Adrian Newey: “We stand to lose the most again” – New F1 season just 73 days away
Posted By: James Allen  |  01 Jan 2014   |  10:50 am GMT  |  256 comments

As the calendar page turns to 2014, thoughts focus on the new F1 season which is now just 73 days away.

The change to the technical regulations is the biggest for a generation and no-one is really sure how the racing will be affected. Reliability is going to be vital, Mercedes’ Niki Lauda has said he thinks it could be the decisive factor in the end for the championship.

F1’s popularity has been hit by the domination by Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull and what many people will be waiting to see is whether the change to the hybrid turbo engines will mean a change in the order at the front.

Red Bull’s Adrian Newey has consistently downplayed expectations of his car for 2014, which could be a bluff, but he has explained in more detail some of the areas where Red Bull will lose their competitive advantages, built up over the last few years with the V8 engine formula. Chief among them is the ability to work with Renault on channeling exhaust gases to boost rear end aerodynamics
and downforce.

“There is almost no effect from the exhaust with the further single pipe exit position and the fact that the turbocharger takes a lot of the energy in any case, so there’s virtually nothing left,” he said. “We’ve probably done a better job than our competitors in developing the best use of the exhaust position from the current restriction, so unfortunately we stand to lose the most again.”

Another of the real unknowns is where the main area of development will be this year.

Newey believes that the significant change to the rules around the front wing of the car will provide headaches for teams in the initial testing phase of getting the cars to work, but may well provide a rich area for development,

“I think the big problem next year will particularly be the narrow front wing, which is a big change,” he said. “100mm off the front wing (i.e. narrower) doesn’t sound very much but it’s actually a big change because it puts the endplate right in the middle of the front tyre now, so I think on the straight aero side trying to recover from that is going to be one of the big challenges.

“In addition there’s the whole challenge of packaging the engine. The power unit, I should say, is now a very complicated beast. It’s a sort of two or threefold jump in complication compared with installing a V8.”

A very Happy New Year to all JA on F1 readers and thanks for your support and feedback during 2013.

We had a great year hitting a new high in traffic and reach; with 1.75 million active unique users on the site from 225 countries around the world.

The UK was the leading country with 39% of the audience, but the USA and Australia were next up on 12% each, then Canada, India, Spain, Germany and on from there.

We are constantly evolving this site and we have a few exciting things planned for this year in terms of site development. We hope these will help to bring you even more insightful coverage of Formula 1 in all its aspects. We are also working hard to create opportunities to bring the fans closer to the sport, such as the recent opportunity for eight readers to drive the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team simulator.

If you have any suggestions of things you would like to see here on JA on F1, then please feel free to leave them in the comments box below.

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Richard from Perth

Happy New Year James, I love the site, the news, the insight & the (often intelligent & informed) discussion of the visitors to the sight.

The engineer in me can't resist asking - Is there any insight into the formula on the Gary Anderson "Greatness" spreadsheet, with the weightings of the various parameters (wins, poles etc)?


Hi Richard,

In the version I found there are weightings along the top. 1 x % poles, 0.8 x % fastest laps, 1.2 x % wins and 1 x % championships.

Given that the cars they were driving has such a large influence, arguing over the weighting is a little pointless, but I feel fastest laps are weighted far too highly. In the 1950s they earned a championship point, so that was a little more meritorious, but the timing was a bit rubbery - at the 54 British GP they awarded a 7-way tie, so 0.14 points each. Setting the fastest lap is generally counterproductive to driving the fastest race.




Hi James,

thank you for your excellent and enjoyable website, which attracts an unusually high quality of reader comments. Unfortunately as your readership increases so does the quantity of somewhat inane comments. Have you considered offering a subscription based site which gives the option to block contributors whose opinions are not interesting?

I think that Saward's £30/yr charge is reasonable.

Wishing you a happy and prosperous new year.




It is such a pleasure to have an F1 sight that is this good AND free to use, the only comments we don't want are ones suggesting a subscription. Some people obviously have too much money, give it to charity!


What fee for Saward's blog? The Gran Prix ezine is 30 pounds subscription, but the blog is free. And what's with all the Joe bashing? He's opinionated, but also interesting and informative. Any professional F1 reporting who reads all the posts and replies to them is doing way more work than they have time for, including (thank you) James and Saward.


Make that 'reporter'.


Joe Saward does not charge to read or comment on his personal blog. He charges for the Grand Prix Plus magazine that he writes with others and publishes within a handful of hours of each grand prix finish.

His reaction to insulting, ignorant and thoughtless comments is completely understandable. His blog is HIS space, not a news site.



Personally I like Joe Sawards blog, he is a bit abrasive with some of the more inane commenters but usually deservedly so.


I don't want to sound as if I am being dramatic, but, what you suggest is effectively censorship. We are on a slippery slope when we start to delete comments based on whether they are interesting or inane. Everyone has a right to 'voice' their views.


"Everyone has a right to ‘voice’ their views."

Yes they do, but that right doesn't necessarily extend to at all times and in all places. Sometimes some structure and limits improve communication and make things work better. At times the web can be like a meeting where there is no structure or rules or chairman or facilitator — in other words a cacophonous and pointless mess where everyone expresses but nothing is achieved, nothing is heard, and nothing can be resolved. I'm not convinced that this is a good thing for anyone really.

Thankfully this site isn't like that though, I think the moderators get the balance about right.


I completely agree with you, we cannot all speak at once and there obviously has to be some sort of order and control. I stopped using/reading the BBC comments section long ago, as they did not moderate the comments before they went 'live' - this resulted in a complete bun fight.

The point I was trying to make was with regard to the original poster, who suggested we should only allow comments that were sufficiently interesting or were not inane. I completely disagree with that idea on principle.

BTW, I also agree with you regarding the moderation of comments on this site - pretty much spot on.


£30 for a Brit might be ok, bit us colonials have to pay quite a bit extra in that scenario, it will also badly restrict the back and forth that makes this site such a refreshing read. Yes there are some inane comments but I think the scroll bar is the best place for this idea to reside.

Hoping everyone had a great Christmas and wishing everyone a happy and prosperous new year


Saward is a whiney, negative, pompous, self important egotist.

Just have a look at how he copes with differing opinions, compared to this place.

James admit's his mistakes.

I don't mind the idea of a subscription, but please don't mention the Saward name here 😉


Saward is a whiney, negative, pompous, self important egotist...

But apart from that is he ok?


Agreed. I got banned from commenting because I pointed out the everything in an article had already been published on many other sites in the day's preceding the article and that 'cut and paste' was a little sub standard considering the bloke thinks he's one of if not the greatest hack in F1.

I don't think it's fair to compare the great James Allen with Joe the jerk. James is happy to interact and explain, Joe S just ridicules and belittles commentators.

Happy new year James, this will he my 4th season using this site and I tell everyone about it, especially people who are new to F1 as it caters for all levels of enthusiasts


Absolutely agree with this comment, I have a lot of time for Joe Saward's blog, but his response to criticism or even simply different opinions, is absurd. The point of having the opportunity for readers to reply to posts is to encourage debate and discussion, and James handles this much bettter. I have to admit, James, I was never a fan of your commentary on ITV, but your blog is always worth reading and is one of my most-visited sites.


Does the Saward fee include protection from his insults? LOL


+1, if not subscription they maybe a comment rating system like Reddit? I really enjoy the thoughtful discourse on various topics, but the occasional troll really brings affects the mood in the comments.

I also live seeing James in the comments, it would be really cool to get some other big names in F1 engaged in the comments.


Comments like this could be blocked!


This is the chance ferrari and merc have been waiting for. Cant wait for it


Sure... keep changing the rules year after year to reign in the leading car and eventually they will have a chance.

Martin (England)

Poor old Red Bull they always lose out when there are any changes, just think they could have won four constructors and drivers titles on the trott if the FIA didnt keep changing things, poor old Red Bull.


Poor old Red Bull, always being castigated for their success...


Yes, you do have to feel sorry for Red Bull, the FIA has kept them at such a disadvantage to the other teams.


Yes I'm shattered for them.. I haven't stopped crying for 2 days too!!..

Ok random you need a diff detector for that one !


Just saying its a bit heavy for sarcasm & maybe BS detector is needed for that one.See I can fess up when I go too far. For my detractors on need to agree..! Lol


Of course, there's no need to agree with anything you say.


