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2014 season changes

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Formula One World Championship, Rd 18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, 1 November 2008 McLaren MP4-27 in scrutineering.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19 United States Grand Prix, Preparations, Austin, Texas, 15 November 2012

The 2014 season brings with it some of the biggest changes to Formula One racing’s regulations for quite some time…

Power - it’s out with 2.4-litre normally-aspirated V8 engines and in with 1.6-litre V6 turbo engines, revving to a maximum of 15,000rpm. While the old V8s produced more than 750bhp, the 2014 units put out around 600bhp with additional power coming from Energy Recovery Systems (see below).

Gearbox - gearboxes have eight forward ratios - rather than the previous seven - which each team must nominate ahead of the season.

Energy Recovery Systems (ERS) - from 2014, a larger proportion of each car’s power comes from ERS which, together with the engine, makes up the powertrain or power unit. As well as generating energy under braking, ERS units also generate power using waste heat from the engine’s turbocharger. Unlike the previous KERS - which gave drivers an extra 80bhp for just over six seconds per lap - the 2014 ERS gives drivers around 160bhp for approximately 33 seconds per lap. To compensate for the extra power being generated under braking by ERS, teams are allowed to use an electronic rear brake control system.

Fuel - to promote fuel efficiency, from 2014 fuel is limited to 100kg per race. Previously fuel was unlimited, but teams typically used around 160kg per race.

Minimum weight - to compensate for the increased weight of the 2014 powertrain, minimum weight has been increased from the current 642kg to 691kg.

Exhaust - unlike previously where two exhaust tailpipes were used, the 2014 regulations mandate the use of a single tailpipe which must be angled upwards to prevent the exhaust flow being used for aerodynamic effect. Additionally, bodywork is not allowed to be placed behind the tailpipe.

Nose height - for safety reasons the height of noses has been reduced for 2014. The maximum height is 185mm (previously it was 550mm).

Front wing - front wings will be a little narrower from 2014 with the width reduced from 1800mm to 1650mm.

Rear wing - the rear wing also looks a little different for 2014. The previously-legal lower beam wing has been outlawed and the main flap has become slightly shallower in profile. Support pillars, however, are allowed. The DRS slot is also bigger than in 2013.

Testing - in-season testing returns for 2014, albeit in a restricted format with the regulations allowing four tests of no more than two consecutive days at circuits where an event has taken place. There are also increased restrictions on windtunnel testing and CFD simulations.

Points - double drivers’ and constructors’ points will be awarded at the final race of the Formula One season - Abu Dhabi for 2014 - in order to maximise focus on the championship until the end of the campaign.

Driver numbers - drivers will be asked to choose their race number, between 2 and 99, for the duration of their career in the FIA Formula One World Championship. Number 1 will be reserved for the current world champion, should he choose to use it. If more than one driver chooses the same number, priority will be given to the driver who finished highest in the previous year’s championship. The driver number must be clearly visible on the front of the car and on the driver's crash helmet.

Additional Friday practice drivers - we are used to seeing teams replace one of their race drivers with a test driver for opening practice on a Friday. However, from 2014 teams are able to run up to four drivers - though still only two cars - in either Friday session.

New penalties - race stewards will have the option to hand out five-second penalties for minor infringements. Additionally, any driver who earns 12 penalty points on their superlicence during a 12-month period will be given a one-race ban.

Pole position trophy - a new trophy will be awarded to the driver who scores the most pole positions during the season.In the event of a tie, the trophy will be awarded to the driver who holds the greatest number of second places. If there is still a tie, the greatest number of third places will be taken into account and so on until a winner emerges.

Qualifying - in a change to the previous system, drivers who appear in Q3 will now be given an extra set of option tyres to ensure more running. They will start the race using the tyres with which they set their fastest lap in Q2.

The Q1 session has been reduced by two minutes to 18 minutes, while Q3 has been extended by two minutes to 12 minutes.