Looking forward to 2015 (Part 1) - looking back at 2014!

Looking ahead to 2015 with (more than) a glance back at 2014! 

2014 has been a very ho hum year for me. Too much work and absolutely no time to blog! However, I have come up with an innovative way of getting across the events of every race to you guys, which is another reason to look forward to 2015. But since I left off from the mid of 2014, let’s forget that season entirely*. Mercedes won the constructor’s, Lewis won the driver’s championship and of course, the entire F1 fraternity and fan base even today prays for Jules Bianchi’s fast recovery. 

Being very candid here, 2014 F1 Championship was very interesting but also humongously boring! I know, after 4 years of Sebastian Vettel dominance, who wouldn’t have liked Lewis taking the title? But for some odd reason, I found 2013 to be more enjoyable (let’s completely forget first place even existed..) And to back me up here are the 2014 season TV ratings which have pretty much been on a constant decline since 2013. Not only is it me, but probably thousands of other fans who felt so. And the reason I concluded was- because the thrill no longer was there! 

I remember sitting at the Abu Dhabi grand prix two years ago and as the cars went beneath me, the grandstands rumbled! All that noise and sound pollution that I absolutely LOVED was suddenly whispers and murmurs, much like modern F1 drivers talking to the media! As those cars went through Eau Rouge and 130R (in Spa and Suzuka respectively) it was an absolute tragedy to see 600HP machines whimpering while going through usually gutsy flat out corners in some of the world’s best tracks. 

Finally coming to the cars itself! First of all, those disgusting noses (they reminded me of everything OTHER THAN an anteater nose) Aesthetics are generally and most probably the neglected part of the production of a car. Simple reason being “aesthetics ain’t gonna get us to the top!” mindset. And I seriously don’t blame teams for it at all! It’s the FIA I blame. For all I care, if the car ever takes a kerb in too deep and lifts in the front, that nose could be right up some other car’s exhaust. We all know anything can happen in F1! 

 And secondly, the electronic systems. In the beginning, the fact that F1 cars could engage extra horse power for 30s per lap was very exciting (I was a BIG fan of KERS!) But least did we expect that the news came with an asterisk and a super tiny ‘conditions apply’ that was basically impossible for the human eye to read. The energy harvesting systems were a pain, not only for the teams but also the drivers. If ONE component from that power train fails, the car either erupts in flames or simply stops mid-way. To add to the troubles, the FIA
introduced ‘Brake-by-wire’ systems. Think of driving a car only to have the car tell you how much you can brake. Very simply put, because of the greater amount of energy the MGU-K is able to harvest, the ECU takes into account how much force is being put by the driver on the front wheels and while doing so, calculates and regulates how much braking power would be needed to overcome all the extra torque in the rear - wheels, ultimately making it stop.

Some drivers (with very good cars) adapted very well. While on the other hand, some other drivers like Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel had a miserable time adjusting to the fact that 2014 cars have brains of their own and that human brains could no longer be masters of the machine. That very briefly explains the issues Vettel and Raikkonen had. I could give you all a bunch of statistics on Vettel’s 2013 and 2014 season comparison, but that might either make you angry (like it made me) or that could put a mask of malevolence on your face, either way, it will show you how much the difference in performance will be for a driver who has been benefitted by the pure downforce produced in the rear end of his car. 

What FIA should learn from this tough period Formula One is about face, is that the Federation is meant to produce a racing series which promises to truly be MOTORSPORT, you know, the actual races with powerful cars roaring and humans driving the wheels off them kind of stuff? Formula One was never meant to be an economy drive, neither was it mean to dramatically change the way modern road cars are produced (last time I checked, road cars need not have F1 technology or innovations. Either that would exceed a customer’s budget or the technology will end up being useless in road cars) It’s a genuine request from the fans of the sport to save it from heading somewhere underground. 

But past is past, so lets move onto 2015! Since I generally tend to foolishly predict the season beforehand, I will slowly reveal my combination of winners at the end of the series of “Looking forward to 2015”

And after 25 odd days, wish you guys a happy new year! 



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