Take A Lap With The Cars That Have Shaped Formula One
Formula one, the world's fastest, most sophisticated motor-racing series, finished last season with a problem: Things were a bit boring. For the fourth year in a row, German driver Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull Racing team utterly dominated the competition. The worst part was that it surprised exactly no one.
Long before Vettel sealed the title with three races to spare, the powers that be decided to shake things up. In 2014, F1 cars will undergo the most radical changes in a decade.
As the 19-race campaign kicks off March 16 in Australia, almost no part of the machine has been spared. Gone are the V8 engines that growled at 18,000 revs per minute. They've been replaced by smaller, turbocharged V6s. Gone are the sleek airplane nose cones. Get used to stepped 'anteater' noses. And you can kiss reliability goodbye; these new models could fail up to 50% of the time early in the season.
The main reasons behind the shift have to do in large part with the sport's attention to green technology. In an effort to reduce emissions and fuel consumption, teams have expanded the use of kinetic energy recovery systems (Kers), similar to those in your hybrid hatchback. There were also improvements in safety, an area of huge progress since F1's last driver fatality (Ayrton Senna in 1994).
The result is a car that is unlike anything seen in 60 years of F1. As it hits the track, we look back at a few other revolutionary designs throughout F1 history that marked the beginning of new eras in the sport.
Ones to Watch
The cars aren't going to be the only new thing on the track this season. Here's a look at some of the youngest guns in Formula One
Daniel Ricciardo won the sweepstakes for the hottest seat in racing: the No. 2 spot at Red Bull. The 24-year-old Australian isn't exactly an unknown -- he's been in F1 since 2011 -- but he's never finished on the podium. It's hard to say whether he'll repay the faith Red Bull has put in him to replace the retired Mark Webber, but by the end of the season -- despite some testing hiccups at Red Bull -- he should have the car to do it.
Daniil Kvyat will be only 19 years old when the season begins -- the same age Sebastian Vettel was when he made his first race start. The similarities don't end there. Like Vettel early in his career, Kvyat will race for Toro Rosso, the Red Bull sister team that operates as the finest finishing school in the sport.
Marcus Ericsson is the third true rookie on the grid this season.
The 23-year-old Swede isn't expected to make an immediate splash racing for Caterham, the last-place team in 2013. But as the most experienced rookie, he has the potential to surprise. This season could be a little gentler than usual on the rookies. With reliability issues expected to plague even the biggest players early on, Ericsson is already in the same boat as everyone else.
After failing to win a single Grand Prix last season for only the second time in 15 years, McLaren is rebuilding. And that starts with Jenson Button's new partner, Kevin Magnussen. The Danish rookie, whose father also raced in F1, has already impressed during preseason testing in Spain and Bahrain. It remains to be seen whether McLaren's engineers can give the drivers a chance to be competitive in 2014, but in a preseason where even the big boys have struggled, the early returns are promising for the team.
Young British hope Max Chilton never finished above 14th in his first season in F1. And yet, it was a memorable rookie season: He was the only man on the grid to complete all 19 Grands Prix in 2013, despite driving a mediocre Marussia car. Can he deliver a repeat under tougher circumstances this year?
世界上最快、最尖端的赛车系列“一级方程式”（Formula One，简称F1）在上个赛季结束时遇到了一个问题：比赛显得有些乏味。德国车手塞巴斯蒂安·维泰尔(Sebastian Vettel)和他的红牛车队(Red Bull Racing)连续第四年称霸赛场。最糟糕的是，谁都不觉得意外。
丹尼尔·里恰尔多(Daniel Ricciardo)幸运地夺得了赛车运动中最热门的位子：红牛队的二号车手。准确地讲，这位24岁的澳大利亚人并非默默无闻──他从2011年起就参加了F1，只是从来没有站上领奖台。还很难说他会不会报答红牛队让他取代已退休的马克·韦伯(Mark Webber)所体现的信任，但是在赛季结束前，他应该会有合适的车来帮助实现这个目标──尽管红牛队在试车期间出了一些小问题。
本赛季开始时丹尼尔·古夫亚特(Daniil Kvyat)才19岁，跟塞巴斯蒂安·维泰尔第一次参加比赛的年龄一样。相似之处不只这一个。和早年的维泰尔一样，古夫亚特也将效力于红牛队姊妹车队、在F1比赛中起到培养新人作用的红牛二队(Toro Rosso)。
上个赛季，迈凯轮一次锦标赛也没有赢过，不过这只是15年来的第二次。现在它正在重振旗鼓。它首先寄望于简森·巴顿(Jenson Button)的新搭档凯文·马格努森(Kenvin Magnussen)。这位丹麦籍新秀的父亲也曾参加F1比赛，在西班牙和巴林的季前赛试车期间，他已经惊艳四座。迈凯轮的工程师能不能让车手们在2014年拥有夺冠机会仍然有待观察，但在大牌车手都遇到困难的季前赛当中，初期结果让这个车队看到了希望。