Reliability not speed key to F1 glory in 2014, says Lauda

Niki Lauda won two of his three world titles with Ferrari.

Story highlights

  • Former Ferrari world champion says speed will be second to reliability in 2014
  • Lauda travels to Italy ahead of F1 team's launch of their new car
  • F1 bosses have introduced a raft of technical changes for the forthcoming season
  • Changes include new leaner 1.6 Turbo engines and smaller fuel tanks

"The Computer" has done his calculations.

The Formula One world championship will not be decided by speed in 2014 but by the team who can produce the most reliable car, according to F1 legend Niki Lauda.

"Who will have the least failures this year will be world champion," Lauda said in an interview with his former team Ferrari.

The Austrian, who won two of his three world titles with the Prancing Horse, was speaking on the eve of the launch of the team's new car for the 2014 season.

Ferrari, like all F1 teams have had to completely transform their cars for the forthcoming season to comply with a raft of new technical regulations. The biggest has been a change from 2.4-liter V8 engines to leaner 1.6-liter V6 turbo-powered engines.

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Lauda described the task as "enormous," but said the biggest challenge was installing it in the car in a way that would ensure overall reliability.

With a leaner engine comes a smaller fuel tank which can carry 100 kilos instead of 140, Lauda points out, with an added test of relying on five engines throughout a season instead of eight.

The 64-year-old, now a non-executive president with Mercedes F1, was dubbed the "The Computer" on account of his cool, calculating approach to driving during the 1970s and 1980s.

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With the new season kicking off in Melbourne in mid-March, Ferrari and other teams will be launching their new cars over the coming days.

Ferrari follow the McLaren team who unveiled their new MP4-29 on Friday.

Now that all the major engineering work is complete, it's now almost time for the drivers to take their first spin in their new cars.

"It's very exciting, especially for the drivers. The people working on it know what is coming up but for the heart and the emotion this is a very important day to show the car," Lauda said.

"The next important day, the more important day is the test in Jerez. When you sit the first time in the car you get the first impression and this is the most important."

The first testing session, which starts on January 28, will also see Mercedes and Red Bull unveil the cars which they hope will speed them to glory in 2014.

Watch: Can Caterham secure first points in 2014?