The 2013 season isn't halfway through yet, but going by the looks of it, the 2014 season of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship sure looks to be an absolute cracker. Here's a lowdown of what is brewing behind the paddock.
With heavily revised technical regulations for 2014, which will see the shift to smaller turbo-charged engines (1.6L V6) one would naturally expect Adrian Newey and Red Bull to be on top of things. Turbos have been banned in Formula 1 since 1989 owing to safety concerns but their reintroduction could be a vital factor in defining teams' performances throughout the season.
Yes, Red Bull has renewed Sebastian Vettel's contract for one more year, which means our reigning world champion will still be in the prime of things in 2014. And here's the biggie : expect Mark Webber to be replaced by none other than the great Kimi Räikkönen to line up along side Vettel. This partnership could be a double-edged sword - though I'm expecting Red Bull to be impartial to both of these revered driver.
|Renault's 2014 power unit - it'll be plonked under the Red Bulls,|
Lotuses and Caterhams
Why Kimi, One might ask. The answer is that Kimi is the only logical driver to fill the void in Red Bull after Webber leaves at the end of this season. Both the Torro Rosso drivers are still too inexperienced to drive for a three-time constructors' championship winning team. Moreover, Kimi's contract with Lotus also expires at the end of the this season, so he'll be looking for a team to up his race ante. Ferrari is out of the question - he's already driven for them, won a world championship and left them after a bitter divorce, and McLaren (for whom he's also driven and won a lot of races, have no empty seat for 2014.)
Ferrari, who will want to end their drought of championships in the recent years, have asked their go-to man, Rory Byrne to come out of retirement and work full steam on their 2014 car. Rory Byrne, if you're aware of him, was the same guy who ended Ferrari's 15 year drought between 1983-1999, and was instrumental in getting Ferrari back to their winning ways with Michael Schumacher.
|Red Bull sponsored Kimi when he drove for the junior Citroen team|
in the World Rally Championship during his hiatus from Formula 1
Red Bull's Adrian Newey and Ferrari's Rory Byrne could be the fight to watch out for, come 2014.
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Who will be Ferrari's second driver? With Massa's future uncertain, I'd go with ex-Sauber driver Kaumi Kobayashi to be teaming up with Fernando Alonso.
Mercedes will be a big gamble. They have the pace this year, their only blight being reliability issues. There are higher chances of them improving their pace next year - which should come as a sigh of relief to Lewis Hamilton - who recently proclaimed that he's afraid his racing legacy won't last a long while if he doesn't win any more world championships.
One cannot say anything about McLaren though. This legendary marque is struggling to find a foothold on the competition this season, and after nearly half the number of races in the season, they're trailing behind erstwhile mid-fielders, Force India in the constructors' championship. We shall have to wait and see what happens to be them in 2014, but 2015 should surely be rosy - with Honda coming back to the sport after many a year to provide engines for McLaren.
That's that. Will add more things if I can think of them.