Which team has the best driver line-up for 2013?

2013 F1 season preview

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013With Lewis Hamilton’s headline-grabbing move to Mercedes and an influx of five new drivers, the F1 field has had a shake-up this year.

Red Bull, Ferrari, Lotus and Toro Rosso head into the new season with unchanged driver line-ups, while three of their rivals have all-new squads.

But which team has the best blend of speed, consistency, technical ability and racecraft? Read more about the 22 drivers of 2013 below and vote for which team you think has the best driver line-up.

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Three world championship titles and still only 25 years old. Superb in qualifying, he still makes mistakes but they’re getting rarer as he adds layers of experience to his daunting natural speed.

Sebastian Vettel biography

Mark Webber

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Capable of giving Vettel a hard time on his best days, but can blow hot and cold. Particularly effective on ‘proper’ tracks and fearless in wheel-to-wheel combat.

Mark Webber biography

Ferrari

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Two times a champion already and could have had more since. Consistent and seldom makes mistakes but doesn’t like pressure from team mates.

Fernando Alonso biography

Felipe Massa

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Was a championship contender before his nasty crash in 2009. Has been under the cosh from Alonso ever since but ended last year on a high.

Felipe Massa biography

McLaren

Jenson Button

Jenson Button, McLaren, Jerez, 2013Surprised many by holding his own against Hamilton at McLaren after taking an unlikely title win in 2009. A shrewd judge of mixed weather conditions but often misses that final tenth in qualifying.

Jenson Button biography

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Making the transition from scrappy insurgent to front-runner. Could be even better at eking out tyre life than Button, but had too many incidents at the end of last year.

Sergio Perez biography

Lotus

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Impressive comeback last year showed only a little race rustiness. Capable of winning another title even if he lacks that last one percent of commitment.

Kimi Raikkonen biography

Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Prone to errors of judgement, particularly on the first lap. Quick enough to trouble Raikkonen and justify a second season but needs to show a new maturity.

Romain Grosjean biography

Mercedes

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Defeated a past-his-prime Michael Schumacher and scored his first win last year. It’s hard to see him as a championship contender though the same might have been said of his title-winning father.

Nico Rosberg

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Possibly F1’s fastest driver. A gutsy racer, though more susceptible to mistakes than his fellow champions and occasionally gets lost on set-up.

Lewis Hamilton biography

Sauber

Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013His F1 development was disrupted by losing his Williams seat for reasons not related to his performance. Made rapid progress with Force India and is one to watch this year.

Nico Hulkenberg biography

Esteban Gutierrez

Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013His GP2 record suggests another Grosjean in the making – quick but careless. But he’s patiently racked up the miles in testing and understands the scale of the challenge awaiting him.

Esteban Gutierrez biography

Force India

Paul di Resta

Paul di Resta, Force India, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Has been solid but unspectacular in his first two years of Formula One and is yet to out-score his team mate over a season, which needs to change this year.

Paul di Resta biography

Adrian Sutil

Adrian Sutil, Force India, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Shook off his reputation for being crash-prone and had developed into a dependable midfield runner before being dropped at the end of 2011. Has something to prove on his comeback.

Adrian Sutil biography

Williams

Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013A first-rate qualifier and capable of the kind of mature race performances that you might think were beyond the same driver who all too often loses his head when battling with a rival.

Pastor Maldonado biography

Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013This year’s potential Next Big Thing. Impressed Williams with his performances in practice last year off the back of a GP3 championship victory.

Valtteri Bottas biography

Toro Rosso

Jean-Eric Vergne

Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Out-scored his team mate last year but was weaker in qualifying and made some costly errors.

Jean-Eric Vergne biography

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Showed flashes of promise in the uncooperative STR7 but like his team mate needs to stand out this year to remain part of the Red Bull programme.

Daniel Ricciardo biography

Caterham

Charles Pic

Charles Pic, Caterham, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Made a name for himself last year by giving the more experienced Timo Glock a hard time, particularly in qualifying. Has a lot on his hands this year as de facto team leader at Caterham.

Charles Pic biography

Giedo van der Garde

Giedo van der Garde, Caterham, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Has been on the periphery of F1 for years and would have made it in a long time ago if enthusiasm alone made it so. Caterham were pleased with his work with their fledgling GP2 squad in 2012.

Giedo van der Garde biography

Marussia

Max Chilton

Max Chilton, Marussia, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013F1 is a big step up for this well-funded driver who doesn’t have a championship victory from the junior categories on his CV. But Marussia’s problems have given him the opportunity to conduct extra testing.

Max Chilton biography

Jules Bianchi

Jules Bianchi, Marussia, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Has got more F1 experience than a typical new driver thanks to Ferrari’s patronage and practice runs for Force India. A solid qualifier but racecraft has been a weaker side to his game.

Jules Bianchi biography

Over to you

Which team has the best driver line-up for 2013? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.

Which team has the best driver line-up for 2013?

  • Red Bull: Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber (27%)
  • Ferrari: Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa (14%)
  • McLaren: Jenson Button and Sergio Perez (5%)
  • Lotus: Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean (12%)
  • Mercedes: Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton (37%)
  • Sauber: Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez (1%)
  • Force India: Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil (1%)
  • Williams: Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas (2%)
  • Toro Rosso: Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Caterham: Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde (0%)
  • Marussia: Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi (1%)

Total Voters: 587

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Find the updated driver line-up for 2013 including test and reserve drivers here:

2013 F1 season preview


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287 comments on Which team has the best driver line-up for 2013?