Oh I had no idea you worked for Ferrari 🙂


I used to have a BS detector, but then I took it to work and it got overloaded 🙁


I would have thought Randoms sarcasm detector would work just fine with that comment 🙂


Like a mood ring? 😉


My sarcasm detector is reading off the charts lol 🙂


Mr Newey has already credited the tire change mid-season to turning the tides in Red Bulls favour. While something needed to be done, surely the engineers are responsible for getting the most out of their designs within the existing parameters rather than designing a package which was clearly to hard on it's tires.

Will there be any additional tests of the new tires prior to the first pre-season tests?


Yep....nail on head, i just dont see the problem of off season testing, let the teams run as many laps as they need, give pirelli a chance to prove their worth ..but..the engine and gearbox should be under race rules, only 9 in a season. You test more and your running the risk of engine wear, gearbox gremlins. F1 should be the tip of the sword in motorsport, if you cant afford to race then enter gp2, cost cutting costs the sport, it limits suppliers as they cant test new items,new ideas.


I also think Pirelli did a good job with the tire design, the construction my ahve let them down a little with the belt switch but and it's a very big but, they weren't given a current spec car to test on. Therefore all their simulation data is only worth so much but the failures, especially those at Silverstone did require a change. Did they have to change the spec, in my opinion no but the alternative was never going to get past the FiA and Bernie. The alternative would have been to enforce the design requirements Pirelli would have specified to all the teams regarding minimum pressures, camber etc and the FiA wouldn't have gone for that simply as it would have been seen to be opposing the teams. The power of certain teams (behind the scenes) is well known and will always be the case in any sport which blurs the lines between sport and business (think football).

I certainly don't want to go back to the bridgestone era, I will never forget the farcical race at Indianapolis where Bridgestone couldn't guarantee the tires so the teams all fell out with each other over a chicane (I know there was a lot more to it than that). The tire supplier I think needs more support from the FiA and also from FOTA or whatever organisation actually replaces it.


Agreed.... A mid season tyre change favoured the red bull,most other teams had to design their car around fagile rubber. Red bull had the other approach, bring a car with most downforce and try to manage the extra ware. Then after silveratone the tyres became less of a problem, giving the red bull a clear advantage. Any change should really be thought out. If teams set the car up right then the rubber lasted, play with low pressure and extra camber and it soon own opinion was pirelli did a fine job. They gave the sport exactly what the promoters wanted...a weak point on the car that could seriously affect the performance if pushed. FIA stay out of mid season flips, do we really want the bridgestone years back? One tyre to last a race?,,think of the past races where a wheel change or tyre fail spiced up the season..mansell powering down a straight and the rear giving way...prost having to pit when leading because of ware..lewis and his troubles in his first season.rules should be set in stone,well thought out and fair to all entrants. Our teams should push the limits and instead of jumping on them when they find a crack in the rule book we should applaud and sit back to watch the show. Happy newyear all, our first race is only a few weeks away

Adrian Newey Jnr

You don't think that his comments might be made to deflect attention from any other advantages that RB/Renault might have cooked up but are possibly useful next year? After spending $1-200m in 2013, he's hardly going to publicise all their advantages!!!


Oh a sarcasm detector, now that is a really useful invention....


Yeah well don't get any funny ideas - I have a patent on it 😉


Fingers crossed that 2014 is as good as it has the potential to be.

One small suggestion: On your page you're only using one relatively narrow strip in the centre where everything is kind of packed in; the rest is just grey empty space. Why not use the whole page?

I used to visit for my F1 news, but now I rarely ever go there. This is without a doubt the best site for the latest news and information - keep it up 🙂


Try holding down the 'control' key and then using the centre scroll wheel on the mouse to make the site fill the screen. You can do this on all web pages to ensure the text is large enough to read. Next time you come to the same website you'll find it's remembered your preference. But you'll need to do it for every site you visit.

Hope that helps.


Wasn't he on about the wasted space, not the fact that couldn't read it.


Correct - good to see I'm not the only one 🙂


...or rather he's on about the wasted space, the text being in a narrow strip down the middle, it's a badly coded web page.

There's never any need to zoom in or out on a web page if it's correctly coded.


That's the effect of not zooming in. If I zoom out I get the screen looking as Random 79 describes. My response concurs with Jeff's (above).


Your page isn't zoomed in enough to match your screen resolution.

Try holding down the 'Ctrl' button and pressing '+' to increase the zoom (This works on most browsers, including Firefox and Internet explorer). If you zoom too far, press '-' while holding down the same 'Ctrl' key to zoom out.


Yes, but all that does is make everything on the page look bigger, which actually makes things worse.

The actual content is 1020 pixels wide, so it's not like it's only using so much to meet a minimum requirement like 640x480 or 800x600.

Just seems strange to me. I'm running at 1920x1200 - am I the only one who has the page appear this way?

I don't mean to be starting a tech support service btw 🙂


Totally agree. After I found JA on F1 it has become my major F1 information source. Great job JA.


A HUGE thanks James for IMO the best F1 site out there, you're on a different level, and it's always my first stop.

We continue to wait anxiously for news on Michael, and you have reported this exceptionally well throughout. A tragic situation that makes it an awful way to usher in the New Year, but best wishes and a Happy New Year to you and all JAF1 readers.


73 days and counting...I can't wait!


Any word on who is launching there new car when? Excited for another f1 season now.


Well Newey I actually believe Vettel has flattered his cars in the last few years than most would give Seb the credit, anyone else barring Alonso driving those cars would have struggled to win a championship and maybe even races in them.

I do believe Redbull will have the 3rd or 4th fastest car behind some of the Mercedes powered cars and Ferrari, do I think Vettel could bridge that gap? No but Newey in this case is the key, he reads big rule changes better than the rest and even with a power defecit Redbull and Vettel will still probably win races when given the chance, so its the Ferrari drivers vs Hamilton for the title then? Just like 2008, I don't mind seeing this unfold, also don't write off Mclaren and Grosjean they will shock a few.


No I think it is the other way round. In these aero dynamically lead times the performance really has to be in the car, but is extracted by near pefect set up that Vettel and his engineers are able perform at race week ends with this car. To be honest I think driver input is probably the least of it in the race. There's no doubt that Vettel is as fast as anybody and has learnt how to extract the most out of this type of car, but I daresay there are any number of young talented drivers that could have done something similar given the opportunity. If the formula changed back to durable tyres with less aero and more mechanical grip then there would be a change in the front runners because Vettel would have had his tools taken away from him.


"If the formula changed back to durable tyres with less aero and more mechanical grip then there would be a change in the front runners because Vettel would have had his tools taken away from him."

Like 2009?



So what you're saying is whoever has the best car wins?

What a surprise.


Well of course 2009 was the year Brawn stole a march on the competition with the double diffuser, and it wasn't until about mid year that teams started catching up by when it was really too late. The 2009 Red Bull car was very good straight out of the box by Adrian Newey's own admission. - They were just caught out by the double diffuser. It's all about having the tools whatever they may be from the drivers perspective, and in 2009 the Red Bull car would have won the championship had it not been for Brawn. - They were on the ascendency, whereas the 2009 McLaren was an absolute dog.


@Dave C

Exactly the point I was making, but with fewer words.


2009? Actually without KERS or a double diffuser Vettel was the best driver of the year, he beat Webber using the Bridgestone tyres and also without a blown diffuser and if he was a tad more experienced he would have pushed Jenson even harder for the title even with a huge car disadvantage for the majority of the season, that car was good in high speed corners but on the straights, following other cars, traction, and even braking it was difficient compared to the Brawn.


It amazes me all the time it has become beyond ridiculous where it seems as if the present formula was created for Vettel or he wasn't competitive in the previous era!


Ok, avoiding any comment on the Vettel stuff, do you really think Grosjean will be anywhere near the front in 2014?

I certainly don't think so, Lotus left 2013 owing Kimi 20million and couldn't even settle the 5million that was eventually agreed (James is the source).

I'm not even sure if Lotus has settled on an engine supplier yet. If anything, they'll likely be jostling with the Caterhams and Marrusia's for also ran positions.


Happy New Year James!

And thanks for a great site. I didn't get your book this year for Xmas from my kid (shame), so I've had to get it myself.


