Just when you thought that a big, honkin’ V-8 or thunderous V-12 was all that was needed to make history as a World Champion, Formula 1 comes along to give your Nissan Altima V-6 credibility. The 2014 season will be the first year that Formula 1 mirrors real world engines (somewhat). A generation of 1.6 liter turbocharged V-6 engines brings frugality to F1. Along with the rationing of fuel, aero and exhaust development, this proves to be one of the most innovative and planet-conscious seasons ever.
In addition to the engines, there will be more frivolity among Formula 1 fans and viewers. Lotus, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari fans don’t have to go back and forth with an endless list of stats and victories. When they feel overwhelmed in a conversation, they can result to the old “Your car looks like an anteater!” Defenders will follow up with the rebuttal “Well, your car looks like a walrus!” Various other vicious and suggestive comments can now be passed in lieu of the new aerodynamic front ends of this season’s F1 crop. It won’t be the first time that F1 cars had unattractive designs, but perhaps it will be the first time that a Proboscis Monkey reference will be used in the commentary.
You thought that when Mark Webber walked away from Red Bull that in-house rivalry would be done? Not so. Kimi Räikkönen and Fernando Alonso are two head-strong drivers who will not take a back seat to opponents — or each other. Unlike the days of Schumacher and Massa, there will not be a clear No. 1 and No. 2 driver here. This looks to be the motorsports version of a Battle Royale.
We continue to root for the clean-cut kid named Lewis Hamilton. He has not had the same success at Mercedes-Benz that he achieved at McLaren, but I remember when Peyton Manning and Lebron James switched teams. Took a little while, but you see what happened, don’t you? That is all.
Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen will roll up to the starting line alongside two current titans of the sport – Sebastian Vettel and Jensen Button, respectively. There will be a lot to speculation as these “rookies”, although trained and bred for this series, will break in their new racing shoes and represent two premier teams. Hopefully, they will uphold the banner held by their teammates. I think we will have a new shining star develop right before our eyes.
We dare not close this article without mentioning one little thing: Ron Dennis is back at McLaren. We sat as kids watching a hero film. Waiting with anticipation to see how the protagonist would get out of each sticky situation. All the while, we knew that our hero/heroine was more than capable. Dennis is that kind of hero. He had an uphill battle getting back to the helm, but he has what it takes to right the ship once again.
Finally, we will get to see the lavish ostentation, the brilliant pageantry and the amazing levels of mechanical engineering and competition placed before us on a platter. Roll up your sleeves, boys and girls, The 2014 Formula One Season is upon us and it is better than a reality show, it’s a reality showcase.