FEBRUARY 12, 2013
As 2013 begins, designers look towards 2014
With the 19-race 2013 season not yet upon us, plenty of plans are already being made for the following championship.
Asked what the biggest challenge was in designing this year's Lotus E21, James Allison confided to Speed Week: "The fact that so many good people are working on the 2014 car."
After a few years of regulation stability, Allison said the changes coming for 2014 - notably the 'ERS' energy recovery systems and V6 turbo engines - represent a "tsunami" for F1.
So important is the change, that some suspect Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes switch for 2014, for example, was motivated primarily by the German marque's promise regarding the new rules.
"I am convinced that was the decisive factor," veteran reporter Tony Dodgins is quoted as saying.
"Lewis knows that a team must have close ties to a manufacturer for the new turbo era. And he also knows Mercedes will cease development for 2013 early in order to put everything on 2014."
Indeed, Briton Hamilton sounds prepared for whatever 2013 will bring.
"I'm not worried," he is quoted by France's L'Equipe sports daily.
"I am quite prepared to finish the first grand prix in fifteenth place."