Going into the 2014 season, Formula One faced one of the biggest rule changes for years – moving from 2.4 litre V8 to considerably smaller 1.6 litre V6 hybrid engines. The previous four years had been dominated by one team, Red Bull, but that was soon to change. From pre-season testing, it became obvious that the Mercedes power unit was the strongest, with Renault struggling with reliability problems. Mercedes dominance in 2014 meant they took all but 3 of the victories and won the championship with three races to go. So, why was their car so much better?
Competing in 16 grand prix, the Williams FW14B won 10 of these. It is the car in which Mansell won his only title and gave Williams their fifth constructors’ title. One of the most technologically advanced F1 cars ever built, it had features such as traction control and active suspension.
The theory behind this car was very simple; more tyres in contact with the road, the more traction which would be available. But, as Tyrrell found out, it was not that easy and many issues with the design were soon discovered.