Formula 1: Marussia boss Graeme Lowdon backs rule changes

Marussia F1 president Graeme Lowdon is hopeful the 2014 rule changes will see a return to "competitive racing".

A raft of alterations have come in, including a change in the points and penalty systems, and the introduction of 1.6-litre turbo-charged engines.

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel won 2013's final nine races to claim his fourth successive world championship title.

2014 rule changes

POWER, ENGINES and FUEL

Formula 1 has made huge changes to make cars more efficient and environmentally friendly

  • 1.6-litre V6 turbo engines replace 2.4-litre V8s, with more extensive 'hybrid' element known as Ers (energy recovery system)
  • Ers has two electric motors: one an enhanced version of last year's Kers, harnessing kinetic energy from the rear axle, but which can now use 120kw for 30secs a lap, rather than last year's 60kw for 6.7secs; the other harnessing heat energy from the turbo, which is unlimited
  • Power from the motor on the turbo can be stored in the battery or used for acceleration
  • No more than 100kg of fuel can be used in a race, with a maximum fuel-flow rate of 100kg/hour
  • Overall power at least as much as last year's 780bhp, possibly as much as 850bhp

AERODYNAMICS

F1 has introduced some chassis changes for safety reasons and to slow cars down

  • Exhaust position fixed in centre of car, ending 'exhaust-blown diffusers', which used exhaust gases to boost downforce
  • Front wings narrower by 150mm, which will negatively affect the car's aerodynamics
  • Lower rear beam wing banned, negatively affecting rear aerodynamics downforce
  • Front noses 365mm lower to improve safety

"People don't want to know the winner before the season's started, they want some competitive racing," said Lowdon.

"Hopefully the new rules will drive some parity onto the grid and prevent the stretching out we've seen over recent years.

"It's not been good for the sport. People love that Grands Prix have a unique atmosphere, but equally, the unpredictability is what excites fans."

This year, Marussia have kept hold of young British driver Max Chilton after he became the first man to finish every race of his rookie season.

Once again he will partner Frenchman Jules Bianchi.

It will be Corbridge-born Lowdon's sixth season in Formula One, having originally entered a team branded as Virgin Racing in 2009.

In 77 races, he has yet to see one of his drivers win a point.

"Scoring points is very difficult now because F1 has become so reliable," he explained to BBC Look North.

"When Sauber joined [in 1993] they scored two points in their first race. But they were two laps behind the winner and only seven of 26 cars finished the race."

Marussia will test their new car for the first time this week, alongside most of their Formula 1 rivals in Jerez, Spain.

"I'm definitely not going to make any predictions for the season now," said Lowdon.

"I've seen far too many people do that and get it wrong. I think that the time to set some objectives for the season will be after qualifying in Melbourne [the opening race of the season].

"I think there'll be a huge amount of interest up and down the pit lane to see how everyone gets on with all the changes."