The biggest issue is the ability of the engines to use vastly more fuel during the course of the Grand Prix than they are allowed to carry.
This presents the interesting possibility that could work to the benefit of teams which have a clear number two driver or take to take it a step further, F1 teams which run a junior team.
There will be massive benefit to any driver that is able to get towed through the race. By tow, I mean a driver that is able to run behind a car that is running huge downforce and full boost.
The new 2014 regulations will allow a high downforce F1 car to run competitive lap times (due to the turbo power) but this obviously means this car will not be able to finish due to the limited fuel.
And this is where the “clear number two driver” comes in.
Teams may choose to run the “second” car and driver with high downforce and high boost for as long as possible to preserve the fuel of their number one driver. The number one driver can get pulled round the race at competitive speeds while using hugely less fuel than drivers running comparable speeds and in clean air.
And the “tow” issue also presents another interesting factor although not of the same magnitude as the “second” driver scenario.
Is leading the race going to be the least desirable position? Are drivers going to be fighting to be second. I feel there is going to be some tactics going on, not to the same extent as track cycling but you get the idea.
It is possible that the Australian Grand Prix of 2014 could be one of the closets Grand Prixs in history, at least for the first half of the race.
But countering that, whenever there are big rules changes in F1 there is the possibility that a team that has done a massively better job than everyone else, the new rules however may make it impossible to tell in the early stages of the race as the turbo power equalises performance.
F1 Melbourne 2014 Prediction – Summary
1. F1 Teams with a clear number two driver could have a massive advantage over teams with drivers of equal status.
2. Leading the race could be extremely disadvantageous leading to a closely packed group of cars at least in the early stages of the race and could lead to one of the closest finishes ever seen in F1.