Has the title battle been decided already?

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
By that I don't mean that "X" driver is going to win it, but has the title battle been whittled down to 4 drivers after just 3 races with Vettel, Alonso, Raikkonen and Hamilton. The early races have shown that the best cars are the Red Bull, Ferrari, Lotus and Mercedes.

McLaren are off the pace and even if they are able to develop a car of competing for poles and victories, Button and Perez will be too far behind to compete for the title, they are already 40 and 50 points behind Vettel respectively and once again it already appears that another year is going by without a title at McLaren, perhaps Hamilton wasn't so stupid after all.

As for those who will want to try and infiltrate the top 4, Massa has improved a lot since mid 2012 but I can't see him being consistent enough to be at the top and Ferrari won't want him getting in the way of Alonso's title bid, but he could be the joker in the pack to cause trouble for the other 3 contenders. I expect Webber to have his usual golden summer and get a win or two which would put him on the brink of the leading pack, but fall away again much like 2010 and 2012, the current hostile situation at Red Bull won't do him any favours.

The big unknown in this equation is Rosberg, he's proven this season that he can be a challenge with 4th in Malaysia and could easily have got a podium and was unlucky with DNF's in Australia and China. But, like Button, he's already 40 points behind Vettel, however, it's been shown that Mercedes does have genuine pace this season, even if it's not quite at the level of the Ferrari's and Red Bulls, but if they have a good development cycle, Rosberg could add to his win tally, will it be enough to drag himself close to Hamilton, well we'll have to see, a big points haul in Bahrain would certainly help.

But what is good to see, is that (in my opinion) it appears that the 2013 Championship will be closely fought between the 4 best drivers on the grid and already, 3 of the 4 have race wins this season and Hamilton has taken a pole position and 2 podiums. There is the potential for a very close title battle, the early signs indicate a four way battle, but it will be interesting to see if "the team mates" can get themselves in on the act
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
I think it will be Vettel and Alonso at the end again. Ferrari are in a much better position than last year, and I have no doubt that Red Bull will be running at the front a good bit this season. Kimi and Lewis will hang in there for a while, but I'm not sure the ultimate pace will be there the whole year. I would love to be proven wrong here.
 

no-FIAt-please

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
I'd count Hamilton out of it to be honest. The Mercedes is almost there on pure pace bu really seems to struggle in the race.

Currently the best car is the Ferrari, followed by the Lotus, Red Bull and Mercedes. You have to think Alonso will take it currently. Lotus don't seem to be a great race outfit, they're slow in the stops and some of their decisions seem strange (not changing Raikkonen's wing for example). I reckon Mercedes will will one or perhaps two races, with their best shot being at Monaco I expect. Red Bull is a bit of a mystery, they had a somewhat successful development arc mid season last year, but they definitely shouldn't be discounted.
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
In direct response to the original question, my answer is "no"!

However, if, as FA said (according to Autosport), he did indeed still "have pace in his pocket", then there is no reason for him to not win the next few races. If he doesn't accomplish that, then it will be obvious that he was blowing smoke (no surprise from FA, IMHO).

It is still too early to be writing ANYONE off, and it all comes down to development. Personally, I expect a great improvement from McLaren, and a falling back from Merc, whom I feel have been "flattering to deceive".

I expect it to come down to KR, FA and SV, and I hope that KR prevails. To me, the most interesting thing will be to see how SV copes with being behind the curve in the early races, something he hasn't faced before.
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
This is my take on the title and it's possible contenders.

Who I'll think will come out on top for the 2013 championship? Alonso for me. Has the complete package, a car that's good in all conditions, great driver, good strategists, unlimited resources and team harmony, it's hard to see past Alonso and Ferrari for both championships.

The others? They don't seem to be strong in all the areas that Ferrari and Alonso are.

Vettel and Red Bull don't seem to be at the top, their car seems inconsistent, aren't great on their tyres, seem to be very good in the wet, good qualifying pace, lack team harmony, good strategists, pitstops and unlimited resources. These guys will be the ones that push Ferrari all the way,

Raikkonen seems to be let down by the team. They are bad when it comes to track operations, their pitstops are ever so poor, rarely hook a perfect weekend together, don't have the best budget out of the top 5 teams, car lacks qualifying speed, and is shit in the wet. Have stated that they will concentrate on 2014 after the first half of the season.

Mercedes and Hamilton lack race pace and have higher tyre wear than the rest of the front runners.

Button? No way.

Rosberg has had two DNFs already, the start of the season is where you need to capitlise, and he hasn't done so through no fault of his own, so no to him too.