What happened to the quantum deal?..did the [mod] finally pull out? Did the money get stuck in the atm?? You knew there would be problems after the sky interview, i bet kimi talked his good mate,the hulk, out of signing for lotus


Well in my opinion the Enstone team has historically been brilliant but they do have dips in performances when there are big rule changes like 1998, 2009 etc but it remains to be seen what happens this year, to be honest Grosjean has really come of age give him some credit and speed wise he easily had the legs on Raikkonen and if the car is competitive expect him to challenge the Mercedes, as for Lotus joining the back of th grid with Caterhams and Marrusias? Na don't think so.


I agree in regards to your views on lotus, think they will really struggle the next few years.

Also, great website James. It's predominantly the only f1 site I use these days, keep up the good work!


A Happy New Year to you James and everyone involved in bringing us such a unique insight in our favourite addiction!


Dear James,

Thanks for a great site. Best new year wishes from Sweden!

John Wainwright

Happy New Year James and the team. Thanks for the consistently good journalism in 2013 and looking forwards to 2014 and hopefully a grid shake up.


No doubt, the Red Bull had the best exhaust system for how many times have we seen the Red Bulls take corners in the past with their DRS open whilst others could only dream.

Or how about how Vettel couldn't make the apex to corners during qualifying and yet still plant it on pole.

Yes, it will be interesting to see how much performance Red Bull have lost and despite previous seasons were Red Bull parts got banned only for the team to emerge with an even faster car, I can't help but feel this time things will be different because this year there's another dimension that is out of Newey's hands and that is the engine.

I have had Newey and Vettel saying the rest of the car such as aerodynamics and so on are 100% on point, the only question mark being the engine.

As for Lauda, if his prediction turns out to be correct about the championship being decided by reliability, this can only be a positive in Ferrari's favour for Byrne and reliability are like bread and butter.

Only thing is, a number of factors don't appear to favour Alonso's bid e.g. Kimi and also, no Ferrari driver that has DNF-ed at Suzuka has won the title after the fact.


Happy new year to all the fans around the world in a whooping 225 countries >>> WOW!!!


Actually Vettel is one of the most precise drivers on the grid I think you only said that because Hamilton said something about it, it seems Hamilton says alot about Vettel I remember that smirk remark about traction control of the Redbull..

If anything just look at Hamilton's pole laps at China, Silverstone and Hungary, none of them looked that hooked up yet he was on pole, to say Vettel doesn't hit apexes cleanly on his pole laps is like saying C.Ronaldo can't dribble...


I don't think that was what Hamilton was meaning at all. He was simply drawing attention to the line that Vettel was taking which we now understand is something to do with how the car functions with regard to the diffuser. - In other words he was deliberating choosing a different line.

Adrian Newey Jnr

Goferet - I think you're on the money with the Renault connection. For all the talk of Mercedes being the best in 2014, Renault have certainly done well over the past 5 years (and in their own right beforehand). It would be interesting to see in a number of years time (ie when the key Renault/Lotus/Red Bull engineers retire, how much of the relative performance may have been down to the engine and tuning that Renault provided. Perhaps a lot of the Lotus 2013 performance credit could be due to the Renault engine tuning (given both RB and Lotus were strong).


There are probably many parts to the whole engine influence part. With the initial engine freeze around 2008, Renault got locked into an power disadvantage. Some of the gap was able to be recovered, but I think ever since then Renault has led the way in optimising the total engine package. The engine is generally regarded as better on cooling than the Mercedes and particularly the Ferrari, so that aids the aerodynamics. The fuel consumption is better, which aids early race lap performance. The driveability is better, so it is easier for the drivers to limit wheelspin and Vettel to do his fancy footwork.

Another factor is that while Red Bull and Enstone got the exhaust blowing ideas - the 2011 Lotus kicked off hot blowing, so it wasn't just Red Bull leading this - neither Ferrari nor Mercedes really got to the exhaust technology properly until 2012, so the Brixworth guys only had McLaren, reacting to Red Bull, to drive the exhaust program. In a way the team ideas for the chassis has Renault at least a year ahead of Mercedes and Ferrari in terms of engine innovation regarding the exhausts.

It is as if RenaultSport is determined to make up for being caught out by the engine freeze.

In regards to the best powertrain in 2014, I suspect a large part of it is $ x time. Mercedes spent a lot of money on its car in the last two years, outspending McLaren and Ferrari, but not Red Bull. Whether the Mercedes board was willing to also outspend everyone else on the powertrains is not known to me.

Battery/capacitor technology will be key as reliable use of battery for all 33 seconds per lap every lap is target for all the teams. Given that Red Bull struggled (due to some engineering choices) to get 10% of the electrical energy to work reliably, I suspect the bigger target will be a struggle to reach.




Quote: "Or how about how Vettel couldn’t make the apex to corners during qualifying and yet still plant it on pole."

This was effectively a statement from LH if I recall correctly. I have seen differernt drivers in different categories take alternative lines based on their car's config and personal preferences. I have no doubt that a different line was key in RB's performances and that SV was 'fitting the glove' to that end also. If SV has to drive a more conventional line this year, we may see him challenged a little more early on to get his stuff right. Thus, we might see him being a little harsher on a car that isn't quite there, and in a reliability-is-key championship race this year, that could be very telling...


As if Hamilton would know what apexes to hit to get the best out of a Red Bull.


funny how hamilton missed almost every apex in hungary this year, yet still got pole.


Food for thought.

Could it be that the fans are about to get blessed with a Lewis/Vettel showdown in 2014???

I mean, for the longest time Vettel, Alonso and Lewis had never been on the podium together after a race.

Then came India 2012, were Lewis was hurrying Webber for the last podium position only for Webber to hold on.

Finally at Austin, the fans got to see all 3 aces together and interesting it was Lewis on the top step with Alonso a distant 3rd.

Same thing has happened in the championship table, never have the 3 talents finished in the top 3.

We came close in 2013, only for Webber to just sneak in at the last race and take the 3rd spot.


We came close?

Lewis might have been faster if he wasn't carrying you around - try pushing next time 🙂


Thank you, James, for providing such an insightful and innovative window into F1. Happy New Year to you and the staff at JAF1! As one of the 12% from the U.S.A., I really appreciate that hard work that goes into this site.


Yes they will lose some of their advantage. But Redbull admittedly had a bonus of reverting to 2012 spec tyres last year and they didnt complain then. Give and take is the message.

Best wishes to JA and readers of this blog.




I still think that newey will have some tricks up his sleave for this year, no matter what he says.

Happy New Years James. Really looking forward to reading your analysis of the coming year. I think it's going to be really exciting.


Got to love Mr. Newey. Always honest but we know he keeps his cards close to his chest. He and his team have probably developed multiple solutions to next year's rule changes and we won't know until we see them. And then it will take longer for everyone to figure out how they work.

Thanks Mr. Allen for keeping this great site going. Must say you are as unbiased as possible, for an Englishman (joke). Happy New Year!


He already hinted that the front wings are important to the whole car aero development. My guess is that they have already finalised that part and is working on the rest of the car, fundamental wise.

It will an exciting year this year..

In terms of the commenting system in this website. I think there should be a voting system and a tree structure that can be collapsed. Perhaps experiment with a few variety on a beta version of website then finalise it...

The aim of the discussion room should be focused on the topic of the news. So I think a voting system may help to raise the importance of popular comments.

Also, there should be a contact for the website... I don't mean contact James Allen directly, but just a contact that relate to suggestions like this. Or some heads up on news that has yet to be reported. Just stuff you want to talk about or discuss outside of the news topic.


Well done James - another great year for the site. Although you've reached more countries than I thought existed!

Scuderia McLaren

As Mr Timberlake said, "cry me a river"...


I live in Canada and the tv coverage is nowhere up to that of the uk. So I find your site an invaluable source of information I have changed from using bbc f1to your site. I enjoy the readers response and the rack that you take the time to reply. Keep up the good work


hey, I'm from Holland and I am in the very same shit you are. I really wish I could get Sky F1 over here.


Happy new year to everybody here on JA on F1! 2014 sounds great for all the technical reasons we've yet talk about. And my main hopes are that we would have a new hierarchy on the grid. Mercedes? Ferrari? McLaren? Force India? I hope so to have a new mix at the back. Caterham or Marussia in the middle field? And how the new regulation will be manage by the drivers? Will it be easier for the rookies Kvyat and Magnussen or more difficult? Everybody is excited by 2014 changes. A real chance for our favorite sport!


