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F1 2014 Review (Part 1)

F1 2014 Review (Part 1)

Read:-F1 2014 Review (Part 2)

There comes a point in everyone’s lives when they think, what next? After 2013, when we bid goodbye to the good old, ear bleeding 2.4L V8s, the new era of F1 dawned upon us. It was time for some high-tech toys to replace the old and aging combustion engines.

2014 provided us with a new t
The new 1.6L V6 turbo engine by Mercedes powering the beasty machines

Welcome everyone to the Turbo Charged F1 2014. It was a season like no other, champions fumbled, love stories went sour, and friends turned into mortal enemies. It’s a sport where the man is at harmony with the machine. So what happens when the machine turns into a monster on slicks? Let’s find out.

What the pre-season testing made us realize this year was how quickly a smile can go upside down. Red Bull is supposed to give you wings. Their RB10 needed more than just wings if it were to come close to even challenging the much-awaited Mercedes W05. The defending champions had their hands full with the good for nothing new Renault Power Unit. Looking at the rest, Williams looked and were quick but Ferrari and McLaren remained a solid paradox, heading into the first race of the season in Melbourne.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, the quick Brit vs. the man who beat Schumacher 3 years in a row. On the other hand, in the scarlet machines, Fernando Alonso vs. Kimi Raikonnen, the hot fiery one vs. the Ice Man. Oh boy, not even a single person could have predicted what would happen when the 5 red lights went out in Australia. Will the new cars even get to the finish line? Will they sound good when 22 of those V6s revved up at the starting line?

The answer to all those concerns, those doubts, was found at Albert Park. Lewis failed to finish the race after qualifying at pole the previous day while Nico cruised to a 24 second win over the second placed home boy, Daniel Riccardo. But it wasn’t all’s well that ends well, for the home boy. Daniel was disqualified after the race for exceeding the fuel flow limit, which promoted the McLaren duo to the remaining 2 Podium places. A welcome surprise for the British team after a torrid 2013 campaign.

The racing was good, the gaps between engine performance were huge and the Australian Race Organizer, threatened to sue F1, for it was not “as sexy as before” due to the reduced noise, because of the engine change. With all this in mind, the circus moved to Sepang, for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The Malaysian Grand Prix was a straight forward affair for the Mercedes duo. Lewis drove inch-perfectly to win the race ahead of team-mate Rosberg. Sebastian Vettel had to settle for third, the maximum the RB10 could’ve achieved at this point in the season. Alonso came home fourth in a dog of a car, that Ferrari.

Kimi and Magnussen collided on Lap 1, destroying both their races and the other Red Bull driver earned a 10 Place Grid Penalty for the next race due to an unsafe release from his pit-box. Williams had their own problems though, Massa ignored team orders, which may have reminded the Almost 2008 World Champion about his days at Ferrari.

In many way, 2014 was Mercedes' year
Mercedes team celebrates the team’s first 1-2 finish since 1955

So after a fairly ordinary race, the circus arrived at the Bahrain International Circuit, to race, for the first time on the track under the night sky. With suggestions from the drivers that the racing so far has been boring in this new turbo era, the cars lined up at the starting grid under the flood lights. Rosberg had the pleasure of starting from pole, with Hamilton lined up on his tail in second. Lights out, and a fairly straight-forward race ensued, but then Mr.Maldonado decided he liked Esteban’s Sauber upside down better. This brought of the Safety Car, and a thrilling 10 lap dash to finish followed after. Rosberg and Hamilton going at it, nothing held back. Hamilton emerged victorious in Bahrain but only just. Rosberg followed in second but it was Force India’s Sergio Perez who emerged a surprise third. It was the Indian team’s second podium in the team’s seven year career.

Ferrari’s disappointing performance after early promises that the team would do well in 2014 raised a lot of heads. Some action clearly had to be taken by the Italian marquee. Ferrari team principal, Stefano Domenicalli, resigned from his post with immediate effect and thus Marko Mattiachi was called in to handle the role. Was he the man who would lead the scarlet cars back to glory? Or did the problem run deeper?

cars collide

This brought of the Safety Car, and a thrilling 10 lap dash to finish followed after. Rosberg and Hamilton going at it, nothing held back. Hamilton emerged victorious in Bahrain but only just. Rosberg followed in second but it was Force India’s Sergio Perez who emerged a surprise third. It was the Indian team’s second podium in the team’s 7 year career.

Ferrari’s disappointing performance after early promises that the team would do well in 2014 raised a lot of heads. Some action clearly had to be taken by the Italian marquee. Ferrari team principal, Stefano Domenicalli, resigned from his post with immediate effect and thus Marko Mattiachi was called in to handle the role. Was he the man who would lead the scarlet cars back to glory? Or did the problem run deeper?

Goosebumps still fresh from Bahrain, the cars were packed up and sent to China. Hamilton proved why he is a master class when it comes to wet weather driving. He secured Pole, while Rosberg had to be content with only fourth on the grid. Come race day, Rosberg had more problems with his side of the garage loosing telemetry of his car, but still Rosberg thought his way out to finish a solid second behind Hamilton who cruised to his third consecutive win. Red Bull had their problems when their 4-time world champion initially refused to let Team Mate Ricciardo through, compromising both their races. The Chequered flag was waved early due to a mistake which cut short the race by 2 laps, a rather costly and a careless error by the officials.

Spain hosted the next round of the F1 2014 calendar, at the Circuit de Catalunya. Hamilton won by just 0.6s after seeing his lead getting narrow lap after lap in the final stint as Rosberg’s alternative strategy nearly paid off. The race had been a dull affair for the first 58 laps, but came alive in the closing stages as a number of different strategies came to fruition ahead of the finish. After the race it became, clear that Hamilton had used an engine mode he was not meant to use in holding off Rosberg, which he argued with the fact that Rosberg had used the same engine mode in Bahrain, while he hadn’t. All of this fueled up rumors suggesting that all was not well behind the Mercedes garage. The cracks in the childhood friendship were beginning to show as the season progressed.

The jewel crown of F1 was up next. The Monaco Grand Prix. The short, narrow, twisty street circuit where the race is 90% won on Saturday, as overtaking is difficult hence getting pole position is vital. Rosberg held provisional pole with Hamilton on a fast lap behind, when Rosberg made a mistake.Hamilton was left fuming on Saturday after Rosberg’s trip down a Mirabeau escape road compromised his last flying lap in Q3. Rosberg as was the case in Monaco, won the race with little fight from Lewis as he got something stuck in his eye, compromising his vision and in turn his chances of victory. The incident in qualifying was probably reminiscent of Schumacher’s car parking in 2006. Rosberg was cleared of any wrong doing but it sure looked otherwise through the eyes of his teammate, Hamilton. At the other end of the field, Jules Bianchi managed to finish 9th in a chaotic race, bringing home the first points for Marussia in over 5 years.

Jules Bianchi had a great time in 2014
Jules Bianchi ensured first points for his team which later helped them beat Caterham and Sauber in Constructors

Click on Part 2 to read further!

Click on Part 3 to read further!

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