Pre-Season Aurum's F1 2013 Preview

Who will win the 2013 title?

  • Felipe Massa

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Lewis Hamilton

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Romain Grosjean

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Nico Rosberg

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


Aurum's Formula 1 2013 Preview

Hello everyone, this is my first post on this forum and having seen this competition with under 7 hours to go i wrote this article in my spare 2 hours on my iPhone so it may not be that good. Enjoy anyway.

Formula 1 in 2012 was massive, a positive step forward in what modern F1 should be with close racing and thrilling races aplenty. However 2012 is done, 2013 is here and that is why we need to look forward and understand what we can expect from F1 teams and drivers as well as how different changes to the sport will affect it. What can we anticipate to see in Formula 1's 64th season?

Rule Changes:

2013's Formula 1 Season will begin under a few rule changes that will hopefully make racing better. While they are not massive rule changes like we saw in 2010 they will definetly have a positive effect on racing.

Probably the biggest change we'll see in 2013 are the changes to DRS. The FIA in 2011 came up with the grand innovation of a movable slot that had the power to take all the spice out of racing. This monster plagued much of 2011 and some of 2012 before its creators finally realised that this system was useless in practice and qualifying and in races it was sometimes causing some of the most boring overtakes ever witnessed. So in 2013 DRS will be limited to one or two possible zones throughout the whole weekend. This move will hopefully reduce the amount of incidents in practice in qualifying especially and also mean less lockups. A comforting thought for drivers backs and fans who hate seeing their favourote drivers whole qualifying efforts made worthless from the tiniest of lockups. Also instead of having drivers concerning themselves about how early they're planning on opening their DRS they will instead be worried about driving their cars to the maximum in faultness displays of speed.

Mercedes' clever Double DRS system seen on the W03 2012 car will be banned in 2013 meaning time spent by Red Bull, Mercedes and Lotus on developing the system in 2012 will be a setback against other teams who had not bothered in creating such a device and were instead more focussed on legal 2013 parts. The change will see Red Bulls qualifying advantage in latter 2012 eradicated and possibly see Mercedes slip further back into the midfield.(Read 'Teams Preview' to find out why it is only a possibility). Lotus will not be affected as they never raced the device.

2012's ugly stepped noses will not be abolished in 2013 but teams have been given the option of covering up the blemish in their cars beauty by covering the step with a modesty plate that will create a smoother nose. Most teams hopefully will follow this direction but it is no guarantee. The change will not really effect any team except Red Bull whose mystery slot will have to disappear.

2013 will also see the 'force majeure' rule removed. The rule that states that car must enter the pits under its own power at the end of qualifying is one that was a cause of great controversy after Lewis Hamilton fell foul to the rule at the Spanish Grand Prix in 2012. Logic stated that the lap before he ran out of fuel should be deleted, not both attempts. Sebastian Vettel in Abu Dhabi also was not able to return to the pits under its own power and his two efforts were unfairly deleted. The new rules mean that a team can now stop on the circuit and still start of Sunday where it qualified if the team can provide a valid reason as to why the car stopped. Also from where the car stops on track a fuel sample will be taken. A penalty will then be set by the stewards judgement based on how little fuel was left compared to the mandatory one litre sample.

In previous years team where allowed to break curfew four times a year for a maximum six hours. This season only two curfew breaks are allowed and the hours have been increased to eight.

In 2013 a penalty points system will be introduced and if a driver earns points they will be deducted from his super license and after a certain total is reached an automatic racing ban will be incurred. Drivers like Maldonado and Perez who scored 15 and 8 penalties respectively should feel worried.

Though this rule change will not affect racing it will make the FIA substantially wealthier. Entry fees that were owed on November 30 will be increased from the previous flat rate of approximatey $400,000 USD to a figure based on the amount of points scored the previous season plus $500,000. Each point will be worth $5000 USD for the next season and Constructor Champions will pay $6000 per point. Red Bull in 2013 will pay 3.26 million, a steep 2.76 million US dollars more than 2012.

The long running front wing flexing saga has never stopped but has popped in and out of the news. 2013 will be revision of all front wing tests. The new tests will mean front wings will have to hold 100kg/220lb with a maximum flexing angle of 10mm/0.39 in. The change will hurt Red Bull the most but other teams should feel a bit of pace lacking. It should be near impossible to have any flexing in 2013.