Thanks for the great site and interesting insights to F1. Keep up the good work!

Andrew Woodruff

Difficult to read much in to that - basically a statement of fact as the leading team always has most to lose from a rule change. I expect Ferrari to be strong, mainly because of the benefits of having engine and chassis development under one roof. Also think the boy Allison will have an impact. Having said that, I expect the Red Bull to be right up there, as I can't remember Newey ever producing a totally uncompetitive car. Even in his later years at McLaren when motivation was low, the cars were still fast, just unreliable.


Happy New Year James and everyone else too : )

Whilst the last regulations had a wide front wing, the cars previous to them had narrow wings, so why is that going to cause issues? They have previous experience. I think balancing the car with the much reduced rear end (no beam wings and shallower main flaps) will be a bigger problem.

Having gotten bored with F1 last year I'm really looking forward to the new season and hopefully having some variation in car designs, results and having reliability brought back as a factor in races. Already excited for the car launches!


Pre 2009 the wings were designed to send all the air inside the tyres. McLaren tried to do this in 2009 and couldn't make it work and from there couldn't get the air to the back of the car in the right way.

A key to all this is understanding what is meant by the wing. Giorgio Piola's interpretation on Autosport is that the endplates can still go to the same width and so there can be curved endplates that still direct the air around the outside of the front wing. If this is correct, then like you, I'm not expecting a big change, just a reduction in downforce.

His design doesn't look too bad - better than the stepped noses we had the last two years.

Fernando "150%" Alonso

Previous 2009 the front wing was much narrower - i think it was 140 cm compared to 180 cm from 2009 onwards. Now it will be only 10 cm less in width. And the problem everybody is complaining about, is that the endplate will be in the middle of the tyres, which wasn't the case with the rules before'09.

Happy new year James and thanks for all the work you are doing for us, the fans!

Sergiu - Romania


I'm expecting the narrower front wing to result in less tyre problems. With the wide wings we've had of late there were always bits of carbon fibre being shed from the cars.


Yes the wing prior to 2009 was much narrower - the endplate being in front of the inner half of the tyre tread. In 2014 it will be directing air onto the outer half of the tyre face. Surely this is less of an impact?


Hi James, and a very Happy New Year to you and the others who help put your site together.

I log in daily to your site: JA on F1 and I thoroughly enjoy reading the articles. I would just like to say how horrified I am by what's happened to Michael and I wish him a speedy recovery!

Having read how the site is split in readership I have a proposal to put to you. There are 39% of the audience reading your site in the UK and 12% in the USA, this gives a total of 51%. I know that the USA uses mph as does the UK so I think that statistic of 51% of your readers understand mph rather than km/h, which is a majority. I go back to my occasional argument with you that on your track guides you should use mph instead of km/h! How about it? If Australia also uses mph, I don't know what they use, then the statistic of readers then goes up to 63%!

I have been told to go to a site which can do the change from km/h to mph, but as being in the majority, why should I, and the rest of your readers, have to do this?


Hi Bruce,

You do have one argument in your favour - I rarely see anyone else use kW, even though if torque ever gets a mention, it is Nm. So you could get James for using that imperial measurement, but no other.

F1 is in metric - the races are bases on a 305 km length. All the car dimensions are in metric. The ERS boost this year will be 120 kW not 160 and a bit brake horsepower. That a fit horse can generate a lot more than 1 bhp is another matter...

Does the speed really matter, even if you take a car that can do 280 km/h onto an autobahn, that 170 miles/h is hardly equivalent to the sensations of an F1 car. The estimates provided are often wrong by quite a lot anyway, due to car-to-car variations.

In the UK car magazines that I'll get in Australia, I like how the fuel consumption gets measured in miles per gallon but specifications list the tank size in litres. CO2 emissions will be measured in g/km, as will most other weights and measures.

A mile isn't necessarily a mile anyway. For surveying purposes, a US mile is about 1/8th of an inch longer than a mile in the UK. This was the result of different standardisation processes that adjusted the imperial system lengths. An inch was adjusted to be exactly 25.4 mm (the length of the inch was changed, not the millimetre), but for surveying the US uses 1 metre equals 39.37 inches, so there is a 2 micron difference.

Your argument on readership ignores a few points - we don't know where the growth in readership is coming from - it could be the US, or it could be in the 90% of the world that uses SI that James gets his readership growth from, as that sets trends and will interest his sponsors.

The reality is probably a time consideration. He's given the data and doesn't see the value in getting the conversion done.

Still if you have a change of heart, I just found that the UK metric association takes donations via its website 😉


Even Uk and USA imperial systems differ on various things - gallons for 1.which is why most of the world switched to metric including here in Aus.

Apart of that even your Jeremy Clarkson pays little attention to things said by people named"Bruce" ! Lol


Probably about time that the UK & USA changed to a decimal system in all areas. I am okay in that I can switch between and convert the two systems reasonably easily. However, I really think the metric system is by far the best, and the others just relics of the past.


I like your reasoning :-). However, I suspect it has something to do with the FIA being a French based organisation and therefore the 'currency' for F1 being metric. Maybe wrong, just a guess, no doubt someone out there will know and be able to enlighten us all.



FIA, I assume, like other International (not French)institutions like the Olympics Committee, use the International Units System (or Standard), based on Metric units to issue their rules

This system has been in use worldwide officialy since 1948, although it was started after the French Revolution in 1795 (so you are partially right)

I assume as well, since FIA rules are metric (dimensions, weight, etc.), F1 teams use metric to design the cars

Even scientific research in the US and UK is done in metric (probably wind tunnel data)

All present (and near future)engine manufacturers come from metric countries, France, Germany, Italy (Japan), so I guess the data James kindly reports to us is received in metric as well


Kmh here downunder.

Looking forward to a more competitive 2014.

Happy New Year to James and the JAonF1 cognoscenti.

Here's to another year of informed and civil conversation on F1.


Ahum, because we've just entered 2014 and have no reason to stay in the past?


Neither we, in the UK, or the USA live in the past, chum, and as both countries live in the present, we both use the mph system! So, as I said, the majority use mph.

Or, perhaps, you will tell me if you can convert km/h into mph without having to look it up, as I do to get an accurate idea of the speed.

Of course the real answer would be for James to put both mph and km/h in his descriptions of the courses. What do you think, James?

Jack Flash (Aust)

correction: 'if you cannot do that remedial level math'

Jack Flash (Aust)

As near as matters, the ratio of mph to kmph is 5:8. Every 5 mph is 8 kmph, or vice-versa. (eg. 50 mph ~ 80 kmph, or 100 mph ~ 160 kmph, for conversion examples)

If you can do that remedial level math to convert in your head... then you have my pity.

But more likely, you just don't WANT to face progressive change. JF


@Bruce, don't get upset, @HerrE means km/h are used by 6,600mil (84%) of the world's population under the International Units System (or Standard) agreed to in 1948

While mph are used by 400m (6%)subjects/citizens of the UK and US, and derive from Imperial units enforced since 1824 but exisiting probably since Elizabeth I ruled Britannia

An accurate equivalent is:

1.0km = 0.62 miles

1.0mile = 1.609km

A rough guide:

6m=10k fast walk?

50m=80k pit lane speed or hairpin

75m=120k corner at Monaco

100m=160k bend at Suzuka

125m=200k sweeps at Silverstone

200m=320k speed trap end of straight

IMHO cornering speeds in F1 have become irrelevant because RedBulls are faster anyway, regardless of measuring unit

The other worlds 49% thank James for km/h data and hope to outnumber you soon

On a more serious note James, on some sites (Weather) you can select between Celsius or Farenheit info, but I guess it is complex or expensive (or both)


Sorry, but sometimes it's painful to hold back a sarcasm and this time I couldn't resist.

However, I never said you guys live in the past. It's the use of an old-fashioned system that should be seen as the real problem and a thing that belongs to the past.


Mate, Australia's been fully metric since 1988, like most of the planet. I'm amazed the UK is still holding on to the old-fashioned measurement system - no wonder Scotland wants to leave!


No wonder we're all happy when Scotland leaves.

Jack Flash (Aust)


Australia formally undertook the SI Metric System by Parliamentary Act in 1973.

[ps. Australia formally undertook the monetary $dollar system by Parliamentary Act in 1966. for interests sake].

I fully agree with your sentiments regarding "the medieval imperial measures system - dark ages stuff", but it pays to get the factual data accurate in your rebuttal.... Fixed for you - re above. JF


Twenty years prior to then.


