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Horner names reliability as key challenge for F1 2014

Christian Horner says reliability will be the key thing for teams to come to terms with when the 2014 F1 season starts later this month with the first tests of the year
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner says reliability will be the 'number one challenge' when the new F1 season gets underway.

Drastic changes to F1's engine regulations are set to have a major impact on the year ahead, with Red Bull's rivals hoping that the move to 1.6 litre turbo-charged units will allow them to take the fight to the defending champions.

The new regulations will make pre-season testing, which kicks off later this month in Spain, more important than ever and Horner insisted that the first challenge would be get on top of any reliability problems with the new cars.

"As you know, Adrian Newey does not have a reputation for having a car ready ahead of time, so I am sure there will be several sleepless nights before the car is in running order," he told Turun Sanomat. "Reliability is the number one challenge," said Horner, "but of course we also want a lot of performance from the car from the very start in Australia.

"It means the amount of work in front of us in phenomenal.”

Horner added that Red Bull couldn't afford to relax going into 2014, with the team boss insisting that things could change quickly when it comes to who is the team to beat.

“We did a good job in 2013 but it wasn't perfect, and that motivates us to improve on those areas in which we did not meet our targets,” he said. "That doesn't mean that we expect to win next season. We want to win, but the competition is very hard, and we know how quickly everything can change at the top in F1.

"Nothing can be taken for granted.”

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January 02, 2014 4:11 PM

Sunny, so you expect the engines to only be running at 60-70% of their capacity due to the fuel stipulation in the rules? Wouldn't manufacturers then just move the bar and design the engine to that limit ... maybe by taking off weight? I agree with Rob, in that surely every manufacturer is is testing the various components of these power units to the point where they expire ... so news of items exploding during bench testing should be an almost common & boring at this point?


January 02, 2014 1:54 PM

Rob, that’s exactly what I had in mind, engine mileage because of the number of units allowed during a season which is going to be critical this year. As you know the rules allows a maximum of 15k rpm but at the same time restricts fuel flow rate to a point where fuel flow rate will start to diminish at 10500rpm, when an engine reaches the point where it cannot burn any more fuel because of the mandated fuel flow restrictions there is no point in pursuing more engine rpm as there is not going to be any more power produced, that is apart from the normal overshoot where gear changes takes place. What is called max power speed of an engine is tailored-in by design of the intake system (the point when max speed of the incoming charge is reached it’s called the lovel factor), that is the point of max output, above that speed no engine can produce more power because the charge will start to diminish, but in the turbo engine case it’s the fuel flow that will start to diminish.

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