Ferrari-Ferrari (Signed two year deal in September)
Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari (Has contract thru 2016)
Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes (Continuing contract signed in 2011)
Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes (Signed thru 2015)
Daniel Ricciardo Australia Red Bull-Renault (Signed multi-year deal in 2013)
Sabastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault (Under contract till 2015)
Felipe Massa Brazil Williams-Mercedes (Signed multi-year deal in 2013)
Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Mercedes (Has contract for 2014)
Jules Bianci France Marussia-Ferrari (Has deal for 2014)
Daniil Kvyat Russia Toro Rosso-Renault (Signed deal in 2013)
Mark Webber Australia (Making move to Porsche in different series)
With Ferrari announcing earlier this year that Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen will be team mates for the 2014 season, much doubt remained about where Felipe Massa would end up in 2014. Williams F1 has announced that the 11 year veteran has signed a three-year deal to continue racing at the highest level of open-wheel.
“When I was a kid, I always dreamed of racing for Williams, Ferrari or McLaren and I’m glad to be signing with another icon of the sport,” Massa said in a statement.
Over the last eight years that Massa has been racing for Ferrari he captured 11 grand prix victories before suffering life-threatening injuries that included a titanium plate being inserted into his skull. The injuries were a result of crash during the second round of qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix. Since returning to racing after making a miraculous recovery, Massa has not seen the success that he was used to before the injury.
For the 2014 season, Massa will be teamed with sophomore driver Valtteri Bottas. Bottas 24, is a top prospect in Formula One that fans and experts both expected to do well in 2013. Bottas failed to score a single point in 2013 and finished 18th in the World Drivers Championship.
“It is a team to fight for the championships and good results and I really want to be part of it. I understand what they are doing to get stronger. I think we can be very successful and I believe it is the best choice compared to the other choices I had,” Massa said of the problems Williams F1 faced in 2013.
Test driver Pedro de la Rosa and Driver Academy member Jules Bianchi have been chosen to share driving responsibilities for Ferrari during the Pirelli tire test at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain. Pedro de la Rosa will be behind the wheel of the F138 for the first two days to continue his development that has up to this point been taking place in a simulator. Bianchi will be given an opportunity to demonstrate what he has learned in his 2013 appearances on the Formula One schedule during the last day of tire testing.
The tire test has been called by the FIA in the name of safety to give teams an opportunity to run on the 2014 spec tires that were unavailable to be tested in Brazil due to rain.
Other teams that will be making an appearance at the tire test include, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Mercedes.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezeolo gave recognition to Frenchman Jean Todt for being re-elected as FIA president for a new four-year term following a unanimous vote. The closest challenger to Todt for the position was David Ward who had dropped out of the running before the final vote. Todt, who oversaw Ferrari’s racing program and return to championship form with both Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen, will now reign as president of FIA until the end of 2017.
“I wish to congratulate Jean Todt and send him all best wishes for the continuation of his efforts at the helm of the Federation,” di Montezemolo said. “I am confident that, at a time when Formula 1 is embarking on a new and key period in its history, Todt, in his second term in office, will be able to make an important contribution to the updating of our sport, while at the same time assuring that the rules feature the necessary stability and transparency.”
Todt was elected to FIA president in 2009 after beating Ari Vatanen to succeed Max Mosley.
Ferrari has made changes to the sports car that will be competing in the Ferrari Challenge North America, Asia and European series in 2014. The new Ferrari 458 Challenge Evoluzione was put to the test at the Mugello Circuit in Tuscany, Italy. Changes to the Challenge Evoluzione include a new rear wing designed to increase downforce matched with a new front splitter. These upgrades helped to increase the lap times and overall handling of the vehicle. Ferrari has not disclosed any information on the type of engine upgrades that were made to the motor. Assumptions are that the Ferrari 458 Challenge Evoluzione will have the 4.5 liter V8 engine producing 562 horsepower with 398 lb-feet of torque.
Owned by Scuderia Ferrari, the Mugello Circuit is a race track in Tuscany, Italy. The 15 turn circuit hosts events for the Grand Prix motorcycle racing series and the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters. Scuderia Ferrari uses the race track for Formula One testing.
Level 5 Motorsports has won the first race of the United SportsCar Racing series GTD class at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The controversial finish resulted in a battle between Alessandro Pier Guidi racing a Ferrari 458 Italia for Level 5 Motorsport and Markus Winkelhock who was piloting an Audi A8 for Flying Lizard Motorsports. Both drivers were midway through the infield portion of the race when the Level 5 Motorsports entry No 555 was fighting aggressively to maintain the first place position over the Flying Lizard entry No 45. The Audi ended up being squeezed by the Ferrari resulting in the Audi going off-course and losing momentum. International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) officials initially ruled that the Ferrari had made avoidable contact with the Audi and was therefore was penalized resulting in a victory for Flying Lizard. Upon closer review of the video replay, IMSA officials ruled that no contact had been made between the two cars and awarded the victory to Level 5 Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia.
