Ferrari's James Allison has pin-pointed early-season reliability as a potential deciding factor in the 2014 title race, as F1 adapts to its new technical package.

With just two races to go in the current V8 formula, the sport will soon be switching to the much-hyped V6 turbos that mark its next engine era, but, despite the teams having already diverted attention in that direction, all are wary that starting from scratch - and having only limited testing - will naturally have its drawbacks when it comes to ensuring reliability.

"As far as how next year will work out, I think that the size of the rule change means that there will be some unanticipated reshuffling of the pack in terms of where all the teams will find themselves in the pecking order," Allison told journalists on day one of the USGP in Austin, "However, I think - notwithstanding the size of the changes -over the years, it's been fairly clear that the teams, although they're hundreds of people in different places, end up producing cars independent of one another that come together and are very competitive with one another. I would expect that to be true next year as well.

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"I would also imagine, however, that the first half of next year is likely to be heavily affected by reliability. Next year's rule changes are big enough, just in terms of the configuration of the car, but they also place a much much higher burden of reliability on us as well."

McLaren counterpart Sam Michael agreed, suggesting that the change in the rules was big enough to cause a shake-up.

"I think it's going to be a development war all the way through the season - and probably into the next year as well," he commented, "It's such a big change, not just to the powertrain, but the aerodynamics too, and knowing that the slope that we currently have in the wind tunnel... when you have a slope so steep, then it normally means that you're far away from the optimum when you first make these type of changes.

"The powertrain is probably bigger in reality, and probably more visible, because you have such a brand new gearbox, brand new engine, completely new ERS system - and don't underestimate how developed these current powertrains are on all fronts, especially the engine, obviously, but also the gearbox. Those changes are significant as well.

"I'm sure you will see different levels of reliability, even though teams are much better now than what they used to be 10-15 years ago with dynos and simulations etc. You can't replicate almost a decade of powertrain mileage on the track across different teams, so I think that's going to be a big player in the next year - and potentially a bit longer."

Lotus' Nick Chester is expecting to see several different solutions hitting the track in 2014 as the eleven teams attempt to find the best package for the new regulations.

"It's a bit hard to say how it's going to develop right from this point," he noted, "The changes are so big - it's the biggest change in regulations that I've seen in 20 years in the sport - and there's going to be a lot of different solutions. It will be very interesting to see what everyone takes to the first race. There will be different solutions for aerodynamics and some cars will be better packaged than others."

Asked whether, with the limited time available for testing liable to be further restricted by red flags and technical problems, there was room to return to two-car test teams, Michael admitted that the current restriction was in place to contain costs, and probably needed to remain.

"I think one of the reasons for going with a single car was cost and containment," the Australian confirmed, "I think, in terms of parts and things like that, it would be a pretty tall order to go and produce two cars at this stage of the day.

"If you have major problems, they are difficult to solve, not impossible. F1 teams are quite capable of proving that impossible things are possible in that short period of time, [especially] with all the experience round here. If you get into fundamental redesign such as bearing issues or cooling problems, they can be quite damaging, but I don't think it really changes [anything]."

"Obviously, it puts a lot of impetus on making sure we get to the first test with a car that can run as much as possible," Chester added, "That means you put a lot more effort into the dyno work and you try and get there with something that's going to get you out on track as much as possible - but I think everyone's expecting they're going to find a few problems. I think the development through the first three tests and up to the first race will be very, very strong."

Renault Sport's Rob White conceded that a lot of the responsibility will fall on the engine manufacturers, particularly in a new era where there is, theoretically, more that can go wrong with the latest breed of engine.

"In real life, the opportunity to substantially change the specification as a result of what happens in testing independent of the timing, give or take a week or two, is quite limited, but it's absolutely a key part of the final phase of preparation to go racing," he explained, "Reliability is a tough call, and we have to aim for the same place, which is of course not to break down, not to stop the car.

"It's more difficult to achieve because the systems are more complicated, more numerate on the car. It's more difficult to achieve because the durability requirement is higher. Coming back to the question of how it would affect the way we approach testing, I think, paradoxically, we have a responsibility to be more ready and to be aiming to role-play the race weekend right from the very start of private testing. I'm sure that there's so much new stuff to come in all of the procedures in every stage of the weekend that we'll going to be trying to practise those right from the get-go."

Most observers anticipate current champion Red Bull to pick up from where it leaves off in 2013 - including out-going driver Mark Webber - but Adrian Newey was quick to play down the expectations.

"I don't know to be perfectly honest," he admitted, "I think that, first of all, as James said, the cars are hugely complex compared to the cars that we've been used to. The level of reliability that everybody's achieving now is the result of a lot of evolution on what actually looks a relatively simple product compared to what we're facing next year, so I think reliability's going to be quite an issue for the teams, and could well be a deciding factor in the championship, who knows?"