Friday, March 14, 2014

Formula-1 2014 Preview: Time for Red Bull to take a backseat?

Formula 1 fans behold. F1 is back with another new season promising to be the change we always wanted to be. Drivers have had an adventurous musical chairs with some benefiting a lot and some going back to lower performing teams. Pre-testing is done and dusted and if it’s not an indication of change, nothing will ever be!

The biggest benefactor among drivers is Daniel Riccardo. His jump from a very fast yet unreliable Torro Rosso to the 4 time championship winning team Red Bull was incredible. Yes, Torro Rosso is Red Bull’s 2nd team in F1 and has long been a breeding ground for Red Bull Racing – case in point, Sebastian Vettel. Mark Webber started the merry-go-round in 2013 by announcing his retirement from F1. Another big news is that of Raikkonen’s. Raikkonen joining Ferrari wasn’t that big a news compared to the fact that he will partner Alonso for the entire season. Fernando Alonso has officially welcomed him to Ferrari but the F1 fans know exactly how he feels about having a championship partner racing along with him. For me, Alonso is more like the Michael Schumacher of 1990’s who wants to win the Driver’s Championship himself and expects his team (driving partner included) to help his win the Constructors.

2014 Driver lineup
Takeaways from Pre-Testing –
1.       The most significant takeaway from Pretesting is the pace and form of Red Bull (or the lack of it)
2.       Pre-season favorites - Mercedes
3.       Also in the running – Ferrari and McLaren
4.       Dark Horse – Williams (and Massa, in particular). Reliability could be an issue however
5.       Disappointment – Lotus

However, pre-testing is a phase where teams try out different combinations that will work throughout the season and is in no way indicative of team performance. If you are a racing fan, you know that racing for more than 90 minutes competing with 21 other cars is a different ball-game altogether.

Prediction for 2014 –

At the top, I expect the battle to be between Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari. Don’t count out Red Bull just yet. They have the experience and the temperament of being champions. They may not be favorites now, but will be a threat in the long run. Remember Red Bull were miles ahead of competition. This time, the "miles" will be reduced and the competition will be close. Williams and McLaren will be a distant 4th and 5th but ahead of the midfield battle. This could well be a breakout season for Felipe Massa who is finally out of the #2 position. I expect Lotus to have a relatively quiet season despite their form last season which was largely due to Kimi Raikkonen.

In the middle part of the lineup, I think Force India will shine. They proved their mettle last season and this will only be an improvement. Perez and Hulkenberg are experienced drivers and will have a point to prove to each other and to the team. Torro Rosso will be fast in qualifying, but not reliable for the race. Like last season, I expect Marussia and Caterham to compete against each other throughout the season.

Watch out for driver battles within the same team – Hamilton vs Rosberg and Alonso vs Raikkonen.  Who wants to see Alonso slowing down to allow Raikkonen to pass him? And who wants to see the reverse happening? This could be that season when one of the two might happen. Quite an ego rush, isn’t it?


  1. Oh, the only thing on my mind when it comes to F1 is Schumacher. Hope he gets well soon.

    1. Hope so too.. But with every passing day, the chances are reducing (that's what I feel, despite what the media is feeding us with)..

  2. Nice post , i hope everyone , will like your post


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