The 2014 Formula 1 season is about to begin, and brings with it some of the most radical rule changes in years. This is how the cars have developed innovative design changes to comply with the new regulations.
Formula 1 has always been about speed. But over the past few years, there has been pressure building for the sport to move away from being just a spectacle and instead serve as a testing ground for automotive innovations which can make their way into mainstream cars as well. This is the argument put forward by car manufacturers like Honda, Audi, BMW, Ford and Toyota, who have dropped out of the competition for that reason.
So Formula 1 has changed its technical regulations for the upcoming 2014 to bring it more in line with regulations on climate change and manufacturers’ desires. There are a whole set of regulatory changes which Formula 1 has imposed on its teams (the full list can be found summarised here), but I want to focus on what I believe is the driver for the most interesting technical change:
Cars are now limited to using 100kg of fuel per race, down from an estimated average of 160kg per race in 2013. That’s more than 1/3 less fuel.
In the video below, new Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo describes in detail what innovations have made such a staggering drop in fuel consumption possible, while still producing the power to thrill audiences.