The final rule change in 2013 will be an increase in minimum weight. This rule change has been brought on by the increase in the weight in 2013 Pirelli tyres. The minimum weight will go from 640kg. to 642kg.

Drivers and Teams Preview:

Sebastian Vettel will go into 2012 a 3 time world champion, the highest of anyone on the grid. His Red Bull is likely to not be the fastest at the start of the season but this shouldnt affect his ability to score good points and prove more to us how good his racecraft is. Expect him to be one of the biggest title challengers.

Mark Webber will once again go into a season under the shadow of his teammate. In 2013 he needs to get on top of the car early in the season like in 2012 and from there score well and have a strong second half of the season unlike 2010 and 2012 where poor end of seasons cost him titles. Its important not to overlook that he was second in the championship heading into F1's summer break last year.

Red Bulls Asian leg success late in 2012 saved the team and gifted them both titles. However at the end of the season they were not the fastest on the grid an this will likely continue into 2013 but with Adrian Newey anything is possible. Double DRS banning will hurt them as well as front wing rule changes but they will certainetly remain a top 3 team.

Fernando Alonso was left with a bitter feeling in 2012 after watching a 42 point lead diminished and taken away and after coming back at Vettel he still fell short by 3 points. 2012 was faultless and if he was perform like this in 2013 and have a good car underneath him he should have a good shot at the title.

Felipe Massa had a shocker first half to the year but his latter half was fantastic where he scored multiple podiums and was an excellent number 2 to Alonso, helping his teammate in numerous occasions. If he can somehow establish himself as good as, if not faster than Alonso, a tall order indeed, he could stand a chance of a high a championship standing. Felipe's most likely scenario is to score well and help Fernando and Ferrari win both titles.

Ferrari's 2012 campaign was all over the place. A season that started with no pace yet yielded 2 early wins. Ferrari quickly devloped the car but they could never Red Bull, McLaren and occasionally Lotus. With a better car and Alonso and Massa at their peak they will be very near the front end the grid more often. It would seem that the rule changes will help them catch Red Bull and McLaren.

Lewis Hamilton had one of his best seasons ever in 2012 and without operational and engineering issues probably would have won the championship. However his chances of winning in 2013 are very small with an ailing Mercedes that struggled to keep with the midfield in latter 2012. His choice in joining Mercedes is much scrutinised, especially his reasoning, claiming he wanted a fresh challenge and he does have a point. His partnership with McLaren had become him just driving around scoring well but often having boring races. Its like playing an F1 game and constantly winning, it gets boring so then you give the AI advantages like headstarts and setup problems to make the racing more exciting and this is the same with Lewis. At Mercedes he's at the midfield racing many other drivers where he can have fun. He also then wants to build the team up and create a championship winning car, a coveted achievement. His future at Mercedes then appears interesting.

Jenson Buttons season was full of ups and downs as he started off with a win but a horror Spain to Europe stretch cost him a shot at the title. To end the season with a win is positive and with Lewis gone he will be undoubted team leader, giving him many bonuses and a car built to him specifications. With this and easier to switch on Pirelli's his 2013 season should see him one of the greatest contenders for the title.

McLaren head into 2013 with the fastest car and this will probably carry through to 2013. With two tyre conservative drivers on board they should fare well in 2013 and given early season predictions they should be the team to beat, assuming Sergio Perez can hit the ground running and score podiums and wins early on. 2013 looks positive and hopefully issues in reliability will be resolved.

Kimi Raikkonens 2012 season was consistent and wonderfully held together as the completed every Grand Prix and scored points in 19/20. His car should continue to develop and become part of the top 3 and with this he could be one of the greatest stories in 2013 as he stands a good chance at becoming champion.

Romain Grosjean. What can you say? A crash filled 2012 that saw him receive a ban after nearly taking Alonso's head off is all the more reason why 2013 is his deciding year. Theres little doubt he has the speed but his spacial awareness make him dangerous. In 2013 he should hopefully be a better driver and might even score an elusive win as he slips closer and closer to the world of number twoism and potential unemployment.

