FASTEST AT SPA: Nico Rosberg set the fastest lap at the 2014 Belgian GP though only managed to finish in second after inadvertently sabotaging team mate Lewis Hamilton's race. Image: AP/ Geert Vanden Wijngaert
LONDON, England - The 2014 Belgian Formula 1 GP (August 24) was the first time Formula 1's new 'power unit' era proved faster than the screaming V8's of 2013 and earlier.
So far in 2014 the turbo V6, pushing lower downforce and heavier cars, have proved at least several seconds slower than the pace of the past.
Then suddenly it wasn't the case at the Spa-Francorchamps GP in August 2014.
POWER UNITS QUICKER AT SPA
The fastest lap at Spa, set by Mercedes' championship leader Nico Rosberg, was 0.2sec quicker (1min50.511 on Lap 36) than the fastest set in the 2013 race that was won by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel (1min50.756, Lap 40).
An analysis by German specialist magazine Auto Motor and Sport revealed why...
First, aerodynamics play less of role at Spa, where the more powerful turbo power units of 2014 resulted in an average increase of 20km+ top speed than the 2013 V8s on the circuit's long straights.
The cornering deficit in 2014 was minimised at Spa with Pirelli selecting soft and medium compounds for the Belgian GP instead of the medium and hard choice of 2013.