It's back to work for the eleven teams of Formula One.
Shutdown over: Back to work
Monday, 4th August, 2014 – Holiday
Monday, 11th August, 2014 – Holiday
Monday, 18th August, 2014 – Workday and second half of the Formula 1 season begins.
What were the teams and drivers up to?
The summer shutdown ends, as teams and drivers start their preparation for the grueling, second half of the 2014 Formula 1 season. The two week break meant the teams were cut off from work, but not with the fans. Several teams got on ocial media to interact with their fans. A positive thing about the new age technology, certainly.
Every team had their, own story to tell through social media. Mercedes focused on sharing statistics from the first half, while Lotus and Ferrari provided fans with some leftover behind the scenes pictures from the Grand Prix’s. McLaren continued sharing the old, team and driver pictures along with some McLaren facts. Sahara Force India and Marussia popped up regularly to interact, while Sauber, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Caterham, in comparison to others, provided little interaction.
The drivers meanwhile, kept to themselves and away for the most part during the shutdown. As it was expected, there were occasional appearances from them on Twitter but nothing special from anyone. The team members, however, did mention about the vacations they were on with their families and close friends.
Big test ahead, eight races to go
There are eight races left, which is effectively nine, after the introduction of the highly criticized double point gimmick from FIA for the season finale in Abu Dhabi. The way things are at the moment, it's highly likely that double points will come into play in deciding the drivers’ champion; though it won’t have any effect on the constructors champion (or soon to be) Mercedes. It will play a crucial role for the likes of Ferrari, Williams, Sahara Force India and McLaren in their fight for the third position.
Normally, the second half is talked about, keeping one thing in mind, which is the development of the current car. The key question, always on everyone’s mind is whether to shift focus on the next year’s car or keep pushing the current year’s car to find the maximum performance. This season, the teams are in a good position, which allows them to keep developing the current year’s car as there is little regulation change for 2015 season. This pretty much helps the team to focus on this year’s car and push on with the development, which might be useful to the teams for the next season.
Maintaining a good reliability of the cars will be the toughest challenge for the teams; many of the drivers are already on the cusp of getting penalties for using extra components. Hamilton would want his Mercedes to be problem-free after some woeful experiences in the first half; in fact the team would certainly want both their cars come home with dominant results. Alonso is the only driver to have finished every race this season, which has seen all the other twenty-one drivers failing, at least once to complete the full race. The constructors’ championship fight from second to sixth will be the highlight in this half; it will provide some good drivers’ duels as the likes of Vettel, Ricciardo, Alonso, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg and Bottas would not only like to race for their championship positions but also help the teams to finish on a high note.
All eyes on the twelfth race this weekend in Spa, Belgium. Everyone got the much-needed rest and now it's the time for that one final push till the end of November and give it all to reap out any possible performance from the cars and go home smiling.