The winning definition of Formula One’s V8 engine era
- Credit: Getty Images
It wasn't a classic season – but it has been an historic one. It will get talked about for years to come. Not just for the domination of Sebastian Vettel, who will start 2014 on a run of nine consecutive victories – but for the end of the V8 era.
Formula One will definitely miss Mark Webber. It would have been a very dull few weeks without the Australian's impending departure.
Red Bull will miss him too – his aerodynamic sensitivity is a rare commodity in F1 and complemented Vettel's testing and feedback strengths perfectly. Daniel Ricciardo has very big shoes to fill.
Yet the level of Red Bull's finish to the season means even with all the changes coming over the winter, they will start as favourites for next.
In truth, once the year turns the excitement surrounding F1 will start to top what we've had over the last few weeks. New engines, aerodynamic regulations and cars that will have been a full year in the making. It will underline the fact 2013 was always going to be the obstacle to overcome before Formula One could have a proper refresh – and that will extend to the driver line-ups too. Yet the 2013 season will be remembered for so much more.
The V8 era started in 2006 – and will be defined by its last four years, when a German superkid and the genius of Adrian Newey constructed an unbeatable Red Bull car to F1 domination.
That's it for this season's columns. Thanks to all of you for taking the time to read and respond during the year. Don't forget to keep in touch on the usual EDP F1 channels to follow the winter build-up to next season.
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At least Lotus can count on the rest of what was a good season – finishing fourth in the constructors' standings. But it's a big winter for Enstone – still to confirm their 2014 drivers up and more so, the arrival of Quantum's money. And it needs to arrive – otherwise Pastor Maldonado will be able to consider himself a very lucky lad.
If only Caterham had a good season to look back on as well. The team's failed pursuit of 10th in the constructors' championship should not be underplayed. It means the Hingham outfit is behind Marussia for the first since both entered F1 – a situation not even on the radar when Tony Fernandes first set about getting the team going in late 2009.
It means a lot of soul searching over the winter – and finding some way to plug a monumental funding gap that has now been confirmed.
None of that will be easy – but it's all necessary, simply to ensure the team's survival. Otherwise perceived invisibility could become reality.