Just wanted to thank you for your posts which add immensely to my enjoyment of F1. I particularly enjoy the posts which look at what can be expected at each race (with its useful info on percentage spent braking, likely pit stops etc.) and your post-race analysis identifying why certain drivers and or teams did better than others, usually because of strategy. I can see it will be more difficult to identify what we can expect since the cars will be so different.

One question: why did they decide to shorten the front wing? Is it to reduce the risk of it puncturing another car's tyres?


To your last question, the standard one of trying to slow the cars down and reduce the influence that aerodynamics have over the total performance of the car. While the teams would prefer the engines to be a non-issue, the FIA would like its new 'green' technology to be a performance differentiator and an area of development relevant to road cars (battery technology for example).

Ward Hargreaves


Love the is honest, unaffected and well done. Additionally, you seem to have the news many times before others.


Happy New Year James and all Readers!

James a mobile version of this site would be great! It would make browsing easier while on the go... Thanks!


Got to agree with this, a mobile version of the site would be great! I love your site, but I just used to read it through an RSS reader (Feedly), but now only the first paragraph is in the RSS feed, so I have to head over to the full site, which is a little clunky on a mobile device.


Yes, that is in the works


Just keep up the high standard shown so far and we will all be fine

Thanks to you and whoever helps you out, because it must be hard work and long hours from your end

Thanks also to some of the regular posters for their opinions and info, which makes the site more fun

Best wishes to all for 2014 and may we have a fun an exciting season (even if VET wins in the end)


I'd like to see a separate forum, where users can post their own topics

For discussion. Would require a culture shift in the site though.


I'll second that one.


Good to see Adrian Newey concerned...

But I don't believe a word 🙂

There was some interesting speculation last season that RB were using their KERs in an innovative way and hence the greater number of KERs failures and incidents on their cars. I expect that is where they made big advances in the past year and also having a view to the increase in KERs power for 2014. If this is true, then I expect RB to lead the way with a smart KERs device allowing improved power transfer under different cohesive conditions and balance states.

Either way I can't wait and 'am so looking forward to the first test.

James, totally off topic - but I think you were a lottle harshly deprived of another correct answer on Celebrity Mastermind, surely the Severn and Bristol Channel as bodies of water are more or the less the same !!

Congrats on winning anyway and passionately summing up F1 in less than 30 seconds.

Happy New Year to all.


Re RB KERS, I'd go with the speculation being 100% wrong. No way it could be done without detection by the FIA. To use the KERS motor as a brake requires the energy to go somewhere, it cannot vanish. That there's a control ECU in the mix as well means that you cannot hide it. Consider that with a unique ECU Bennetton couldn't bury its launch control software far enough for the FIA not to find it, the current scrutineers will know what is going on. They found the change in torque maps in Germnay 2012 immediately for example.

This is basically in the same class as people who deny the moon landings.

Red Bull have had a history of KERS issues from its introduction in China in 2011. The failures come from placing the batteries in places where they are difficult to cool, such as around the gearbox.


Yes, very good Dahl knowledge and even better general knowledge. Also I thought his general knowledge questions were harder than some of the others, but that might just have been me being biased 🙂

PS That poor lady totally froze, felt very sorry for her.


Thanks - I thought that at the time!

Also in the Roald Dahl questions in 1st round, the plane in which he flew training mission in the Western Desert was the Gladiator.


We were all, friends + family, very impressed James. 1st round questions also seemed to take twice as long to ask as evryone else's, so you could have scored even higher.

For gen knowledge you sure know an awful lot about everything ....bit like yours truly, dare I say


Thanks! It was great fun


"F1′s popularity has been hit by the domination by Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull".

The 2014 uglier and slower cars (according to Newey, Domeni, etc) that sound like a supercharged Suzuki Swift will definitely make F1 popular again.


You think that's bad?

Imagine uglier and slower cars that sound like a supercharged Suzuki Swift and still dominated by Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull 😉


So, instead of the whining motors, we'll be put off by the continuation of the whining so-called fans?


Don't imagine it. Prepare mentally for it.


If these cars can't get close to one another, without burning tires, it will be another waste of time season...

The last few years of F1 have been a write-off.


Poor Hamilton fan?...


"The last few years of F1 have been a write-off"

If you happened to be driving an F1 car that didn't have a #1 on it then yes, it was 🙂


I've been thinking that this is the current elephant in the room. That with 2 cars approximately evenly poised or matched you are better off burning your tyres by driving a little harder and staying in front of your rival, because it burns their tyres faster. Making DRS and KERS boosts almost too strategic to promote proper overtaking. I wonder if the new front wing spec is going to make this even worse? Instead of 2 or 3 laps to try to get past then back off to a 2 second gap and try to jump them in the pitstop, only a single lap before giving up and preserving tyres again. I truly hope not, but I certainly expect to see more of the same unfortunately...


I don't see the narrower wing being a problem for following. The front will always be set up to achieve the desired handling balance in clear air, so if the rear wing is smaller (which it is) and exhaust blowing is taken away then reduced front downforce is the engineering outcome.

A key part of the front wing is setting up the airflow to the rest of the car so that the underbody generates lots of downforce. If the change in front wing design affects this aspect when following another car then that could change things slightly.

Overall, the ability to follow closely comes down to the ratio of the aerodynamic downforce to the mechanical grip (largely the car weight). Tyre grip just determines how fast the cars are around corners, not the ratio of mechanical to aerodynamic grip. So following should be easier next year as the cars are heavier (not by much at the start, but more so at the end) and the downforce has been chopped.

The problem with the racing, based on my lounge room engineering thinking, is that overtaking will be down to who has the best battery. If one driver has 8 seconds more of the 120 kW boost in a lap then the driver he's following then we are going to have passes based on the cooling properties of a battery.

There are some secondary things such as how much power can be generated from the exhausts i.e. can all engines make the maximum allowed 2000 kJ? But the main thing is likely to be can the battery withstand the heat associated with moving 4000 kJ in and 4000 kJ out every 80-100 seconds. Reducing resistance in the electronics and the battery itself will be critical for performance and reliability.

I expect the engines will be pretty similar in power, unless there's varying theories on the required exhaust gas energy to drive the MGU-T. A smaller intercooler can improve aerodynamics and increase exhaust temperatures, but will reduce engine power.

We don't really know what Pirelli are going to do with the tyres. I hope (vainly I'm sure) that they have a soft compound that wears out after 20 laps with no or minimal degradation. Underneath this the tyres have something a taxi driver would like in terms of hardness - same to drive on, but far too slow and overheat in two laps. So flat out for twenty laps and then a cliff.

Hopefully we do get close racing, so this is a debate worth remembering.


Happy 2014 to you James and to all F1 fans around the world.

Hope the sport keeps growing in importance and audience.

My suggestion is: a smatphone APP that announces whenever there's a new post and show current driver and team stats...


I'm certain I remember many people saying 2009 had the biggest changes for a generation. And probably similar for a few years before that when V10s were changed to V8s. I dislike how everything needs to be hyped up so much. It makes it look daft if there are people saying about the biggest changes for a generation and a few years later the same is being said.


Well, for their time the 2009 changes were huge and as a result we saw Brawn and Red Bull catapult to the front. Combined with the ban on refueling and the introduction/banning/reintroduction of KERS in 2009-2011, we saw teams face huge engineering challenges.

This rule change is undoubtedly the biggest though and you could argue they are the biggest ever. Not only because the new engines are going to be so much bigger, but aerodynamically the cars are changing so much too, with a narrower front wing and significantly less rear downforce.

You can tell how big a rule change is when the pecking order changes and I bet we'll see that again next year.


"You can tell how big a rule change is when the pecking order changes and I bet we’ll see that again next year."

As long as it's someone new dominating, like Force India or Sauber, instead of the same old teams.


The 2009 changes were only to the aero with the addition of KERS (which not all the cars had) and it completely changed the order.

In 2014 we again have changes to the aero, but we also have whole new engine formula with a more powerful ERS system.

If in 2019 we change to different cars again powered by go-kart engines running on cabbage leaves and they still say it's the biggest change in a generation then...


and still be dominated by S Vettel


Hi James.

My suggestion is a mobile friendly version of the site.

Your's is the slowest loading site of any that I regularly use (mobile or broadband connected PC), and the most likely one to fail to load if I have a poor signal.


