New look Formula One hears a different tune

Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:42am EST
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By Alan Baldwin

JEREZ, Spain (Reuters) - If Formula One stands on the edge of the unknown, with new technologies and a very different engine to last year, then the start of pre-season testing on Tuesday should at least show what the future sounds like.

Fans already have a pretty good - or maybe ugly - idea of how the cars are going to look after a majority of the teams carried out carefully controlled online reveals over the last few days.

There have been comparisons to anteaters, crab claws and dolphins as teams unveiled a refreshingly different range of front end solutions to new regulations dictated by safety to lower the noses.

Mercedes, Toro Rosso and Force India have carried out private limited-mileage 'filming' days of their new cars to prepare them for the Jerez test but nobody has so far seen or heard several on track together.

That moment, which will come on Tuesday morning as 10 of the 11 teams fire up their cars to exit the Jerez pit lane, has been awaited with more eagerness and trepidation than the sport has seen in years.

"I think every single person in Formula One is sitting on the edge of the unknown," said 2009 world champion Jenson Button last week, the McLaren driver's words echoed by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen a day later.

"That's both exciting and unsettling in equal measure."

Formula One has ditched the screaming 2.4 liter V8 engines, with their ear-splitting wail, and replaced them with a turbocharged 1.6 liter V6 with highly complex energy recovery systems.   Continued...