Ed's Comment

The end of the beginning in Formula One

Published:  19 November, 2014

This year's Formula One Driver's World Championship comes down to the final race in Abu Dhabi this weekend, yet the last laps will also close the first season of a new technological era in motorsport.

The ability to re-imagine the pinnacle of world motorsport - in some people's eyes at least - has taken a number of years of development and many questioned whether the sport would ever be the same again. Complaints about the noise (or lack of) from the engines, the worry of slower lap times and reliability issues have not really continued as the season wore on, indeed reliability has improved and lap times are within a couple of seconds of last season. Meanwhile, the engines use 33% less fuel to achieve this.

Even so, it took Mercedes until the fourth race of the season to badge their cars as hybrids and this is what the technology is, with more electronic energy being presented to the driver to use. Races have been won and lost with deployment (or lack of) this energy, the Canadian race being a case in point as Mercedes were around four seconds slower without their electronic systems working.

We've seen in the automotive industry that smaller turbocharged engines are becoming more popular and it was reiterated earlier this season that manufacturers such as Mercedes, Renault and Honda, who are returning with McLaren in 2015, would reconsider their role in the sport should it revert back to the V8 engines of last year. The car companies are taking the role of emission reduction and fuel economy seriously enough to be using F1 as a test bench for future technology.

This year has also seen the launch of Formula E, the electric vehicle racing category. It will hold its second race meet this weekend, however there are still a number of format issues the series has to iron out, including increasing the range or charging capacity of the cars. As a new championship, it is unable to highlight such a progressive change as Formula One, which has gone from thirsty 3.0-litre V10s to the 1.6-litre hybrid V8 in just over a decade.

As for who will win the championship, we will hopefully see at the flag in Abu Dhabi in a few days' time. I know who my money is on!

Related Articles

  • Ed's Comment 

    Sometimes the modern world can be a marvel, thanks to computers we can talk to people all over the world in seconds, or find the information we need with ease. However, it can also be a curse, opening up possibilities that we, as an industry, don't particularly want.

  • Ed's Comment 

    I will admit I have become a bit of a 'Bake Off' fan and I already love The Apprentice, both reality television shows that allow people to display their talents in real challenges without public participation.

  • Editor's comment: Media respresentation of workshops 

    A few weeks ago I wrote about media representation of the independent sector. I concentrated on the mainstream media back then but yesterday I read a tweet from a well-known consumer motoring magazine which linked to a story with no balance.

  • Editor's Comment 

    This is the final newsletter of 2014 and this certainly has been a year of change. Companies have come and gone, technologies and emissions have been in the spotlight and the industry has had to adapt. Yet rather than look back, I'd like to look forward to what next year may bring.

  • Homework for the holidays 

    The annual Top Technician competition, which promotes and rewards the best repairers and workshops in the UK, invites fault-finders with at least three years’ practical experience to try out the initial online quiz over the Christmas break.


Sign Up

For the latest news and updates from Aftermarket Magazine.


Where should the next Automechanika show be held?


©DFA Media 1999-2018