Understanding 2014’s technical regulations.
This season sees the introduction of new power units —they’re not just engines anymore — consisting of a 1.6-liter V6 turbo engine and two Energy Recovery Systems (ERS). The 2.4-liter normally-aspirated V8 engines of 2013 produced around 750bhp, with an additional 80 bhp available for around six seconds per lap from KERS. The 2014 V6s put out around 600 bhp. However, the two ERS systems (ERS-K and ERS-H) will give drivers an additional 160 bhp or so for approximately 33 seconds per lap.
Unlike in 2013, the driver no longer has to push a button to active ERS — the power is simply delivered to the rear wheels via the throttle pedal (with a little help from the car’s electronics). Therefore, while you could still lap relatively competitively without KERS in 2013, an ERS problem in 2014 will be much more debilitating to performance.