Some racing series are easier to understand than others, but to put it mildly, Formula One is not NASCAR. With 500 members of each team spending millions upon millions each year to gain an advantage, F1 is about as technically complex as rocket science. But if you thought you had managed to wrap your head around the way things work, think again, because the series is undergoing a major overhaul of its technical regulations for the 2014 season.

Of course, the biggest change is a switch from naturally aspirated 2.4-liter V8 engines to turbocharged 1.6-liter V6 powerplants, but that's not the sum total of the shift. The cars' hybrid component are set to play a bigger role, the aerodynamic regulations are changing, as are the exhaust system limitations and a whole mess of other details.

It's enough to make your head spin at 20,000 rpm. Fortunately the BBC has put together this handy little video interviewing the experts and breaking down the changes into layman's terms that even we can understand. Watch the handy three-and-a-half-minute video primer below to get yourself up to speed on next year's F1 regulations.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      Saabpunk
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm looking forward to the season. It is a shame the mustang gets 100+ comments, but F1 gets 20.
      muspod
      • 1 Year Ago
      Another Infiniti RedBull Championship..
        JoeC
        • 1 Year Ago
        @muspod
        Infiniti? I didnt know they supplied anything but a sticker?
      GRR
      • 1 Year Ago
      Whats kinda fake is that they are keeping the over the head intake when the engines are going to be turbo, and its not needed anymore, only to maintain a certain look, a fake look
        prettypnoyboi69
        • 1 Year Ago
        @GRR
        Not sure how it's fake. Turbos still have intake inlets at the front. Turbo is centralized at top of motor where high pressure inlet air from intake will surely benefit it.
          Yorben Muller
          • 1 Year Ago
          @prettypnoyboi69
          Actually it's more about safety and packaging than the look, the little wing tip on the top of the air intake is the lifting point where straps attach. If you draw an imaginary line from that hard point to the front of the monocoque (where the front suspension attaches) that forms an effective rollcage, protecting the drivers head. So yeah... i don't think the looks were their top priority there.
        bgruia
        • 1 Year Ago
        @GRR
        The whole open-wheel design is "fake"
      JF GeSchmidtt
      • 1 Year Ago
      Next year will be a great test of drivers and engine manufacturers. Who will build an engine that can cope with the stresses and who will build a drive train that will be manage the electrical power harmoniously with the turbo charged engine. Managing that throttle will be just insane as now you will have an instant 160 hp of power on ½ to ¾ of a lap, not to mention the notoriously difficult to manage torque curve of a turbo. Finally, we know that the down force looks to be highly compromised by the rules but we have seen them take 30 - 40% of the down force away only to have the engineers come up with ways to get back to zero and then some. 2014 ought to be a hoot.
      x19x19
      • 1 Year Ago
      Well, they certainly could not get much uglier than the current iteration. Like the lower nose and the additional horsepower. However, I fear the beautiful sound of 10 and 12 cylinders at 18000 RPM is gone forever.
        Cory Stansbury
        • 1 Year Ago
        @x19x19
        I gotta say...F1 engines of recent past don't really sound like anything to me. They sound like an electric motor. F1 sounded much better before the RPM went into the stratosphere IMHO.
      RGT881
      • 1 Year Ago
      Cream always rises to the top.
      Vergenbuurg
      • 1 Year Ago
      Is it that difficult to get audio to both sides? Even if it's only got mono audio, at least send it to both channels. Either that, or for some reason the audio glitched only for me.
      06FJR
      • 1 Year Ago
      To me the F1 teams should just be given the size on the engine in liters, weight of the car, they all have to run on the same fuel, same tires and they all get the same amount of fuel to use per race. The rest is up to them. You want a 2.5 liter 12 cylinder? Fine . you want your engine to be 6,8, cylinders thats fine too as long as its not more than 2.5 liters. You want a turbo or supercharger, go for it. By changing the rules the way they just have or have in the past saves no one any money. let their tech guys go nuts and lets see what we get.Probably allot of very cool fast cars
        Andrew Rollason
        • 1 Year Ago
        @06FJR
        If the regs called for a 2.5L engine and engine config was free, then everyone would run 8 cylinder engines. Honda had done some experiments as far back as the late 1970s and concluded that the idea size for a combustion chamber running on 100RON petrol was 298cc. Ideally in the 3.5L days the ideal piston config was a 12 cylinder engine. During the 3.0L era it was 10; for 2.4L it is 8 and for 1.6 then it's actually 5 cylinders. In-line 5s or a V5 like VW built, may have been a better answer.
      KO
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just you watch, someone's gonna figure out how to exploit that single, centered post-turbo exhaust.
      edward.stallings
      • 1 Year Ago
      You will never understand NASCAR rules because they won't let you see them. If you doubt this, try to get a copy of the current rules. I tried. NASCAR said they do not make them available and wanted to know why I wanted to see the rules.
      Pj Taintz
      • 1 Year Ago
      no F1 is not NASCAR but you make it seem as if they are not spending millions on R and D every year, with shaker rigs and massive amounts of testing. While you are correct it came out wrong
      OSO
      • 1 Year Ago
      So were do the "Big White Meatballs" go so we can see their numbers! -OSO
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