Massa needs to win in Bahrain, and needs to be ahead of Alonso when the first pitstops come. Because that's what effectively ruins his races. He's close to Alonso at the starts, but because he's that close to Alonso the strategists bring Alonso in late as possible, while Massa suffers which ruins the rest of his race.

I think it will be a repeat of last season, Vettel and Alonso with Raikkonen as an outside shot.
 

GeoffP

Thank you and good night
Contributor
I think I'm going for ... Yes.

I think Hamilton is an outsider, Mercedes race pace was it's problem over the last two years, so not sure they're serious contenders

Out of Alonso, Vettel & Raikkonen - I can't see they're very number 2 drivers really threatening the team leads and I can't see the likes of McLaren threatening those teams with someone who needs a perfect set up feeding off a rookie.....

Be interesting to see though - hopefully the extra sets of tyres being brought in for quali from Europe will stop the farce that was Saturday and hopefully figuring out how to use these tyres will happen quickly and spice things up. But I don't really see a chance for the other teams.
 

Wombcat

Podium Finisher
Last year after three races it looked like McLaren would be running away with the title. In the end it went between Alonso and Vettel, and Raikkonen actually was long in the running. And he was nowhere after three races (just 16 points)!
I won't say I wount count out anyone, because it's quite obvious that Caterham and Marussia are not going to become champions, and I don't expect Toro Rosso, Force India, Williams and Sauber to become contenders.

But I'm not saying it's impossible for Mercedes or McLaren to become serious contenders. It's pretty much still open, although it's obvious that Button is a remote outsider now. And the chances of Massa and Perez are vritually zero. But you never know.
Who'd guess after a few races in 1999 that the titlerace would be going between Hakkinen and Irvine?
 

Mezzer

A fine chap if ever there was one.
Contributor
Wasn't it ever thus? At best there are typically 6 drivers who you consider to be realistic WDCs even at the start of the season. The top 4 teams are the top 4 teams, with a little jiggle on placement depending on who's done well/not so well in pre-season development. I don't see that anything's changed ... :dunno:
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
The two dry races thus far have both finished with Raikkonen and Alonso first and second in both orders. That suggests to me, if current trends continue, they will fight for the championship, just like 2005. With the same winner.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
I think I agree with teabagyokel. At the moment it looks like Alonso first with Kimi second. I think the internal issues at RBR will cost Vettel this year. If every one in the boat isn't rowing together it tends to make the boat go round in circles. Hamilton will be in the hunt but I don't think the car will give him quite enough this season to be champion. I'd think that he'd be looking at a strong third place fight with Vettel. I guess the key to the title is how well teams can stay in the hunt through development and how much help or damage to the effort is caused by team mates.
 

F1ang-o

Race Winner
Contributor
A Sky Sports report 15/4/13 by William Esler.....'Chinese Stewards confirm no further action over alleged illegal DRS use' had the usual 'Your comments' under it. F1junkie replied " The real penalty is to LH & FA....by not penalising the other 8...
At the end of the season, this could make the difference...Rules is Rules'
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
It looks as if Pirelli are doing what Red Bull want, for the next race at least, so I wouldn't write off Vettel at all.
 

Mephistopheles

Banned
Contributor
Firstly if I thought the battle was already decided within a group of 2 or three drivers then I probably wouldn't watch the rest of the season.

And secondly F1ang-o rules maybe rules but when an infringement of the rules was caused by a technical matter outside of the drivers control then why should the driver be punished, the way I read it was there were 8 drivers in a position to use DRS and it isn't certain that any of those 8 drivers actually did so because the error was a problem of telemetry giving a false reading and not the drivers using DRS. and so how could they punish them when it is likely that they did nothing wrong? The FIA must have known there was a problem or they would not have left it until after the race to investigate....

Not that it has anything to do with this thread of course..
 

Mephistopheles

Banned
Contributor
The WDC this year shall finish thus.
1st L. Hamilton
2nd. F. Alonso
3rd. S. Vettel
4th. M.Webber
5th. N. Rosberg

Fill in the blanks.....

I base this hypothesis on my many years of talking bunkum and being totally wrong.

Thanks in advance.:)

Thanks for that I'll go and whack me bets on forthwith.....:D
 

F1ang-o

Race Winner
Contributor
Firstly if I thought the battle was already decided within a group of 2 or three drivers then I probably wouldn't watch the rest of the season.

And secondly F1ang-o rules maybe rules but when an infringement of the rules was caused by a technical matter outside of the drivers control then why should the driver be punished,

Not that it has anything to do with this thread of course..

I'll let f1junkie know...next time I'm looking at Sky Sports comments....
If Kimi & Seb had been given a penalty it would have changed the points between the four drivers that are being discussed in this thread
 
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