James, congratulations on the blog and on your great ability to connect! I sometimes wonder if your day is longer than 24h - a lot of articles with valuable insight, the 5 live work, podcasts and you still moderate comments and answer some of them. Cheers, Bart


So who is launching their car when?


You might be able to find some information here:


Well of course Red Bull stand to lose the most since they have lead by the preverbial mile, but one can never discount Newey's design team for their lateral thinking. - They will will be up their with the front runners for sure at the start, unless of course Mercedes engines prove to be rather more powerful than Renault or Ferrari. I expect the situation to be that Red Bull will still lead in the aerodynamic stakes, but the will it be countered by engine performance or reliability. It's going to be intersting to find out!


I don't think we should read into the rumors that the Mercedes unit is much more powerful than the rest. The regulations don't allow for it. The only way to do so is to significantly increase the engine's efficiency, which I don't see happening.


There will be initially three engine manufacturers joined by Honda in 2015. One engine may be just better than the rest. I have heard though through the grapevine that Mercedes have done a very good job with their unit exceeding expectations. - Yes efficiency and there are a lot of areas in the powertrain unit that can be exploited. Personally I'm not sure how tightly regulated it is, but say for example that the Mercedes unit is highly durable with higher cylinder pressures.


SteveH: Actually you will have to look deeper than the basic specification or constraints to see where the differences may lie. There is much more to engine design than that which is how some modern engines have been able to dramatically improve fuel efficiency. I heard a few remarks from someone that travels the world regularly, owns a manufacturing facility in the UK, and supplies parts for F1. The engines may indeed be very similar, but they weren't last time.


Internal combustion engines are notoriously inefficient. It should not be read that the maximum energy is being extracted from the fuel necessarily. Strangely these engines will have direct fuel injection something which has been used generally in the motor industry for quite some time but for I gather for the first time in F1 so that is a step forward from where they were with the V8's. Controlling how the fuel is burnt within the cylinder will help.


And what grapevine might that be? Just interweb rumors, IMHO. The real trick will be finishing the race using only 100 kg of fuel; we are going to see a lot of cruising to the end, I'm afraid. You might also consider the maximum fuel flow rate (100 kg/hr) and how that will affect engine power. Although the units are allowed to run to 15,000 rpm, the fuel flow rate reaches maximum at 10,500 rpm. Frankly, the engines are too regulated, with weight, c.g., bore, V angle, cylinder spacing, etc. etc. all regulated. The engines will be VERY similar - the differences will be in the energy recovery systems.


The fuel flow is limited, so there is only so much energy available. The MGUK is limited to 160hp. That leaves the ICE. The only way to improve power output is to improve efficiency since the fuel is limited. The fuel itself is fairly regulated, too.

I think we'll see each power unit have a certain trait that is better than the rest, much like we have seen with the V8s. It will be the whole package, power unit-chassis, that is key. It will have to reliably finish, too.


Thanks for providing such terrific coverage this year and for all the years. I visit everyday and frequently find myself reading all the comments. It's a wonderful community that gathers around your insightful reports. If I had but one request it would be, if possible, to gain much more insight into the engineering of the cars. In a sport that relies heavily on technological innovation and advances to succeed it's always felt under reported. I'd love to see side by side comparisons of cars moving methodically from front wing and end plates to the last gasp of the rear diffuser showing the different design direction and strategies of the top teams. The same detailed analysis would be greatly appreciated for engine design and driver techniques. How do these cars and drivers work and perform so magnificently and what makes them different and unique. Thanks again for your passion and for sharing with us all.


Tried to buy your book but it wasnt offered in aussie dollars ? Love the site just remember the world outside England !


We've sold hundreds to Australia. Not sure what the problem is


Who would bet against Newey's team building the next breed of champion winners? Imagine another 4 years of index finger wagging. Shudder.


Happy New Year James and all your readers!

Is Adrian Newey related to Scotty of Star Trek? Kirk asks for warp drive and Scotty says, "It will take 24 hours to get her back to warp drive Capt'n.". And of course Scotty does it in 2 hours.

F1 did not lose any popularity when Schumi was winning 4 straight yet Vettel could not do the same. Perhaps, because Ferrari is just a name motorsport fans can get behind whereas Red Bull is just a drinks comapny?

I was never a Schumi fan when he was winning but his charitable contributions showed the kind of human being he is. I am now a great fan. To your recovery Michael!


"F1 did not lose any popularity when Schumi was winning 4 straight"

Yes it did


"Perhaps, because Ferrari is just a name motorsport fans can get behind"

It is?... how?...

This motorsport fan never got behind them.


Ferrari has many fans because they have been around since the start of F1 and they build desirable motor cars that many can only aspire to own but never afford. Very different from Red Bull. You sir have every right not to support Ferrari but I just replied to your queries.


"they have had a great deal of success. Success tends to attract supporters,"

This I understand, supporters are like sheep.



That makes no sense to me, they’re old?… so what?....

Think about it and it makes perfect sense. Ferrari have been around for a long time (the longest in F1) and during that time, they have had a great deal of success. Success tends to attract supporters, hence they have a lot of fans.


"Ferrari has many fans because they have been around since the start of F1"

That makes no sense to me, they're old?... so what?

I know I have every right on who to support, I just don't understand "Ferrari is just a name motorsport fans can get behind".


The focus of the article may be on the technical changes for 2014 but it will also be interesting to see how the Red Bull personnel changes affect them... they still hold a lot of aces.


And as for this website... outstanding. I don't really have a suggestion for an improvement, more just a comment that I really value the articles which examine _why_ events on and off the track panned out as they did. The record of _what_ has happened is important but it is this website's understanding of the strategies and complexities beneath the surface which sets it apart.

Happy New Year!


This is a great site to pick up current F1 news. I have noticed that this site along with others do a countdown to the next would be nice to have a countdown to the next testing. I seem to always forget about I am always on this site now, it would be a great reminder. Cheers


Dear James Allen. All the best for you and everyone in the redaction of this excellent magazine. Please don´t change anything then I believe you have developed the perfect auto-magazine today. Keep doing this splendid job in 2014. Let the changes for the poor car constructors that have plenty of activity with the new regulations.

Happy, healthy and peaceful 2014


Hi James,

I'm just curious about the percentage of access we've been generating from Italy.

When I came across your site I couldn't believe how insider, knowledgeable and unbiased it was, what really amazed me in the last two years is that you've been able to improve it expanding the contents and the reach without losing focus and spirit.

Many thanks to you and your staff, keep up the great work!



Thank you and many thanks baba. Complements of the new year and wishing u all the best, South Africa.



Am I the only one that seems to think the new cars (judging by the Autosport animation) look really nice?

James, thank you for a wonderful year of reporting both on this site and indeed Channel 10 (Australia). I'm waiting eagerly in anticipation for the first roar of the V6 power units in Albert Park, knowing I'll be there for all four days of the event.

P.S will you be hosting the Grand Prix breakfast, assuming it is taking place? I thought it was fantastic last year.


DO you have a link for that?


And at least they'll be able to see where they're going again - no more excuses 🙂


Type in Autosport 2014 car transformation on YouTube. It's based on last years Ferrari. It may not end up looking exactly like it, however overall, I think looks quite spectacular.


Great website, and thanks for the great content this year!

As I head into my self-imposed F1 blackout for the off-season, I will state my thoughts that I reckon F1 is pretty great now, but am eagerly awaiting the step into the unknown in 2014.

As for suggestions for the site, it would be great to have some video content of the races themselves, which would be an especially useful tool in the strategy review after each race. I would imagine that this footage attracts massive licensing fees so I suspect this isn't a realistic suggestion, but anyway there it is!


Happy 2014 folks and thanks for a nice topic to start James.

Loosing one advantage will not change the competitive and innovative edge RBR have over the field. We all saw/ heard what they did at Singapore with their fuel maps and power delivery out of slow corners, so you can rest assured that they won't "unlearn" this knowledge with the vital delivery of the new powertrain. We must not forget that the Renault engine was not the now powerful either and that did not prevent them from winning.

It will be particularly interesting to see solutions for the narrower front wing and how they direct air around the front tyres. I also think we are going to see quite a spread in the way power will be transmitted by the different manufacturers. The more seemless & reliable transitions between ERS and engine ,the happier the driver. I get the feeling they will be more challenged by getting the most of their systems than wheel to wheel racing initially because the performance will be at different points of the circuit and different length if time. Roll out the unveiling times ASAP James !


