On the eve of the first pre-season test in 2014, excitement levels are set to reach fever pitch. With some of the biggest rule changes seen in Formula One for the last couple of decades, an uncertain winter faces the teams as they take their 2014 challengers on track for the first time.
At the best of times, testing times aren’t really indicators of what the season is going to hold. You can’t instantly tell who is going to be fastest after four days of testing. The cars will change a lot between now and the first race of the season, in Australia, which takes place in the middle of March. But with completely new cars with new regulations testing times will mean even less, when teams will push their cars to the limit and see how far they can get and what they can do without suffering reliability problems.
All but one team is set to test in Jerez. Lotus are the odd ones out, instead opting to launch their car at the second pre-season test, the first of two in Bahrain. McLaren, Ferrari, Sauber and Toro Rosso have unveiled their cars but before testing commences tomorrow, Mercedes, Caterham, and the highly anticipated Red Bull will break cover for the first time. Marussia had been scheduled to unveil their car too, but a report on AUTOSPORT states that the car has been delayed by a technical glitch and won’t make it for tomorrow.
The test will also offer those at the circuit their first opportunity to hear the V6 Turbo engines in action, as Formula One moves into a new turbo era from normally-aspirated V8 engines.
The testing schedule is as follows (Tues/Wed/Thurs/Fri):
Red Bull: Vettel/Vettel/Ricciardo/Ricciardo
Force India: Perez/Hulkenberg/Juncadella/TBC
Toro Rosso: Vergne/Kvyat/Vergne/Kvyat
For Daniel Ricciardo, Kevin Magnussen, Sergio Perez, Adrian Sutil, Daniil Kvyat, Felipe Massa, Marcus Ericcson and Kamui Kobayashi, it will be their first opportunity to drive for their new teams. For Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg it will be their first time back with their old teams after time away. And for Daniel Juncadella and Robin Frijns it will be their first outing for their teams as test drivers.
Formula One is back!