“A full post-race review of the incident on the last lap of the 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona was completed by IMSA Supervisory Officials. The decision has been made to reverse the decision by the race director, rescind the penalty against the No. 555 Level 5 Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia team, and reinstate drivers Scott Tucker, Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell, Jeff Segal and Alessandro Pier Guidi as the GT Daytona class winners. We regret the confusion following the race, and appreciate the patience by our fans, drivers, teams and the media so we could properly review and subsequently report this decision.
Screen legends/heartthrobs Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise are set to reunite for the first time on the big screen since their 1994 performance in Interview with the Vampire in the film adaptation of AJ Baimes’ book about the 1960s rivalry between the American and Italian racing factories of Ford and Ferrari. This film has been fast-tracked into production after the success of Ron Howard’s film Rush, that depicts the rivalry between Formula 1 drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt during the 1970s.
Film Director Joseph Kosinski, who recently worked with Cruise on the sci-fi thriller Oblivion, is signed on to direct while Cruise is slated to play Carroll Shelby. No word yet on who Pitt will play. Rumors have swirled around that Pitt was attached to an earlier version of this project originally scheduled to be directed by Michael Mann.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has declared 2013 as “a year to forget” and that he was “sick of coming in second”. Montezemolo is focused on 2014 and strongly believes that the new Ferrari F1 racer, the F14 T will help to overcome the dominance of Red Bull Racing and return Ferrari to championship form.
Montezemolo has a right to be confident about the 2014 season; Ferrari has two very strong drivers this year with Kimi Raikkonen being paired with Fernando Alonso.
“I’m confident because I think we have a strong team, and I think we have all the ingredients to be a success,” Montezemolo said in a statement issued by Ferrari.
The 1998 Ferrari F300 driven by Michael Schumacher recently went across the auction block at Barret-Jackson for $1.7 million. This particular example is number three of nine built for the 1998 season. The F300 is a 3.0-liter V10 engine responsible for producing 805 horsepower at 17,500 rpm. The car was used by Schumacher for 38 races throughout the 1998 campaign that was won by Mika Hakkinen.
“Accompanied by its Classic certificate and Ferrari documents showing the car was driven by Michael Schumacher 38 times, this car has been fully restored by Ferrari and is eligible for a number of historic events,” read a press release from Barret-Jackson.
“As an actual verified Ferrari that has been piloted by seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher. We believe the 1998 F300 Chassis 183 was an integral part in re-establishing Scuderia Ferrari’s dominance in Formula 1 racing.”
Schumacher currently remains in a medically induced coma after suffering severe head trauma during a skiing incident late last year while on vacation in the Alpine resort of Meribel.
Ferrari has taken the unusual step of reaching out to the public thru social networking (Twitter) and asking the fans to name the 2014 Formula One car, with an online poll offering five different choices.
The options to choose from to name the 2014 Formula One car are F14 T, F14 Maranello, F14 Scuderia, F166 Turbo and lastly, F616. All these selections reflect either the year of 2014 or a reference to the 1.6-liter V6 engine that will be used for the 2014 Formula One racing season. Early voting results show the main front runners to be F166 Turbo and F14 T.
The car itself will be unveiled on January 25.
The Ferrari F14-T is the 60th car from Ferrari to participate in Formula 1. This new model will carry the same 1.6 liter, turbocharged V6 as the rest of the field. What separates the F14-T from the rest of the pack are the unique aspects of the new nose design. This new design is a direct result of Formula 1’s new regulations being made in the name of driver safety that require teams to lower both the nose and the chassis. These changes are being made with the intent to lower the point of impact on side collisions so that wrecks are less likely to impale drivers.
The individual teams interpretation of how to deal with revised height regulations has garnered distinctly different results when it comes to the nose cone. These nose designs range from elephant to phallic to wide-open. The teams will be paying close attention to how these uniquely different nose designs work under true racing conditions. It is possible that as the 2014 F1 season plays out teams may begin to adapt a universal nose piece that has proven to be the most effective.
Additional changes had to be made to the front suspension so that it would fit into the lower monocoque. The front wings on all cars must now be 3 inches smaller on each side creating a front wing surface that is now 6 inches more narrow than the previous model. Ferrari had to completely redesign the front wings in order to maintain and improve downforce over the front wheels.
Other exterior changes for the 2014 F1 season include a revised Drag Reduction System (DRS) that has required teams to completely redesign the rear wing of the car. Smaller calipers on the back were developed to compensate for increased braking along with a new “Brake-by-Wire” system that was added to assist drivers with changing brake dynamics during the race.
Formula One will be making the switch this year from the current 2.4 liter V8 to a 1.6 liter turbo V6. Additional changes to the current fuel delivery system and the KERS battery system will also be in place for the 2014 race season. This very informative video will help explain the impact these technical regulations are having on how engines are being designed for the 2014 race season. It will be interesting to see how these changes will impact the quality of racing for the upcoming season.