I think in terms of aerodynamic ability you are quite right, and while they have lost the exhaust driven diffuser in all it's iterations, it's the same for everyone and I expect them to be at least competitive at the start. The Renault V8 was initially down on power, but it was my understanding they were subsequently allowed to bring it in line. That said the Red Bull car had supreme aero efficiency, and together with highly developed interaction with the tyres were eventually able to make the car faster on the straights as well. It's a relatively simple and straightforward car that lends itself well to achieving good set up and balance.


When Newey talks on topics, the person who wants to understand better, listens.

I don't remember seeing anybody highlighting what will likely be the critical comparative advantage that will deliver success next year, the team with the best comparative advantage in ability to adapt and deliver a strategically controlled implementation schedule.

Yes, the team with the best ability to develop their car, and in such a way so as to minimize the likelihood of other teams adapting and implementing.

There is much talk of where teams will be, comparatively, next year, with a lot said of engine determination, and suggestions of an outright advantage for one manufacturer.

I don't think that is a sure thing, and I don't think it would necessarily be a definitive determinant.

Red Bull are having some of their greatest areas of comparative advantage neutralized, but the most important question is, is the team's top-rated ability to develop and adapt been undermined by staffing departures and/or has another team developed its capacity so that one or more teams are now better than Red Bull?

It's never good to start behind, but in the full run of the season, the team that can develop the best, giving the least away to the opposition, will garner the championship by the last chequered flag.

Red Bull has been tops in this, is another team equal or better?

That's the real question.

Still lovin' the site, James; and spreading the word as appropriate.


I have to agree. Red Bull has been able to out develop the rest through a season. Their aero design is top notch, too. It is still an aero driven formula. I also do not think there will be much of a difference between the power output of the different engines. It's a fuel limited formula, so there is only so much energy available. I don't think any team found some magical way of significantly improving the ICE efficiency.


Here in the Great White North.


Hi James,

I love the GP roundups you do and tech articles, and something I think would go well with those are a guest driver insight into different racing lines between drivers and Qualy to Race.

Maybe someone like Jamie A or Mark Webber.


Hi James

Thanks for the site and your exacting commentary.

Wishing Michael all the best.

Happy new year to all.

Looking forward to Seb and Daniel dominating again next year 🙂


"We stand to lose the most again" - Adrian Newey

That doesn't mean others will have advantage for the new season. It's all evens stevens for 2014.


True, but I think what Adrian is saying is that when you're standing on the top step there's only one way you can go 🙂


Given RB's problems with KERS, I'm curious to see if they run into problems with the new ERS. From what I understand, packaging will have to change pretty significantly, too. Combined with the exhaust changes (an area where RB excelled), RB may not have the same stranglehold on the technical side they have enjoyed. After thinking about it more, I think this year may end up seeing some significant shifts in the leader board...more than I had originally thought. Of course I could be wrong and Newey and his team have nailed it again. It's going to be great to see it unfold. The season can't get here soon enough.


Red Bull was tightly packaging their KERS unit, and likely running a smaller unit than others. The new ERS batteries are tightly regulated. They have to be between 20-25kg. Their location is pretty specific as well. I don't see the Red Bull having any more or less issues with the ERS than others.


Good point. Their KERS issues this year we due to the fact that Newey's machines always tend to be very tightly packaged. It'll be interesting to see how they cope next year but it wouldn't surprise me at all if we see an unreliable Red Bull as Newey tries to create an extremely tightly packaged car which unfortunately is unreliable at times, as we saw from RB in 2010 and Mclaren in 05/98.


Happy New Year James!

We often read comments from Drivers, Team Principles and Technical Directors, most of which is insightful. I was wondering, would it be possible to hear from team members such as race Engineer and Designers. Using 2013 as an example; an interview with the Race Engineers of SV and MW, how did they manage the Malaysia situation with their respective drivers and overall team dynamics? on a wider pint, how do they manage their relationships with drivers, especially when the driver is new to the team. Again, using 2013 as an example, McLaren built a 'dog of a car', from a designers point of view, how did they manage the situation internally and what lessons could be learned? I'm not sure if this is possible but i'd fascinated to hear theirs (and yours) views.


Is is me alone or others as well noticed that when articles and replies are in bold eyes need resting quickly?!


James, this is clearly the most credible site for F1. I log in often. I notice you are looking at a mobile or tablet application. Can that please include Android devices (would love to look at the site when out of the office - bit addicted you understand).

One advantage of being in Australia is we get to look at the relative performance of F1 cars first up.

Yes, I will be at the circuit but if you have the app working I will be able to pick up even more information because JA on F1 will have the latest news because of your access to information.

No pressure James!! (- you still have 73 days to work on it!)

All the best for 2014


Great job again James for last season.

Even though I don't respond too often, your site is by far the best site for F1 and I always read your articles and most comments. Will have to find a bit more time to comment!

Keep up the great work and looking forward to Albert Park and the season and JAonF1.

Still waiting for the book to arrive, am sure it can't be too far away.

Thanks again.


How long ago did you order it?


Hi James

Great news. Book arrived today (07/01/14)

Will enjoy. Thanks for your follow up to GPL




Hi again

It was dispatched from GP Legends on 11 Dec.

Quoted 10-15 days and up to 28. See what happens. Might have to get it personally from you on 16 March!!!!!!!!!!!!


OK I've raised a query with GPL

Apologies that's far too long. We've not had others saying the same yet, but will look into it


Hi James,

I received the order confirmation on 15/11/2013 from ( order: 440944

Past years i have received them between Xmas and New Year.

Will check PO again tomorrow


Good to read that Micheal is stable 🙂


If you could make the site less data-heavy when viewing on a smartphone that would be much appreciated. Happy new year to all


James, I would like you to delete via moderation, any comments that contain the words LOOSING, LOOSER and LOOSE (unless of course they are used correctly or by one for whom English is obviously their second language).


And tyres!


And perhaps "Vettle"


Can we add "crybaby" to that list please!



First candidate 🙂


Adrian is attempting to down play his car. He will no doubt be on top again.


Aero performance will clearly be down on last year.

Newey sees the numbers and doesn't like them.

But no one really knows how the other teams go, aside from matey banter amongst engineering teams which, I suspect, is limited at best to spreading FUD, so Newey is merely being a realist.


Happy new year James and to your team, best F1 site on the web,

You asked for suggestions, to be honest i think your doing a great job but as your asking it would be cool to read a post race tech general review of upgrades teams bring to each race


I also think this sounds like a great idea although how easy it is to implement I imagine will be very challenging as most of the teams probably try to hide what updates they have brought to the track. Most of the aero updates are very visible but the others are not so easy to see


A basic list of the teams and their upgrades &/or suspected developments as part of the strategy report would be good.


"F1′s popularity has been hit by the domination by Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull"

Really? Got a source for that? The number of viewers has declined somewhat, but I know of nothing which attributes this to Vettel and/or Red Bull. I'd say that DRS and farcical tyres are having a bigger negative impact.


I have to disagree, from the comments made in my social group (mixture of non F1 fans, casual F1 fans and F1 nuts) people have been commenting a lot about how boring Vettels dominance is than DRS or tyres


Lower availability of free TV coverage can't help either.


I'd say your wrong, only fans of the regular winner enjoy a long run of near domination.


It would be great if readers from outside the British isles were eligible to enter your competitions. Such a development would further expand the appeal of this site outside the UK.


Happy happy new year to all at JAonF1. You are great!

Concerning 2014, I still think that aero rule changes could have been more aggressive. Some interesting changes concerning aero went back to the drawer. Maybe FIA is keeping some ammunition for 2015 if things don't go as planned (RBR and Vettel winning WDC and WCC with 4 races spare) in 2014.

I have some friends that like the sport but don't feel so excited about it because there is not much fighting for 1st places and WDC. I tell them that position fighting from 2nd-10th has been great in most races but that does not seem to bring them to the front of TV to watch live races. Let's hope 2014 bring them to that.


Happy New Year James!


Hi James,

As usual, well done.A first class blog. My first stop for F1 info.

A thought: No doubt the top teams throughout the season are calculating and recalculating the mathematical probabilities of winning the championship, and the constructors title. Is it possible, perhaps from the halfway/two thirds point, to have a running total of probabilities as a graph or similar?