Lotus in 2012 were a great success and a huge leap forward from 2011. They scored a win and many podiums and even got a driver to 3rd in the championship. They were agonisingly close to overtaking McLaren in the WCC but they did pass Mercedes. Either way the top 3 looks to be turning into the top 4.

Nico Roserg in 2012 scored his first pole posistion and win and thats about it. The rest of 2012 was dismal apart from his 2nd place in Monaco. He faces great opposition in 2013 from former teammate Lewis Hamilton but his contract clause can save him from ever becoming a number two driver. If the W04 is good then expect him to challenge for podiums amd possibly wins. Rosberg is often regarded as an unmeasured talent who has never really faced a known opponent. Lewis will change this in 2013.

Michael Schumachers season was poor. Apart from a stripped pole in Monaco that shut many up and a lucky podium in Europe his season was filled with many incidents, penalties and embarassment. His retirement takes with him his terrible 2010-2012 statistics that are smudge in a brilliant record from Formula 1's most sucessful driver. It remains to be seen whether or not he will remain at Mercedes helping out the team.

Mercedes' season in 2012 was probably one of the most interesting to follow. A positive start in 2012 fizzled out and by the end of the season they were faster than no one bar the bottom 3. Their abadonment of 2012 hopes mid season led much of remaining 2012 to turn into a test session with real race and qualifying simulations. Their extensive running on Pirellis new tyres in Brazil will greatly aid them. This, signing Lewis Hamilton and having one of the greatest design teams on the grid should leave them a potential race winner or if not a failure lower half of the midfield car. 2013 hangs in the balance.

Sergio Perez became F1's brightest rising star after Malaysia and repeat performances in Canada and Italy helped McLaren into their decision to quickly sign him following Lewis' departure. His lack of points after being signed casts a dark cloud over what he can do with the pressure of McLaren. He can either start of brilliantly or be no where and struggle for the rest of 2013. He must deal with the pressure of scoring well in races but more importantly be a good voice in Tooned.

Kamui Kobayashi's erratic driving in 2012 finally annoyed Sauber enough to drop him and despite efforts to raise money he has lost his seat in Formula 1. His home podium in Japan was one of the few highlights in a poor season where he was outshone by a less experienced teammate.

Sauber made great steps forward in 2012 and sometimes managed to mix in with the top teams. Strong performances moved them at times clear of the midfield and established themselves as a definite upper midfield team. However with Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Guittierez both having to establish themsleves in the team, expect a slow start to 2013.

Paul di Resta as of December 30 remains an unsigned driver but consistent good driving and a near podium in Singapore and strong Bahrain race would make Force India crazy not to sign him. Indeed it is interesting he has not yet moved up into a better team after being a potential candidate Lewis ans Felipe's seats. Should he remain on the grid and Force India continue their good development expect them to challenge for occasional podiums.

Nico Hulkenberg’s 2012 got off to a slow start but his second half of the season proved to be very strong and nearly achieved a podium in Belgium and a win in Brazil. His move to Sauber is nothing more than a sidewards step. His belief in Sauber’s progress will hopefully lead him onto greater teams like Ferrari. Despite claiming the move is not to line himself up for a Ferrari seat it does seem like a logical development to go from Sauber to Ferrari. He is so far a wasted talent.

Force India’s 2012 wasnt much of a step forward as they remained firmly stuck in the midfield despite having two very capable drivers. If you had to think of a midfield team in Formula 1, there isnt a better example. Having not signed a driver has left them with many good potential candidates in Paul di Resta, Jules Bianchi, Adrian Sutil, Bruno Senna, Jaime Alguesuari, Sebastien Buemi and potentially Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov. Of this list the most likely are di Resta, Sutil and Bianchi. Hopefully with this abundance of drivers they should make the right decisions.

Pastor Maldonados season can be summarised as a win and 15 penalties. The first was a great story as Williams scored its first win in a long time and also confirming Maldonado's speed. However intentionally crashing into Perez a week later, a crash during a demonstration run in Caracas and numerous other infringements meant his 2012 season was one where he threw countless points away. His third season at Williams will hopefully see him make less mistakes and more good points finishes.

Bruno Senna’s season was a bad season all round as even despite Maldonados problems he still lost out to him. The only highlights of his season were strong races in Hungary and Malaysia. He is currently unemployed and is hoping for a Force India seat but he remains a very outside chance.

Williams were definetly along with McLaren the top teams who did not capitalise on their speed. The car was quick no doubt but the team squandered many points. 2013 will see Valterri Bottas join Pastor and hopefully see a good inter team rivalry and more good finishes.

Daniel Ricciardo’s first full season in Formula 1 had few highlights but a terrible car prevented he and his teammate from any good finishes. His 6th in qualifying in Bahrain was excellent but other than that the car did not allow much demonstration of skill. James Keys signing mid season greatly helped the team as Ricciardo’s results did improve.

Jean Eric Vergne will remembered in 2012 for his good wet weather driving as well as poor qualifying which saw him become the most common car dropping out of Q1 along with the ‘usual suspects’. Like Ricciardo he suffered from not having a good car but 2013 should see them join the midfield and provide a better indicator as to his skill.

Toro Rosso’s 2012 car was poor but after getting James Key the remainder of the season was spent building the car up for next year. In 2013 expect them to join the midfield a fight more regulary for points and the battle between the drivers hot up.

Heikki Kovalainens season was just like the previous, closer to the midfield but not really anywhere. His Q2 appearance in Bahrain meant little in an otherwise mediocre season that has shown no indicator as to how well he is doing. He is unconfirmed for 2013 but Caterham have the choice of skill and little money or money and less skill. Theres little doubt he is one of the best remaining affordable drivers capable of racing well in F1

Vitaly Petrov spent most of 2012 behind his teammate but the last 7 races saw him close the gap and even overtake him. His final race was well done as he scored an 11th place, gifting Caterham 10th in the constructors and ironically and possibly giving his seat away to Kovalainen. His lack of confirmation in 2013 is worrying given the great list of talent waiting to enter Formula 1.

Caterhams season saw a bit of progress but once again they failed to reach the much promised midfield. In fact in 2012 they found themselves more looking back than in front as Marussia caught and passed them in the constructors while they only just managed to take the place back. 2013 will probably see them still out of the midfield but ever closer. Also expect good racing between them and Marussia. Signing Charles Pic will probably mean little difference to the team as they change one good driver for another.

Timo Glocks season was not remembered for really anything due to the lack of FOM’s interests as well as broadcasters in how the backmarkers are going. Apart from being sick in Europe and missing out on the race and a stunning 12th place in Singapore his season was lonely. His battle with Kovalainen in Q1 Brazil was also pretty amazing.

Charles Pic got off to a great start in Formula 1 and by mid season had learnt the ropes and was outperforming his teammate. By the end of the season the two were near evenly matched but his talent was spotted by Caterham who signed him. I wonder how his community service went.

Marussia drew closer to Caterham in 2012 as they nearly stole 10th in the contructors. Not bad for a car with no KERS and did no pre season testing. 2013 can only see them draw closer to the midfield but the main interest will be in the hotting up of Marussia versus Caterham.

Pedro de la Rosa's season was of course a shocker. What else can you expect from a team that didnt even qualify for the first race? Perhaps the only notable thing in the season for him was that he was rarely penalised for blocking. He has no seat next year so he will probably go back to McLaren and do whatever it is he, Gary Paffet and Olivier Turvey do.

Narain Kathikeyans season was sad as being the slower driver in the slowest team gave him much ridicule. His incident with Vettel in Malaysia gave the title 'cucumber' and numerous blocking penalties where only notable happenings for Karthikeyan. He is off the grid next year and is unlikely to return.

HRT's demise is saddening but inevitable as since 2010 they have definetly been the weakest team. They have had no highlights and the only attention they really ever received was for problems with the car, drivers and financial issues. Their withdrawal from F1 has little consequences except there will be less traffic.

Other Changes:

2013 Pirelli tyres are said to be more agressive and heat up much faster and judging by the Brazil test this seems to be true. However that could all be down to the 50°C temperature. With quicker warm up times comes a better chance of exiting the pits and not being immediately overtaken. This change will assist those who struggle with tyre warmup, particulary Jenson Button and Ferrari. The tyres are also a bit heavier for next season but only one kilo per tyre so that will not make much of a difference. With the complete change in how Pirelli's work in 2013 expect much difficulty in understanding how they work.

Bahrain will again go into 2013 with a scheduled Grand Prix as well as uprisings. The situation is no different to last year so the Grand Prix will unfortunatley go ahead under a heavy police presence. However as this is the second year running where the Grand Prix will be held under these conditions it can probably we expected that rioters will be better prepared and we can even expect some disaster in the circuit. The GP should be boycotted but with Bernie at the head expect the race to forcefully go ahead.

2012 was a bad year for the Nurburgring as the circuit went closer and closer to bankruptcy. It is a good chance of being raced despite being brought two weeks forward to accomodate a mystery European race. It is unknown whether or not the Grand Prix will go ahead but it would be a shame if it didnt considering how good 2011's race was.

Following speculation as to whether Germany would have a race in 2013, the event was brought forward two weeks to make way for another event. The list of places wanting to take the spot include Magny Cours, Paul Ricard, Istanbul Park, Red Bull Ring, London Grand Prix, Rome Grand Prix and the Argentine Grand Prix. All of these options are unlikely and so 2013 will probably be a 19 race season.

Much speculation had been made as to whther or not teams will try in 2013 or just focus on 2014. Next season will probably start off like any season with most resources going into the season with a bit to next season. However we will probably see teams if they believe they're not good enough, aim for 2014 rather quickly. Because of all the focus on 2014 development and restrictive rule changes, 2013's cars are likely to be slower than 2012's barring any shock breakthroughs in development. However since 2014's regulations will be a massive change and we could have a down to the wire title race expect many dilemmas as to whether a team should try and win in 2013 or focus or not screwing up 2014.

HRT's withdrawal will mean the grid will field just 22 drivers. This will change the qualifying format so that 6 drivers will be eliminated in Q1 or in other terms: Marussia, Caterham, Jean-Eric Vergne plus one other unlucky sod. Q2 will see another 6 drivers eliminated before the top 10 shootout in Q3. In terms of races cars will spend about 3-5 seconds less forming up and in the race traffic will be less of an issue as HRT dissapear and Caterham and Marussia draw closer to the midfield. HRT's demise will liven up qualifying and reduce incidentd with traffic in races.

Finally in 2013 we have a moderate chance of seeing Formula 1 float their stocks on the Singapore Exchange. This move, postponed in 2012 due to uncertain markets throughout the world is a possibility this year should markets go up.

2013's Formula 1 Season is shaping up to be one of the greatest. The season will be close from all perspectives. The front should be contested by McLaren, Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus and possibly Mercedes. Williams, Force India, Sauber and Toro Rosso will also have some good battles abd expect a KERS equipped Marussia to fight it out with Caterham. 2013 looks be a thrilling year and a continuation of Formula 1's Golden Era.
Like it, but the system Lotus is using is legal for this year:

The device came about from the Lotus request for clarification on Mercedes DDRS, which is linked to the rear wings DRS to stall the front wing. This system was controversial as switchable drag reduction systems were effectively banned after the F-Ducts of 2010. However the rules to counter this were largely worded to reduce the stalling slots in the rear wing and the driver interaction in turning the system on or off. The Mercedes system sidestepped these rules by having the stalling slot in the front wing and the system switch by the DRS opening (an allowable moveable aero device). When in Bahrain the FIA gave clearance for other drag reduction systems, whether linked to DRS or not, Lotus announced they would take advantage of the clarification and develop their own device.
Unlike Mercedes whose system stalls the front wing to balance the aero when the DRS rear wing is used in qualifying (and the race); The Lotus system is passive and not linked to an external switch. Instead the system uses increasing airspeed to send more flow to slots under the wing to stall the airflow and reduce drag (and downforce). Having the passive system means that the Lotus device can be used to stall the wing above a certain speed on every lap, meaning the small c5-8kmh speed advantage is available on every straight and fast corner. With the system being tuned to airspeed, the wing can be designed to stall at speeds high enough to allow fast corners to be taken with the rear wing stalled. At these speeds the diffuser provides enough downforce for cornering and the rear wing in not required for aero load. Typically teams will want this stalling to occur at speeds of over 250kmh.

I think Red Bull uses the same kind of device that Mercedes is using, thus illegal.
Also Red Bull mystery slot doesn't have to disappear. Like you said in the beginning of that paragraph, teams have the option to remove the step in the nose, they don't have to.
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