Vettel's next win will sound very different

Source:Reuters-Global Times Published: 2013-11-29 20:48:01

Sebastian Vettel of Germany leads the pack during the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix on November 24 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Sebastian Vettel of Germany leads the pack during the Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix on November 24 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Vettel celebrates on the podium after the win. Photos: CFP

Vettel celebrates on the podium after the win. Photos: CFP

Sebastian Vettel urged his Red Bull team to "enjoy this moment"­ as they celebrated his record ninth win in a row and the quadruple world champion knew what he was talking about.

Formula One will look and sound very different when the 26-year-old German returns from his well-earned winter break in search of a 10th successive win and fifth consecutive championship.

The glamour sport has seen many eras declared over and the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix was another such moment, even if Vettel is at the peak of his powers and with many years of racing ahead of him.

The 2.4 liter normally aspirated V8 engine has departed the scene, Red Bull's joyfully revved into oblivion by Renault in the garage after the race, to be replaced by a 1.6 liter turbocharged V6 with energy recovery systems.

So radical is the change that the engine itself has become an outdated concept. In 2014, cars will be equipped with a "power unit" with fuel economy and hybrid systems much more to the fore.

Who of the three remaining manufacturers - Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari following the departure of Cosworth and pending the arrival in 2015 of Honda - will have the best is anyone's guess at present.

"It's a massive regulation change for next year and of course it's the end of an era with the current car and beginning of a new era that pretty­ much starts tomorrow," said Red Bull team principal­ Christian Horner.

Like a drug

As of Monday, Vettel has got a new teammate in Australian Daniel­ Ricciardo­ moving­ up from Toro Rosso­ to replace­ departed 37-year-old­ compatriot­ Mark Webber, but the urge to success remains as strong as ever.

"It's almost like a drug," said 40-year-old Horner. "It becomes addictive­ and you always­ want to do better, you're always­ looking inwardly­, you're always trying to push harder.

"(Designer) Adrian (Newey) hasn't attended this race, he's been back with the factory, with all the guys and is pushing so hard for next year."

One of the reasons Vettel has enjoyed his most dominant season so much, with tire-smoking "donuts" for the crowd after his last few wins, is the knowledge that one day, sooner or later, it must stop.

Mercedes, second overall and with huge resources on the engine side, Ferrari and Lotus all won races this year and the first two at least will be throwing everything at 2014.

The only driver ever to win nine races in a row in a single season, the man who has equaled Michael Schumacher's 2004 record of 13 victories­ in a year, Vettel takes nothing­ for granted.

"You never know what's going to happen, next year is an unknown," he had said after winning the penultimate­ race of the season in Texas.

"I'm sure we will push very, very hard and I'm sure we will fight a lot to maintain our position­ but there's no guarantee that next year will be like this year.

"With the new regulations coming­ in, I think nobody really knows where he will stand. You will have the big teams in front but the question is who," Vettel said.

All about changes

Early reports have indicated that the cars will look different, with "droopy" noses, and also sound quite unlike the screaming V8 engines introduced in 2006 when the V10 era ended.

Just how different remains to be seen, with the only audio released so far being of engines in factory environments rather than out on the racetrack.

"We're used to this linear rise of noise with rpm(revolutions per minute)­, whereas next year you're going­ to have one motor doing 125,000 rpm, another electric motor doing 9,000 rpm, you've got the engine itself doing from 10,000 to 15,000 rpm, turbos that are doing 100,000 rpm," McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh told reporters in October.

"So you've got all sorts of noises coming and going and changing.

"It will be quite a strange cacophony­ of sounds and noises coming out of these cars next year, but in a way that increasingly we are seeing on road cars."

Damon Hill, who won his 1996 championship at the wheel of a Williams­ with a 3.0 liter Renault V10 in the back, looked forward to it.

"It's all about change, F1 moving­ forward," said the Sky television commentator­. "I'm looking forward to hearing what the turbos will sound like.

"I think with the turbos we're going­ to get a much deeper, satisfying­ growl."

Reuters - Global Times

Posted in: Feature, Miscellany, Motorsport

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