World champion Sebastian Vettel believes the start of the new Formula One season will be full of incident in view of widespread rule changes.
“I think it will be turbulent for everyone, especially at the beginning,” he said ahead of the start this week of testing in Jerez, Spain.
As a result of regulation changes “everyone single person will be tested 100 per cent,” the Red Bull driver said.
World champions Red Bull will Tuesday unveil their 2014 car in Jerez on the first day of pre-season testing before the start of the season in March.
Vettel has a new partner in the Australian Daniel Ricciardo who joins from Toro Rosso, taking the place of compatriot Mark Webber.
Red Bull will unveil the RB10 in the pit lane of the track in Jerez shortly before the start of testing.
Vettel has won the last four world titles and can equal Michael Schumacher’s five titles in a row (2000-2004) with another success in 2014. Red Bull has won the last four constructors’ titles.
Mercedes will also unveil their car on Tuesday. Nico Rosberg drove 40 km in the F1 W05 in an inaugural run at Silverstone on Friday. Several other teams have presented their new cars on their websites.
Sports chief Toto Wolff told dpa in an interview the Mercedes engineers had been working night and day on the 2014 car to incorporate the new turbo engine, the new ERS hybrid system and aerodynamic components.
“The development of the new car was incredibly complicated,” he said.
“We had to bring together the new power unit with a new chassis and a whole lot of aerodynamic changes.
“The engineers have been working flat out for weeks to bring all the components together. It’s thankfully succeeded even if some people have been working every night for weeks. But last Friday we drove the car, and that’s good.” After a promising 2013 season, Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton again partnering Nico Rosberg, will be one of the teams hoping to challenge Red Bull when the season starts on March 16 in Australia.
Hamilton finished fourth and Rosberg sixth in the 2013 drivers’ standings, while Mercedes were second behind Red Bull in the constructors’ championship.
But Wolff said it was “much too early at this point to talk about a pursuit” of Vettel.
“We have just rolled out the first few kilometres. Now we have to keep both feet on the ground and focus on our own performances,” he said.
“In Melbourne it will then be about we stand in comparison to the others.” The testing in Jerez will also give teams a first opportunity to see where they stand after all the design changes.
“It is a first indicator to see what the other teams are doing for the new season,” Wolff said.
“I think that for everyone at the beginning it won’t be a usual test about lap times or performance but will be mainly be about stability, components and testing components. In this respect this season will be perhaps be different from all other previous seasons.”