An emotional topic for some F1 followers remains the engine unfreeze issue, even after the regulations were kept in place by the wishes of most of the teams
This article explains the post season situation as well as anything else I have read. Especially the engine regs situation without getting emotional or adding spin.
So a last poll for 2014
What do the members think after the season when the events are laid out and explained by an expert writer?
The Telegraph wrote:A Formula One season which posed many questions ended with precious few answers. Thank goodness for Lewis Hamilton’s emphatic riposte to the notion that he lacked to the brainpower to thrive in this space-age formula with nearly as many acronyms as text-speak. For the rest, few were laughing out loud after a year which conjured more uncertainty than it put an end to.
In a sport which continues to be laden with doom and gloom, negative headlines coming out of its every orifice, Hamilton is F1’s shining light; a star who transcends motorsport and promotes its virtues across the globe. His popularity is greater than ever before - his victory in the BBC Sports Personality Award should silence those who criticise his tax status for now - and he has become a complete driver.
It seems barmy therefore that when we gathered in Melbourne for the first race, way back in March, his racing intellect was in question. The growing consensus was that his team-mate, Nico Rosberg, would use his academic background, which included an offer to study engineering at Imperial College London, to his advantage. The more cerebral Rosberg would prevail in a formula which required drivers to manage tyres, engines, electrics and so on, so the hypothesis went.
Hamilton was as bemused as many by the suggestion. His argument was proven right. The 29-year-old won 11 races, dominated Rosberg on Sunday afternoons, and, if we are being pedantic, actually used less fuel in races than his foe. The debate around Hamilton is largely over for now. He has matured as a driver and as a man, with perhaps only Fernando Alonso slightly ahead on the grounds of prolonged consistency.
Elsewhere, however, it is difficult to say anything with any great conviction, both about Mercedes rivals and the direction in which the sport is headed. Ferrari are on their third team principal in less than a year, their second chairman of the company, and with two drivers - Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen - who both have bruised reputations after being dominated by their respective team-mates in 2014. McLaren are entering the unknown of the Honda era, while Red Bull have been a combination of brilliant on track and boring off it with their repeated complaints about the sport’s rules.
The engines which Christian Horner, Red Bull’s team principal, not to mention his friend, Bernie Ecclestone, continue to rail against moved Formula One out of the ice age at the beginning of 2014. The gas guzzling V8s were ditched in favour of V6s hybrids which are far more efficient and, the manufacturers say, much more relevant to the road cars of the future.
Once the frankly stultifying debate around the noise was dispensed with - the classic in Bahrain put an end to that tiresome argument for a little while - the turbo engines had no detrimental effect on the racing whatsoever. The war of attrition was much less ferocious than expected.
Drivers were not consistently watching their fuel consumption, achieving remarkable top speeds along the way (as fast 225mph in Monza).
Yet the future of these feats of engineering is less clear than ever. When a few of us met Ecclestone in the F1 supremo's office in London recently, he was plotting the return of a normally-aspirated V10. It was not obvious whether Mercedes among others could continue to run their current models alongside this - remarkably, Ecclestone said he would not even ask the German giant about it - or how it would save any money. No wonder cold water was poured on talk of Volkswagen entering Formula One by a senior source at the car company recently.
The fate of the smallest teams is also unknown. At the beginning of the season, it was abundantly obvious that the dramatic rise in engine costs, from around £8 million a year to £25 million, would prove crippling.
Before Marussia and Caterham fell, plans for a cost cap were dropped. Cue political wrangling which persists even in the off-season, with the minnows now attempting to engineer a European Union investigation to force through a clean slate.
Amongst all this, what is the role of the FIA, the governing body after all? Ecclestone cheekily noted earlier this month that Jean Todt’s FIA accepted $40-million-a-year in return for allowing the creation of a committee which can block their ideas and veto their proposals because they were short of cash. “They sold the rights,” Ecclestone said.
The future of Ecclestone himself remains unclear. Wounded, he survived both a High Court judgement and a bribery trial, but he is weaker than ever. The majority shareholders, CVC Capital Partners, are calling the shots now, including on the managed transition to life after Bernie.
Yet, despite all this, do not let the naysayers allow you to believe that Formula One is a basket case. In some respects, the fundamentals of the sport are in rude health. Although overtaking aids still play too big a role, the racing has been superb. Dud races were few and far between.
Thanks largely to Mercedes' relatively hands-off approach, we were treated to a thrilling title duel.
The continuing failure to deliver racing where more than one team can consistently win stands as the major issue. However brilliant the duels in Bahrain, the United States and Brazil were, it is largely unsatisfying knowing that only one of the silver cars can win.
That said, this has been a problem for the sport for decades, and the fact it was largely a two-car race has not dented the enthusiasm with which the 2014 title-race was received. F1 does not need revolution from top to bottom. Instead it requires well-thought out and planned changes rather than its current preference for knee-jerkism.
Only then will it begin to properly answer the many questions it still faces. At least the one surrounding Hamilton is settled. What would Formula One do without him.