Italy F1 Ferrari

2014 sees the biggest shake-up to Formula 1 in years, with a raft of new rules not only forcing engines to shrink from 2.3- to 1.6-litres, but also a introducing host of none-too aesthetically pleasing nosecone designs adorning the cars.

However, as radical as the new contenders look, they're not lighting the fires of the men charged with driving them. in fact, the cars have been setting comparatively poor lap times in traditional pre-season testing at the Jerez race circuit in Spain.

The best lap time of the test – set by McLaren newcomer Kevin Magnussen – was a staggering eight seconds off the fastest set under testing at the track, which was posted by Michael Schumacher in 2004.

While the constructors have had little difficulty in getting the required power out of the new downsized, turbocharged engines, cornering speed has been affected by the new regulations to wing sizes, particularly on the front axle.

Speaking to Autosport, Sauber's Adrian Sutil said: "We have lost downforce, around 20-30 per cent from last year, and now also the tyres are one step harder. It makes it more difficult all the time.

"It is a shame because F1 is a bit too slow at the moment. From the engine side it is very powerful, so we are not down on the power side, it is nice to drive and nice to have a turbocharger.

"But from the aerodynamics, I think we have to step up a little bit, because F1 should also be quick in the corners.

"And the tyres are just too hard. I don't understand why they have to be so conservative. I think we can at least have a tyre with decent grip situation."

He went on to say how he expects the gap in performance to be closed with the teams' continual development cycles as the season progresses.

Despite a current lack of pace, and a feeling from behind the wheel that the new cars are slower than their predecessors, the drivers have denied that they are boring to drive.

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso told Autosport: "The forces and speed are less in the corners, but on the other hand there are more parameters to control, more buttons on the steering wheel.

"There is more criticality in terms of driving and having control of the car in high-speed corners and with traction. It's just different.

"As long as you are driving at the limit, the lap time you do, it doesn't change the emotional point of view. This car is still fun to drive."

Take a look at some of the 2014 Formula 1 cars here