The 2014 Formula 1 racing season is quickly approaching, teams are getting ready to test the new turbocharged V-6 engines and drivers are looking to settle in. Kimi Raikkonen has started the first week of his second stint with Ferrari by spending some time with the engineers in the simulator. This is what he had told www.ferrari.com during a break in testing.
“It’s good to be back at work,” “I began by getting used to all the new systems and procedures that we will use this year. From this point of view, the simulator is really very useful. It’s true there’s lots to do, but the workload is not much different to what it was in the past. For me, these days in Maranello are also an opportunity to be with the team and spend a bit more time with my many friends here.”
Recently, Formula one driver Fernando Alonso was given an opportunity to take out the still camouflaged Ferrari LaFerrari for a test drive around the 1.86 mile test track with GT driver Andrea Bertolini as his passenger.
“I am always happy to spend a few days in Maranello. Apart from working on the car and being in close contact with the team,” said Alsonso. “Sometimes I’m able to see some of the production departments which are the heart of the company. This time I met up with people who are never in the limelight, but they have an incredible love for their work.”
Three time Formula One Grand Prix winner Giancarlo Fisichella will be competing in the inaugural season of the Tudor United SportsCar Championship driving for Risi Competizione in the Ferrari 458 Italia. The veteran F1 driver has competed in 231 grand prix with 3 wins and 19 podiums, making Fisichella the winningest F1 driver to compete in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship.
The Tudor United SportsCar Championship (USC) is a racing series based in the United States and Canada organized by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). The USC is a result of merger between two existing North American sports car racing series, the American Le Mans Series and the Rolex Sports Car Series. The 2014 season will begin with the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona on January 25-26.
Earlier this week a LaFerrari was out on the Fiorano racetrack. Nothing strange there, LaFerrari’s belong out on the track, what are strange were the sounds that were coming out of Ferrari’s first hybrid. This little racer did not have the familiar exhaust note of a normal LaFerrari. It sounded a lot more like the note from the turbocharged V-6 engine that we will see in Formula 1 next year. It goes without saying, that these two engines have a much different sound and are impossible to confuse, suggesting that there is more to this story.
We are not sure exactly why Ferrari would choose to test the new Formula One engine in a LaFerrari. A common speculation is the guess that the drivetrain may be easy to change out on the LaFerrari making the initial drivetrain tests easier to do this way. Then again, it’s anybody’s guess; we expect that Ferrari will shed some light on this soon enough.
The Ferrari Driver Academy is about to start the inaugural Florida Winter Series. This program is being created to remedy the issue of having a lack of suitable weather at European tracks in the winter. Other manufactures run a winter series to include Toyota who runs an off-season series in New Zealand.
The Ferrari Driver Academy is training program designed to give aspiring drivers more seat time and opportunities to develop their skills. The Florida Winter Series will act as more of a developmental program than a competitive championship. The Florida Winter Series will consist of 15 aspiring drivers behind the wheel of the Tatuus Formula Abarth FA010B, this open-wheel racer comes equipped with a 195 horsepower engine furnished by Fiat Powertrain Technologies. Engineers will be assigned to cars with a ratio of one engineer per three cars in the series.
The series will consist of 5 events with 3 of these events being held at the Homestead Motor Speedway, the other two events will take place at Sebring and Palm Beach. FDA chief and former Formula One engineer Luca Baldisseri will be the Florida Winter Series supervisor. Young talent from several different open wheel series are expected to attend to include Ferrari prodigy Jules Bianchi, F3 champ Raffaele Marciello and Formula Renault winner Antonio Fuoco.
With the release of the XBOX One less than a month away, we are starting to get a sneak peek at what gaming accessories will be on the shelves to make that slick new racing experience even better. The Thrustmaster: TX Racing Wheel, Ferrari 458 Italia Edition for Xbox One allows players to feel like they are behind the seat of the real $300,000 supercar. This controller re-creates the actual wheel from the Ferrari 458 Italia to include paddle gear shifters and metal floor pedals.
Just like a real Ferrari, expect to drop some serious cash if you want to be behind the wheel of this bad boy. Opening price for one of these on launch day (Nov.22 alongside the Xbox One launch) will be $400.00. To put this in perspective, the Ferrari 458 Italia racing wheel will cost you the same price as a PS4!
Like I said… it’s a Ferrari.
Felipe Massa will make the move to Williams in 2014, bringing with him experience to the struggling race team in hopes of returning Williams to championship form. Ferrari has announced earlier this year that Kimi Raikkonen will be returning to Ferrari in 2014 as teammate to Fernado Alonso. Massa, a 32-year-old Brazilian will replace Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado who has been ineffective at Williams since relationships between driver and team broke down earlier this year. Continue reading “Felipe Massa to Leave Ferrari in 2014” »