The 2014 Formula 1 season kicks off this weekend with the Rolex Australian Grand Prix, marking the return of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rossberg in the BlackBerry-sponsored Mercedes AMG Petronas car. This year looks to be a good one and is packed with plenty of changes that should make it an interesting one as well. Some drivers have moved around and some have moved on. There are a handful of rule changes that will keep everyone on their toes as well.
No matter who you're a fan of, the 2014 F1 season will be as exciting as ever. To make sure that you're prepped and ready to go, we've packed everything into our 2014 F1 Preview here so you stay ahead of the game.
Our pick right now for the best app for the best F1 BlackBerry app is Live24 Racing. There's sadly no sign of the official F1 timing app for BlackBerry this season (we've reached out to find out why) but Live24 is a great, free alternative. You can use it to follow news, standings, calendar, weather, timing and much more.
The 2014 season will see the introduction of a new engine formula. The new engines will be a 1.6 litre V6 format with an 8-speed semi automatic gearbox.
The Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS / ERS-K) will be incorporated into the design of the engine and its usage increased.
Teams will be permitted to use electronic braking devices to manage the braking of the rear wheels as the increased power output from the ERS-K units will make regulating the brake bias much harder than it had been previously.
Teams may no longer change their gear ratios from race to race to suit the individual demands of a circuit. Instead, they must nominate eight gear ratios ahead of the first race of the season, and these eight ratios will be used at every Grand Prix.
Teams will no longer be able to use a beam wing at the rear of the car, a small carbon fibre wing mounted above the diffuser designed to generate low pressure as air passed over it, allowing teams greater control over the air that was being deliberately directed over the diffuser.
In order to promote fuel efficiency, fuel will be flow restricted to 100 kg/h above 10,500rpm; below 10,500rpm a formula for the maximum flow must be applied based on the rpm in use.
Drivers must be able to return to the pits under their own power after the checkered flag has fallen in a bid to stop drivers from pulling over in order to preserve the mandatory one-liter fuel sample required to pass post-race scrutineering.
The position of the exhaust outlet will change so that it is now angled upwards toward the rear wing instead of downwards to face the rear diffuser so as to make the practice of using exhaust blown diffusers.
The minimum weight of the cars will increase from 642 kg (1,415 lb) to 691 kg (1,523 lb) to account for the increased weight of the engine, energy recovery units, and 2014 specification of tires.
The use of false camera mountings will be banned. Teams had previously exploited a loophole in the regulations that allowed them to add additional pieces of bodywork to the car in the place of camera mountings and take advantage of the aerodynamic benefits. From 2014, this loophole will be closed, with the regulations rewritten to only allow camera mountings to be used for cameras.
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