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GP Week : Issue 188
F1 >>> nEWs F1 teams look to 2014 Formula One teams are starting to switch their development focus to 2014 as they prepare for the sweeping regulation changes set to kick in next year. The sport will make the switch to smaller 1.6 litre V6 turbo engines next year, scrapping the current 2.4 litre V8 engines in use since 2006; the most drastic shake up of the rules since 2009. A big change in regulations generally results in a shake-up of the pecking order as clever designers exploit loopholes in the new rules to come up with a ‘magic-bullet’ solution like Brawn and most notably Red Bull did with the double- diffuser and exhaust-blown diffusers, respectively. As a result, with more than half the season run, teams are increasingly switching their focus to the development of their 2014 cars. “I think we will see most of the teams – with the exception maybe of Red Bull – slowing right down in their development of this year’s cars in preparation for the challenge of 2014,” Lotus team boss Eric Boullier has been quoted as saying. Rule changes are also a chance for teams not involved in the championship battle like McLaren – heading for their first winless year since 2006 – to scrap development on the current year’s car early on and put all effort into building a race-winning car the following year in a bid to steal a march on their rivals. “Most teams by now will be switching the greater proportion of their resource, and much of the design organisation, across to next year's car,” McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale told reporters ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix. “We're almost through August, and there is a lot of work to be done to get ready for next year, so I think inevitably we'll increasingly start to focus on 2014.” Backmarkers Caterham, whose only major upgrade to their 2013 car was introduced at the Spanish Grand Prix in May, have also stopped developing, with no further updates to their 2013 machine planned this year. “We're definitely not going to bring any updates anymore because the focus is just for next year,” the team’s driver Giedo van der Garde told ESPN. “I think the gap to the next cars is just a bit too big. At some tracks we will probably be closer but it's going to be very tough to close that in this year and next year I think the opportunity is much bigger to gain time.” RAcIng BAckWARdS ThROugh TIME Members of the F1 circus took a step backwards in time over the Belgian Grand Prix weekend, moving from the 21st century paddock to a 1950s cinema in the nearby town of Malmedy. Shell, whose Ferrari partnership dates back to the first year of the FIA Formula One World Championship, celebrated the enduring relationship with the re-release of a promotional film made during the 1955 Belgian Grand Prix. Guests were asked to turn up in ‘50s attire, and the paddock made the most of the opportunity. Martin Brundle arrived behind the wheel of his Jaguar E-Type, face blackened with oil around his driving goggles. Johnny Herbert elected to turn up in full greaser attire, complete with bovver boots and a leather jacket proclaiming his membership of the T-Birds. There were Pink Ladies aplenty, rockabilly singers with sky-high quiffs, and pin-curled women in full vintage attire. But the stars of the show were Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso, who posed for photographs dressed as 1950s Ferrari drivers – no team overalls in those days! – before heading into the cinema to enjoy the show. For fans of F1 history, the chance to watch cars pouring out of the old pits before taking to the old circuit, powering along the Masta Straight before returning to the familiar at Stavelot, was an emotive experience. Stirling Moss gave chase to teammate Juan- Manuel Fangio, but was unable to match the Argentinian for pace. Behind, the third-placed Ferrari of Nino Farina crossed the line 100 seconds after Fangio, and nearly two minutes ahead of the fourth-placed Ferrari driven by Paul Frere. Shell’s film, which had originally been produced to promote the company’s involvement with a raft of different teams, was both a highlights package of the three- hour race and a testament to the enduring characteristics of motorsport – photographers jostling to shoot drivers in the pits, tense mechanics making last-minute tweaks on the grid, and rapturous crowds celebrating underneath the podium. The teams, cars, and drivers have changed throughout the years – and safety has improved dramatically – but the passion remains the same. The 30 minute film can be viewed in its entirety above, or via: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAiKovUL8FM 10 GPWEEK.com // 10 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: