Formula 1 2013 Season Preview


Lotus F1 launched the new E21 on the 28th of January. And perhaps Kimi's only hope of winning his second WDC title. James Allison, technical head of Lotus F1, who is perhaps even better than Adrian Newey, states that the E21 is an evolution of the E20, as the 2013 rules are similar to the 2012 ones, so it's not a major change. Which is good for Lotus, as the E20 was a fundamentally quick car and managed it's tyres well. With Pirelli claiming their new 2013 tyres will suffer even more degradation, this could be Lotus's year. If the E21 is anywhere near quick relatively as the E20, then they will definitely be winning races, and challenging for the championship, both drivers, and constructors. With Kimi back upto 100% race fit, 2013 looks good for Lotus. Actually, now that Kimi has become older and wiser, not only is the fastest driver on track, but also one the smarter ones. Aiming for consistent podium finishes has also become one his priorities, apart from winning, so he will definitely be in the contention for the championship. Lest we forget, James Allison and his team are geniuses as well, rocking up in 2012 with a ride height control system not seen in Formula 1 since the Williams of 1993. But Newey started crying so it wasn't allowed. This year, James has come up something but he hasn't disclosed what it is yet. Their DDRS system is not banned by the current regulation unlike Mercedes's and Red Bull's so they have that advantage as well.

Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes, a car plagues by rear tyre wear will suffer this year, and even with Lewis ability to adapt to any car, they certainly will not be up there fighting or wins as the new 2013 tyres will make them suffer. Jenson Button in the McLaren will be a strong contender as well, with his smooth and classically quick driving style along with a quick McLaren which critically will be his team for 2013, makes him a strong contender. Alonso will be brutally quick as ever in his Ferrari which also will be his team, with Massa playing a supporting role. Vettel and his Red Bull, the defending champions will be quick from the word go as they had a quick car as well last year, winning all the races in Asia. And Red Bull of course is again Vettels team, with car designed for Vettel's driving style and the fact that Vettel worships his team. Quite a deadly package.

Because the 2013 rules are relatively same as the 2012 ones, we will see one unique spectacle. The top tier of drivers standing out and standing head and shoulders above the second level drivers. The top level drivers drive at the cars limit, while the second level drivers drive at their personal limits. This makes a huge difference on the development of the cars as well as the top drivers can tell the engineers how the car behaves at the very limit, as a Formula 1 car should be driven.

The top level drivers according to me are as follows,
  • Kimi Raikkonen
  • Fernando Alonso
  • Lewis Hamilton
  • Jenson Button
  • Sebastian Vettel
  • Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas, another Finnish driver on the grid, is insanely quick. He was consistently quicker then Maldonado in FP1 in 2012 , and by a large margin as well, so with a quick car he will be in the equation in every race. His race craft looks good as well, considering his wins in junior categories.
The rest have either to show their skills or are just not as good them. Romain Grosjean has potential and   all eyes will be on him in Australia. He did win the Race of Champions in 2012, so he is bloody quick.

2013 will be one of the best seasons in Formula 1 history, perhaps even more exciting than 2012. This is the year that drivers will battle it out, not the teams. This will be a good year.

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