World’s best racing drivers, racing for some of the biggest and best car manufacturers including Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault etc. driving few of the finest available engines and trying to go around a track as fast as possible. If you liked the idea then certainly Formula 1 is your taste and this article is meant for people like this only addressing Formula 1 and reviewing the amendments in rules of the sport for this calendar year.
Formula 1 might look like a high-speed procession but it is still one of the most competitive, dangerous and high-drama show in town.
No other sport invests so much money in development or has such complex equipment. Even the slowest F1 car can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 1.7 seconds, 100-200 km/h in 3.8 and reach their top speed of well over 300 km/h in less than 9 seconds. Each cost well over £1 million to build and their engines idle around 5000 or more rpm.
The 66th season of Formula 1 kicked off in Australia on 15 March 2015 with new rules, teams, cars and drivers which should be discussed one by one.
- There will be no double point race like we had in 2014 and every race will feature same points distribution.
- The number of power mills has been dropped from five to four for the entire season.
- In case of a race suspension, cars will now line-up behind the Safety Car in the pit lane, rather than in grid slots on the start/finish straight.
- The Virtual Safety Car (VSC) concept will be implemented which means that a mandatory speed limit will be imposed for all drivers through a specific section of the circuit.
- One of the significant rule has been introduced is related to the look of nose of the car. This year nose will be lower but must be taper to a point, encouraging a more gradual shape like existing nose of Ferrari and Mercedes cars giving them a slight edge over others. This means less drag and even more efficient cars.
- If team personnel or equipment remains on the grid after the 15 second signal, the driver concerned must start the race from the pit lane. If they fail to do so, they will sustain a 10-second stop/go penalty.
- Wind tunnel usage has been restricted, with teams now having to nominate just one wind tunnel for the entire season – weekly usage has been reduced from 80 hours to 65 hours.
Let us start the team discussion with good news that the one of the most successful partnerships in F1 history, McLaren-Honda is back for this season. In the late 1980s, McLaren-Honda utterly dominated with drivers Aryton Senna and Alain Prost getting the most from amazing cars powered by Honda’s engines.
Spaniard Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button will be the primary racers for the team and Kevin Magnussen has been appointed as the reserve driver.
This time Sebastian Vettel will be seen wearing red as he is racing for Ferrari along with Kimi Räikkönen to race in new Ferrari SF15 cars which are lighter and with better aerodynamics.
His void at Red Bull will be filled by Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat alongside Daniel Ricciardo.
Mercedes will continue with last season’s top two drivers only – Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
There are three new drivers on the 18-car grid in 2015 as well: Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz Jr. and Felipe Nasr.
Verstappen steps up to Formula 1 with Toro Rosso outfit, Sainz Jr. is all set to replace Jean-Éric Vergne at Toro Rosso and Felipe Nasr will race for Sauber after the team opted for an all-new line-up.
CARS AND ENGINES
This time the engines are limited to 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 Hybrids only with rev limit of 15,000rpm and a maximum fuel flow of 100kg per hour. The minimum weight of every car has been raised by 1kg from 701kg to 702kg.
Cars will produce a basic 600+ brake horsepower at 15,000 rpm where your road cars churn out only 200 bhp and rev to around 7000.
The KERS (kinetic energy recovery system, which we recently saw in LaFerrari as well) on the cars will boost them with around 160 bhp, totaling to around 760 bhp. The minimum weight of each engine has been defined to 145 kilograms.
In the nutshell, Formula One is the pinnacle of motor racing. Its glitz and glamour, money and speed packed into 20 races in 20 countries across five continents, and the 2015 campaign has already started. In this season we are willing to see a great tussle among Mercedes, Ferrari and Redbull, among Hamilton, Rosberg, Vettel and Ricciardo with some impressive performances from debutants and above all a good show.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.