Formula One: Red Bull chief Christian Horner believes that the coming Formula One season will prove a “massive challenge” for the competing teams as they battle not only for the title but to develop new cars for the 2014 season.
Over the coming campaign each marque will have to maintain on this year’s cars while working on the models for the following year, as the sport switches from its current 2.4-litre V8 units to 1.6-litre turbo-charged V6s.
And while the smaller teams are expected to struggle the most, Horner believes that the likes of Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes will also be hard pressed.
“This year it’s about spinning two plates because we have the 2013 development while at the same time we will be conducting research, design and background work into the RB10 (next year’s car), which will almost be a different formula to what we have now,” he said.
“So there will be a balance between those two challenges, which will stretch all the teams.”
Horner added: “2014 is a massive challenge for all the teams. It will be about how you apply your resource depending on where you are in the championship and the heat of that battle.”
He also believes that this season’s seemingly disjointed calendar will inadvertently assist plans for 2014. It is now almost certain that there will only be 19 races this year, given F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone’s attempts to add another European race in July.
And though doubts over the German grand prix have now been erased, with the Nurburgring to host on July 7, it still means beyond that there will only be one race — in Hungary — over the following six weekends at the height of summer.
Horner feels that prolonged gaps in the summer could prove beneficial. He said: “It’s not a disadvantage at that point in the year.
“Teams are going to need to start thinking about 2014, so perhaps you are able to divide your resources slightly more unevenly then with the breaks they allow.”