The F1 season revving its engines after an off-season of change

Last Updated: 12/03/14 4:50pm

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Sebastian Vettel: Set to defend his title again

Sebastian Vettel: Set to defend his title again

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The new F1 season is fast approaching and Sky Sports is revving its engines in eager anticipation.

There has been a regulations revolution ahead of the new season - changes that Ted Kravitz has called "the biggest change in Formula 1 regulations in living memory."

These include complex V6 turbo engines and enhanced, environmentally-friendly energy recovery systems introduced - and while speculation is widespread, the proof will very much be in the pudding when the teams send out the cars to compete for the first time.

Also shaking up the world of motorsport has been the wholesale personnel changes - some prompted by team choices, some dictated by the preferences of drivers. One thing is for sure: the off-season has not been dull!

Reigning champion Sebastian Vettel will again be behind a Red Bull wheel but only two teams have remain unchanged - with Mercedes, Lotus, McLaren, Force India and most notably Ferrari all shuffling their packs.

The Italian giants have recruited the experienced Kimi Raikkonen from Lotus to partner Fernando Alonso with last year's second driver, Felipe Massa, defecting to Williams.

Raikkonen won the title back in 2007 but has struggled to make the same impact since, and Johnny Herbert has predicted problems between the drivers at Ferrari.

He said: "The conflict could become quite intolerable for the team and it's something they're going to have to manage very well. I think there is a chance of it imploding on itself, but if they do get a good car and the results start to come that will help that situation out."

Following Mark Webber's retirement, Red Bull have picked a promising youngster in Daniel Ricciardo as their second string - and Anthony Davidson feels the 24-year-old Australian has his work cut out to justify selection.

Davidson said: "He's going to be in one of the best cars out there but up against a very strong team-mate in the quadruple World Champion Sebastian Vettel. But it's a different scenario because he has the experience.

"He's proven his speed in qualifying already in Toro Rosso so I expect great things from him in speed alone. But how does he cope with the pressure of having that constant pounding from such a good team-mate?"

You can keep up with all the build-up to the F1 season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 16 on our special Sky Sports F1 HD channel.

Then you can catch every race LIVE at the same place...

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