2014 Formula 1 Report:  USA Edition

Drafting the Circuits

Week 18

Grand Prix                          Date                   Tire Compounds      

Grand Prix of Spain           May 9-11            Medium/Hard

Grand Prix of Monaco       May 22-25        Supersoft/Soft

Canadian Grand Prix        June 6-8            Supersoft/Soft




Ayrton  Senna

This past week marked the 20th anniversary of the passing of the legendary Ayrton Senna.  Having just read the great article on Senna from Drafting the Circuits’ own Philip Mathew, I would like to refer everyone to the article.  It is poignant and represents well the respect and adoration we all have for this great man.

You can find Philip’s article here at Drafting the Circuits.


You can also find a short film specially commissioned by McLaren below.

“This film does a fantastic job of recreating the intensity of that fast lap, but also captures Ayrton’s introspection and wisdom via snippets of audio from an unforgettable interview that really lays bare Ayrton’s state of mind on that day.”




GP of Spain Circuit


The European summer leg of the Grand Prix season picks up Sunday in Barcelona at the Circuit de Catalunya.  All of the teams are expected to bring significant upgrades designed to close the gap between themselves of the dominant Silver Arrows squad from Mercedes.

Toto Wolff expressed that Mercedes too, have aimed to “ increase the advantage we enjoyed in the last race in China.”  Barcelona will be a great track to measure the changes in performance of the F1 paddock.

Many of the teams will have brought new upgrades and some will be making attempts to replicate items that have worked well for other teams.

The Barcelona circuit is an older circuit and traditional in nature. It requires a strong balance of engine, aero and mechanical performance.  Tire degradation is expected to play a role here, as the shorter straights will not allow the tires to shed heat.

It will be especially interesting to see what Red Bull and Ferrari bring to the fight. If Mercedes is as dominant here as they have been all season, the F1 season could essentially be a run toward to roses for Mercedes.


Sauber has been overweight all season but plan to bring a new C33 to the Spanish Grand Prix. They are also expecting a new aero package as well software upgrades to the Ferrari engine package.

There is hope that these upgrades translate to a higher position in the running order for the team.

On another front, Simona De Silvestro tested for the first time in an F1 car in Fiorano  this past week.  As expected, she noticed significantly more g forces as well as improved braking in the older run C31.

Formula 1 Cost Cutting Plans

The F1 strategy group is still convinced that reducing cost can be achieved by altering certain aspects of the Formula and standardizing them so costs are reduced across all teams.  Here are some of the agenda items being discussed.


Tyre blanket ban

Fuel system simplification

Brake duct simplification
Front wing simplification

Gearbox usage flow brought in line with engine life

Increase in curfew

Ban on front and rear interconnected suspension


Standard front impact structure
and rear impact structure

Standard final drive system

Standard steering rack


FIA standard active suspension

Move to 18-inch wheel rims

Monica Kaltenborn, of Sauber, thinks this is not the way to bring costs in line and is still in favor of a cost cap.  Caterham, Marussia, Sauber and Force India have all written to Jean Todt, President of the FIA, urging the FIA to consider the needs of the smaller teams and whether they can continue on with costs escalating as they have been.

These teams have been told to submit their ideas to solve the cost crunch that enveloped Formula 1.

For those who use Twitter, you can follow me @steve_aibel or check us all out @RacingDTC for Drafting the Circuits.