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  1. Charlie boy said on 6th March 2013, 10:10

    Hamilton lost in setup? Don’t you mean button lost in setup

    Strongest line up is Ferrari for me if massa continues how he left off last year.

  2. Soren T (@desdirodeabike) said on 6th March 2013, 11:17

    I would vote Alonso and Massa every time. Alonso has a huuuge advantage of having a teammate willing to play second fiddle by: testing parts and helping him in races and qualifying (by any means necessary).
    The other drivers do not enjoy the same luxury. For instance, Webber does pretty much the opposite to Vettel than what Massa does for Alonso.

  3. Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 6th March 2013, 12:35

    Ham+Ros is by far the best pairing, but their car is probably not up to the task.

  4. Jason (@jason12) said on 6th March 2013, 14:05

    1. Merc
    2. Ferrari
    3. Redbull

  5. Christopher (@twiinzspeed) said on 6th March 2013, 14:33

    As a big Ferrari fan, I have to admit that I think Mercedes has the most potential (to improve) as far as drivers. I really didn’t like Hamilton at Maclaren, but that had alot to do with Maclaren vs Ferrari history. I have always respected Lewis and a great natural talent and now that he is at Mercedes, I actually hope he wins a few races and challenges the top 3 teams. (as long as Alonso is in front at Brazil. :))

  6. Becca Cann (@beshoreblue) said on 6th March 2013, 17:02

    I surprised myself and voted Red Bull. All my reasons have already been mentioned, so I’ll just continue to sit here quietly until Australia comes around.

  7. clappy (@danielc) said on 7th March 2013, 1:37

    Am I missing something guys ? Webber is not all that probably most inconsistent driver in a top team , the guy had his chance in 2010 and it was only because Vettel had rotten luck he had a chance anyway. He won 1 race just 1 in 2011 lol and that was suspicious at that , and that was the most dominant f1 car since Ferrari in 04 .And last year he drove some great drives at classic venues but what else did he do .India he drove well until Kers he as had misfortune , i understand that but come on many drivers would have had more than 3 wins in 2 seasons since 2010 .He is in a great car imo for years now I just cant get over 1 win in 2011 lol .

    • Magnum said on 7th March 2013, 11:33

      Then you are clearly uninformed about 2011. The blown diffuser along with the new spec Pirelli tires were both detrimental to Webbers driving style both in terms of tire wear and the behaviour of the car. Go read Mark Hughes article re the top 5 drivers in 11′ and how the Pirellis affected the drivers. Why do you think Button did so well in 11′. It’s easy to say pull out stats without looking at the big picture.

      1. RB, proven WCC, WDC and if Webber gets his consistency will be even stronger. Doesn’t do bad for a team with ppl against him.
      2. Hamilton IMO quickest driver over 1 lap with Seb. Rosberg hasn’t exactly lit the F1 scene on fire in his time in F1. Fans say he has potential but he has had plenty of years to show this in much the same manner Alonso showed it in Minardi etc. or alternatively Beumi in losing his drive. And he didn’t beat Webber albeit in his first year, depends whether he has improved since then. Likewise Webber.
      3. Lotus if Grosjean can keep out of trouble. The speed is there, depends if everything else in place. Kimi is just Kimi and delivers.
      4. Ferrari. Fans talking about Massa vying for wins?! He is Ferrari’s driver with the longest streak between podiums let alone wins. Looked back to his best at the end of last year, he keeps that up in 13 then Ferrari would be higher on the list.
      5. Verge/Ricciardo, both quick and talented guys. Too bad the TR was a dog of a car to let them actually do something.
      6. Mclaren. Yep this low. As mentioned both aren’t great qualifiers and you know if JB out qualifies Perez Hamilton would have been quicker. Great racer and strategist though. Perez had some great races last year but was rubbish after signing the contract – much like Webber so is a bit unknown in my book. Mclaren for best drivers in changeable conditions though.
      7. The rest. FI have a solid lineup, I expect Sutil to beat DR as IMO he is quicker. DR is bland and not quick and I don’t understand the hype around him. Sauber and Williams have nifty pairings and both will depend on how the rookies go. Interested in how Bottas will fair.

      • clappy (@danielc) said on 7th March 2013, 22:54

        No m8 im not uninformed i have wathed F1 for years every 1 had new tyres , what an excuse for an experienced driver like Webber. How good was Red bull car in 2011 , Hamilton won 3 races in a Macca that year Button won 3 , Alo won in that Ferrari , and the Red bull was the mst dominant F1 car in recent years , just face it Webber is 2 inconsistent , he is only at Rbull for 1 reason because why would Red bull risk a new driver when Vettel is producing world title’s. I lol’d at the excuse about tyres and ebd when it made the car unbeatable almost .I don’t dislike Webber it’s just 2010 was a chance he should of took with his exp yet it was the youngest wchamp who shown all the exp , Webber had every thing going for him all the bad luck for Vettel and he still didn’t capatalise , and since then imho he as proved to me that he is the most inconsistent in a top car one week he is great but more often than not he is nudged off the podium in the race when his team mate is bringing the car home 1st. Id love for him to prove me wrong but he is on the wrong side of mid 30’s and history shows he aint gonna get better now , he had his chance and I feel someone else should be bought into the seat for next season , Redbull will regret it else because Vet wont be their for much longer and you don’t want 2 rookies at the same time unless they eventually get Ham or Hulkenberg.

  8. James (@jaymz) said on 7th March 2013, 2:47

    Lotus.

  9. PJA (@pja) said on 15th March 2013, 20:09

    As the question is which team has the best two drivers rather than the best pairing, I think Red Bull just edge it, with Mercedes second.

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