Thanks for all the interesting info.


I think I see what you're saying here. A similar chart for 2013 would look something like this:


Sebastian Vettel - 100%

Fernando Alonso - No Chance

Mark Webber - No Chance

Lewis Hamilton - No Chance

Kimi Räikkönen - No Chance

Nico Rosberg - No Chance

Romain Grosjean - No Chance

Felipe Massa - No Chance

Jenson Button - No Chance

Nico Hulkenberg - No Chance

Sergio Perez - No Chance

Daniel Ricciardo - No Chance

Jean-Eric Vergne - No Chance

Esteban Gutierrez - No Chance

Valtteri Bottas - No Chance

Pastor Maldonado - No Chance

Jules Bianchi - No Chance

Charles Pic - No Chance

Giedo van der Garde - No Chance

Max Chilton - No Chance


Red Bull - 100%

Mercedes - No Chance

Ferrari - No Chance

Lotus - No Chance

McLaren - No Chance

Force India - No Chance

Sauber - No Chance

Toro Rosso - No Chance

Williams - No Chance

Marussia - No Chance

Caterham - No Chance


You have far too much free time available 🙂


Not really - surprisingly the research didn't take that long 😉


Hahahahaha. How very true.Simplifies the calculations somewhat.

Was it 2011 or 12 that championship was anybody's guess? here's hoping for the same in '14.


In recent years 2010 and 2012 were both very close - 2011 was a Vettel whitewash.

In 2014 I think a lot will depend on reliability, but we'll see what happens 🙂


We will find the answer in 73 days.


happy new year james and to you, reading this. let's hope 2014 provides us with better stories to share.


James, have been trying to submit with no success, usually have no problems


Yeah, a couple weeks back I had that happen for a few days straight - hit Submit, the page reloads...and then nothing.

Very frustrating!


I guess I was trying to do several posts at once, without first refreshing the page, took me all night to figure that out (I guess I am too old for modern technology)

Best regards and keep us informed through the winter doldrums as usual, jaonf1 is the only way to survive the off season


I think Neweys main strenght is to get the base of the car right. When you have the base right you just develop the car searching for perfection. Just look at the last five years. Red Bull has basically started each season with an improved evolution of last years car. Other teams have made drastical changed to their cars year on year.

I think the ability to engineer in scope for quick development is Neweys main strenght. That's probably why he's late finishing the car too. If he spots a good idea during testing you can be sure Red Bull will fit their car with a similar device rather quickly. He gets the base of the car right with lost of scope for development. The rest is all about adding on, removing and fine tuning. That's the reason Red Bull Are able to win the development-race year after year. Their base construction is easier to develop than other teams cars.

Red Bull might not be the quickest out of the box, but I wouldn't be surprized if they grow stronger and stronger during the season.


One has to keep this in perspective, look who is doing the talking. "Challenging" in Adrian Newey's vocabulary probably translates to excruciatingly difficult to those mere mortals in other teams.


Best site by miles and miles. (Well done on mastermind)


Hi James,

Thanks for a great site. I think we all appreciate the time you put in given how busy you must be around race weekends especially. Good to hear a mobile version is in the works; just as long as the comments section is easy to read too.

Only change I would suggest is inviting a guest blogger on every other week for a post. Could be anyone, someone in F1, or even a fan who can write. There are many interesting and varied perspectives out there; as long as you can find people who are like-minded and keep with the themes and style of your content it would be a good addition.


We have some plans along those lines, yes.

We already started with Ed Gorman, ex Times journo, who will do more in 2014


Mr.James Allen once again thank you very much for your site and wishing you and all a Happy and Wonderful New Year.

Am looking forward to this season and I will not agree with what Newey says. As usual we will know after the first three races or maybe much more this year.


Unfortunately he stands to lose the most again...

Sorry Adrian, there's no sympathy coming from me. He is in a situation where he had a 'jet fighter plane' and everyone else was optimising their 'propeller plane' solutions.

From 2013 he can afford to lose a lot, falling from the skies above to still be on the top step. It's not like the Pirellis won't suit him right from the start this time.

His biggest worry may not be other teams, but how reliable his complex solutions are in the new environment.

Heck I wouldn't be surprised if he is the only one who nails the aero solution of the new small front wing deflecting air into the front tyres.

In fact I wouldn't be surprised if he manages to deflect the air to distort his front tyres into an aerodynamic device themselves, he's that good. 😉 Legally of course, or at least the legal side of the grey areas of the rules. In fact there's a title for Adrian's autobiography, 50 Shades of Grey Areas, where he can hopefully explain how he kept getting one over all the other engineers. No doubt it'll be a top seller.

Happy New Year James and all. I hope for close racing next year, not just between Fernando and Kimi!


I actually don´t believe in "grey areas". Rules are rules, and when they don´t rule something, everyone is free to do anything. Of course rules can have an spirit, but when rules are writen, aproved and put into enforcement, they are "LAW". People can see rules in different ways, and that is because rules are not (like anything a man does) error free.


How about "Six Degrees of Interpretation"?


Hi Allen,

I like to read your articles and every now and then I translate one (like this one) for our Dutch F1-site. It is read with pleasure.

You ask for new idea's. Well, I have a few...

Since I am a great fan of Williams and of Jenson Button, could you do an analasis of how good Jens really is (i.e. how good is he at developing a car and about his driving style) and one about if Williams F1 Team is able to recover from the all-time-low season 2013?

I'd love to read that!

Kind regards and keep on doing the good stuff!

Erwin van Delft


I'll add it to the list. Thanks


Hey, doesn't that narrow front wing expose the tire further, and as a result of 5cm more of exposure on the outside of the tire, doesn't it offer "opportunity" for front wheel to more easily lock with the exposed rear wheels and make the cars airborne? Especially during starts when such contact is most likely, and in the past was more of a front wing into someone's rear tire scenario?

I know I'm late to point this out, and regs are set already. But surely someone pointed to this in light of the Wheldon carsh, and the many close calls we've had with airborne open wheelers, including if I remember right Schumi in 2011 having someone fly a few inches above his helmet.

Now this is a safety issue to talk about that should have concenred drivers more. Surely there was a way to reduce front aero without such significant increase to the exposure of the front wheel outside leading edge that is most likely to catch.

Mark this comment down friends. I will come back to it if this happens this season.


Fair point Seebee, but less likely to happen now that Webber has retired from F1 😉


And Kovi (or so it would seem) 😉


The wings will be more like they were before 2009 and back then I don't remember it being a problem.

The front wheels are free-spinning, so I don't think that would get the car airborne if it touched the rear wheel of the car in front. To do what you're describing you'd need the rear tyre of both the cars to run over each other and that very rarely happens.


Of course I hope it doesn't happen. Simply I'm sure this change increases the odds. A bit of a strange regs change considering the fact that in open wheel racing this is one of the big risks.

I don't think it matters that a wheen is free spinning. They touch, they stick, the rear wheel rotation will "lift" the free spinning front wheel toiching it. Then it's just a matter of energy the car is carrying.


Hi Sebee. Your thought is right, but I believe that if a car is going to crash into his predecessor, the front wing is too weak to avoid the impact. Have a great year!!


"F1′s popularity has been hit by the domination by Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull"

Wrong, F1's popularity has been hit by silly gimmicks like DRS & Pirelli tyres.

Most of the people I know who used to watch every F1 race have now stopped not because of Red Bull/Vettel but because they don't like the direction F1 has gone with these artificial gimmicks.

Im starting to go the same way & missed a few races last year for the 1st time since we got every round shown on TV in the UK in about 1978?


Nice site James, it's been a good read all year.

My one wish would be to get your webdesign people to make it a "responsive design" for mobile.



Why are we talking about changes to this site?

It's terrific as is. It ain't broke; don't fix it.

Thanks, James. The website is a pleasure, and it's nice to know it's of the dependable positives in life.

It's a big warm blanket. 😉


While folks have been commenting about the website - where's the 2014 calender including testing dates, tyre testing dates, etc? 🙂

Thanks for all your good work - here's looking forward to more of the same and more in 2014 🙂


We had a great year hitting a new high in traffic and reach; with 1.75 million active unique users on the site from 225 countries around the world.

225 countries??? LOL.


This is my first time pay a quick visit at here and i am genuinely pleassant to read everthing

at one place.


outstanding read, just what i was looking for!


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