The off-track battle that will define F1's title fight

The off-track battle that will define F1's title fight

Hamilton vs Vettel for a fifth title is this year's headline contest. But the Mercedes vs Ferrari vs Red Bull superteam slugfest will be just as ferocious. BEN ANDERSON takes a peek beneath the leading contenders' intricately sculpted forms

Formula 1 is a gladiatorial contest between drivers; a political dogfight between team bosses. But the true nature of the beast is tireless pursuit of engineering excellence. Mostly, therefore, F1 is a battle of brains: the ingenious ideas of the brightest minds forged in carbon fibre, pitted against those of their rivals. A skirmish of pens, drawing boards and CAD machines. Think to victory: design or die.

The cars are as intricate as Swiss clockwork; the engines a complex mix of fuel-starved, turbo-charged, gas-recycling, electro-powered, hybrid wizardry - capable of producing close to 1,000bhp.

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