For those trackside, the biggest obvious change since the end of the 2013 season has been F1’s new, milder engine note.

Nico_Rosberg-Mercedes_GP-JerezFor the drivers, however, the major talking point is ‘torque’. The V8 engines of last year, and the radical new generation of ERS-bolstered turbo V6s, are actually producing similar overall power. But the torque of the 2014 ‘power unit’ is significantly higher. “When I went out of the garage for the first time, I thought ‘Wow!'” Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is quoted by Germany’s Sport Bild.

Force India’s Adrian Sutil had an even starker experience. “When I accelerated out of the corner, I was surprised,” said the German, recalling his first moments with the Ferrari V6. “I changed from third to fourth gear, lost the rear and I spun.”

Works Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg agrees: “The driveability with the turbo is a little bit of an adventure!”

Info: GMM, Image: Mercedes