Friday at Monaco, traditionally a rest day in years past and from the outside yesterday was no exception as the pit lane on Quai Albert 1er fell silent of the noise of revving engines and gave way to the tide lapping against the harbour and the throngs of partying fans at La Rascasse. But for the FF1M bosses and media yesterday was far from a rest day as the teams finally got their hands on the rules for the next season.
The biggest changes for 2014 centre around the engines. To start with, out are the loud V12s and in comes normally aspirated V8s. With a change of architecture comes a reset of performance and every manufacturer will be able to start on a level playing field.
Of course, starting from scratch is all well and good, but this season has been marked by a kind of dominance from Ferrari in development terms, backed by their four-strong team line-up, no other team has more than two, with all four allowed to test and improve the engine. In addition this has allowed some Ferrari teams to completely forgo Engine testing relying on their fellows to do the donkey work whilst they focus on aerodynamic improvements.
This won’t happen in 2014 as Engine testing, both for reliability and power, will be limited to just the Works teams and Works teams will be given additional test days to ensure they don’t get left behind in other areas. In addition, the way that the Works teams are chosen is to change, and this will be revealed at a later date.
With Engine testing removed, the Aerodynamic testing area will be split out into Efficiency and Grip variants whilst the Set-Up buff will be increased and there will be two tyre compounds at each race for teams to choose from. Further details on these will be revealed in due course.
Finally, it was confirmed that teams will run with 2005 spec cars in 2014 with teams required to enter the sponsor auction which will begin next week, or design their own car livery based on an appropriate template.