What to Expect From Formula 1 in 2013
The world of Formula 1 is an ever changing jungle. You have the bugs, the smaller animals, and the predators. The bugs are the teams that are lagging behind, they want to grow, they want to do better, but their size limits them from evolving. Smaller animals have the potential to upset predators, but they usually end up tripping over the bugs, and becoming intimidated when surrounded by the big predators.
This was the case last season. HRT, Marussia, and Caterham really struggled to keep up with the animals in the jungle. HRT struggled so much they became extinct, so now the bugs of the field really need to prove themselves, they don’t have HRT making them look half-decent anymore. It looks like the bug war is likely to continue, and as the war came down to the wire last season, Marussia will want to put that right. Will these bugs become animals this season? Will we see them fighting for points?? Highly unlikely. These teams are still young, and even worse, they have lost the drivers that were established and have experience. Both teams have completely new line ups, and Charles Pic will be the most experienced, so expect some mistakes from these back markers. Surely they can’t be as bad as Narain Karthikeyan though? That’s one driver Vettel is not going to miss in the slightest. These young drivers are quickly going to know what World Class racing is like when the predators come hurtling past.
The smaller animals of the F1 world have mixed up a lot this season. It seems pretty obvious that Toro Rosso is going to continue their run of mediocrity, however other teams like Sauber, Williams, Force India and Mercedes are not so easy to predict. Any of these teams could become predators and pick up podiums, and maybe even race wins, however they will need a lot more luck this time around. Force India looked really good in the last race of 2012, but they lost Hulkenburg, so who knows if they can get to that level again. The main reason why teams like Sauber, Williams and Mercedes picked up their moments last season was due to the unpredictability of the tires. It’s not going to be the same this time. The predators are going to get on top of the new tires as soon as possible, and it will be difficult for these teams to compete unless their cars are exceptional.
Mercedes are really setting themselves up, they really want to move up that ladder and become predators. Bringing Lewis Hamilton in will not cure the issue, hiring tons of experienced workers behind the scene will not cure the issue. It has been proven before that money is not everything in F1. Of course, it does help, but it comes down to the chemistry of the team, and the design of the car. If Mercedes are able to design, and maintain a race winning car, Hamilton and Rosberg will be a major force for the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari, but it remains to be seen.
This brings us to the big guns. The predators of the jungle, the teams who really want to be kings of the jungle. Lotus, McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull.
With Lotus now having the pair of Raikkonen and Grosjean under their wing for a year, this team is really ready to kick it up a notch. Both of these drivers are exceptionally quick, and although Grosjean made tons of mistakes, he was just as quick as Raikkonen most of the time, and he can only improve. Lotus have a base to work from now, they know what they did right and wrong last season, and they will be looking for more race victories. However it all depends on the smaller animals, can Mercedes and Williams keep up with Lotus? Just how strong are the other predators going to be?
The major question marks are around Ferrari and McLaren. Can Ferrari keep up the momentum? Massa really needs to do more to help with the Constructors, and for the last few years, he has been nothing but a small animal in a predatory team. He is small next to Alonso, and has to play second fiddle. He is the sacrificial lamb only in aid of helping Alonso win the Championship. Massa really needs to turn things around this season, or he will forever be known as the number two Ferrari driver.
McLaren is a much bigger question mark. Lewis could pull out victories that Button certainly could not in that team. Jenson is exceptional in wet conditions, while Lewis was clearly quicker then him most of the time. This has left McLaren with the need for Perez to really show his talent. It remains to be seen if the team can turn Perez into the next Sebastian Vettel. This is a driver who is so young, so very quick, and can easily win races if given the car to do so. Buttons experience is going to do a lot for Perez in the coming years. McLaren really need to take a grip on the Championship from the beginning if they want any chance of stopping the might of the biggest predator of all, the Red Bull.
The Red Bull team is in a class of its own. It has a special spot reserved in the jungle, and in that spot lies an ever growing case of trophies. Mark Webber is still an exceptional driver, and although he is clearly the number two driver, he can win races whenever the opportunity arises. It is down to Webber, that Red Bull have picked up so many Constructors points, and it is also down to him for helping Vettel win so many Drivers title. He is a dream for someone like Vettel, as the young german knows that he can rely on Webber completely. Red Bull is arguably the most dominant because of one man, Adrian Newey. The legendary designer knows exactly how the car will be according to the regulations, and as soon as it goes wrong, he will get it put right. This is what has made Red Bull so dominant in the last few years, his sheer excellence in car design, along with the amazing chemistry of the team, combined with the sheer speed and talent of Vettel, it is a hard nut to crack for the other teams.
Red Bull will be the team to beat once again. Do you expect them to win again? Although I would like to see someone else win for a change, it appears unlikely. Red Bull are the kings of the jungle, and the day that they are dethroned, will be the day that F1 goes into a brand new era.
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