The F1 is coming up in Melbourne this weekend, and all the track-screaming action is now governed by a new set of rules for the teams to play by. The new rules will dramatically change the way the cars sound and drive, and will hamstring those with deep pockets to make it a more level playing field. Here's what's new, and how it affects one of the best teams in the game: Red Bull.
Safety and fuel efficiency are at the heart of the new Red Bull Racing F1 cars, and compliance with the new rules was essential when designing it.
On the design side, there's a new nose, new front and rear wing, new engine, new gearbox and an enhanced Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS). There's also less downforce in the new car thanks to the design changes.
Teams are now only allowed to use 140 litres of fuel in a race, so the new Red Bull car has an eight gear rather than the traditional seven to keep it more economical at higher speeds. The rev limit has also been set at 15,000 RPM as opposed to the 18,000 RPM previously allowed on the bigger V8 engines of yesteryear, and the fuel injection system now runs at a higher pressure.
Speaking of the engines, the F1 is now switching to 1.6-litre V6 engines rather than the V8 and V10 engines of the past. Don't despair for your eardrums, however: the turbo is back on the new F1 cars, so the sound will be amazing.
The engines are now more reliant on hybrid technology, with a bigger battery on the Red Bull car allowing for 10-times the amount of energy storage as the old battery. That means the car can now do 33 seconds per lap on the battery, rather than the standard six seconds from last season.
All in all, it should be an exciting season!
Check out the clip above to see Aussie Daniel Ricciardo and returning champ Sebastian Vettel explain their new car in an almost Iron Man-esque technical video. Presumably Ricciardo's car is different to Vettel's in that it's engineered to always come second...