We have now seen 2014 F1 cars launched by six of the 11 F1 teams, with Toro Rosso due to reveal its challenger – now powered by the same Renault engine as the sister Red Bull team – due to launch on Monday.
Already we have seen lots of different interpretations of the radically different technical regulations, particular in the nose section of the car.
So here is the initial feedback of JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan, former chief operations engineer at Williams, Jaguar Racing and Toyota.
McLaren are the first to release pictures of the actual car and one cannot overemphasise how important this car is to the Team after a difficult year without a podium. The overall car looks pretty tidy albeit with quite a lot of complexity on the front nose and wing assembly albeit the endplates look like ‘release only’ components. The cooling looks reasonably aggressive and again like a few of the teams have louvered cooling exits along the side of the car outboard of the headrest insert. The central exhaust looks to be completely shrouded by the bodywork forward of the pillar mounted rear wing.
Ferrari F14 T
From a personal perspective the Ferrari is the most intriguing car yet released. Although some pictures show a reasonable amount of detail, understandably others use vanity panels to block the views, eg of the rear diffuser cannot be seen. After a bit of thought the front nose design has ‘grown’ on me and I like their aggressive stance of effectively dropping the nose the whole height and maintain the width, leading to a short hanger to the front wing and a relatively small gap between the neutral section and the profiled nose. The cooling package looks extremely aggressive too with small sidepod intakes and a distinct triangular roll hoop intake with a small secondary inlet below this and a couple of rear spine mounted exits too. The rear of the car features are less clear but the twin pillar mounted rear wing which is nicely contoured to channel the exhaust flow connects to a heavily slotted assembly outboard of which are located the rear brake duct cascade system.
Force India VYM07
This rendered side only ‘teaser’ image is not particularly informative and the excessive black shading around the wheels and floor regions effectively mask any detail. The only noticeable feature is that the cooling system is supplemented with additional openings at the engine cover split
Again like Force India Williams has released a rendered image of the car, but this time showing different views and the clear low finger extension on the nose which protrudes from the characteristic wide section with underbody turning vanes. The cooling system is supplemented with louvered grills under the roll hoop and the central exhaust exits over a monkey seat rear wing cascade, with the pillar-less rear wing appears to be suspended onto the floor (although the fixation points are not clear).
Again Lotus has given us a ‘teaser’ rendered image of the car but showing much more detail than the Force India did. The asymmetric twin nose interpretation is what I expected to see from at least one team and no doubt was on the drawing board of a few teams at some stage in the development process as it is cleverly constructed to pass the technical regulation and crash test. Only Lotus will know the benefit that they will gain from this design but I’m glad that at least one team has gone down a very different route. The heavily straked front wing also sports a very aggressive endplate gurney flap to direct the flow outboard of the tyres. Although not fully clear they appear to have a very aggressive cooling inlet package with a relatively large wide exit in front of the pillar mounted rear wing.
Again only a couple of pictures with no frontal or rearwards views to clearly show the car layout. Nevertheless they appear to have a nose similar in style to McLaren’s with elongated hangers to the front wing, the detail of which is hidden by the angle of the photograph. The sidepods appear to be quite squared off , although the exact shape of the outboard extremities are hidden by the integrated wrap around turning vane. The triangular roll hoop intake and additional cooling entrances in this region are quite interesting (need to see more pictures in this region) with Sauber also opting for a central interchangeable engine spine cover which appears to have another mini- inlet incorporated in it. Similar to a number of Teams Sauber has opted for a twin contoured (around the exhaust plume) central pillar support mechanism for the rear wing.