Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013

Who will win the battle of the team mates in 2013?

2013 F1 season previewPosted on Author Keith Collantine

The Formula One field has had a shake-up during the off-season.

Eight drivers – one-third of those who entered the Melbourne season-opener 12 months ago – have gone. Five rookies have arrived to join five world champions and a dozen other drivers.

Red Bull and Ferrari have enjoyed several years of stability on the driver front. Elsewhere changes in the driver line-up will provide much interest in the coming months, such as Sergio Perez arriving at McLaren, and of course Lewis Hamilton joining Mercedes.

But whoever we’re talking about, the first objective of any F1 driver is to beat their team mate. It’s the closest benchmark, the only other driver who’s got the same chassis and engine.

Who will prevail in each of the teams this year? Compare the line-ups below and vote for who you think will come out on top.

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013

Red Bull: Sebastian Vettel vs Mark Webber

Sebastian Vettel Mark Webber
2012 281 points 179 points
2011 392 258
2010 256 242
2009 84 69.5

F1’s longest-running driver partnership at the moment begins its fifth season this year.

Although Vettel has never failed to end a season in front of Webber, it has been close at times. After 11 rounds last year Webber was still ahead of his team mate in the standings. But he lost a glut of points in the second half of the year due to a combination of unreliability, misfortune and driver error.

Which Red Bull driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Sebastian Vettel (89%)
  • Mark Webber (11%)

Total Voters: 515

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013

Ferrari: Fernando Alonso vs Felipe Massa

Fernando Alonso Felipe Massa
2012 278 122
2011 257 118
2010 252 144

Alonso’s margin of superiority over Massa in their three years as team mates so far has been emphatic and has widened year-on-year.

Despite rallying at the end of 2013 Massa ended the year with the worst points haul relative to his team mate of any driver on the grid.

Which Ferrari driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Fernando Alonso (94%)
  • Felipe Massa (6%)

Total Voters: 516

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Sergio Perez, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013

McLaren: Jenson Button vs Sergio Perez

After three years McLaren’s ‘dream team’ of British world champion drivers has been broken up.

Lewis Hamilton finished ahead of Jenson Button in two of their seasons together and scored more wins (ten to eight), though Button accumulated more points (672 to 657).

Sergio Perez faces a considerably tougher team mate than Kamui Kobayashi, against whom his progress has been measured so far. And on top of that he has the added pressure of joining a top team.

Which McLaren driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Jenson Button (80%)
  • Sergio Perez (20%)

Total Voters: 514

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Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013

Lotus: Kimi Raikkonen vs Romain Grosjean

Kimi Raikkonen Romain Grosjean
2012 207 96

Romain Grosjean kept pace with his more experienced team mate in the opening races of 2012. But the gap between them widened considerably after Grosjean became mired in a string of incidents.

If he can stay out of trouble this year the gap should be a lot closer.

However he has his work cut out to get close to the level of consistency Raikkonen achieved last year. The 2007 world champion just kept racking up the points, leaving Grosjean over 100 adrift.

Which Lotus driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Kimi Raikkonen (91%)
  • Romain Grosjean (9%)

Total Voters: 515

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013

Mercedes: Nico Rosberg vs Lewis Hamilton

The karting team mates of 2000 and 2001 have been reunited as Hamilton takes Michael Schumacher’s place at Mercedes for the 2013 season.

Hamilton had the upper hand over Rosberg in karts and he will surely be keen to assert his authority in his new team as soon as the season begins.

This will be toughest benchmark against which Rosberg has been measured in F1 so far. Inevitably a lot of attention will be focused on this line-up.

Which Mercedes driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Nico Rosberg (21%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (79%)

Total Voters: 518

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Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013

Sauber: Nico Hulkenberg vs Esteban Gutierrez

Sauber are one of three teams to have selected an all-new driver pairing this year.

Nico Hulkenberg’s experience should give him an edge over Esteban Gutierrez, who was quick but error-prone in GP2 last year.

However Sauber has proved an environment where young drivers have thrived in the past.

Which Sauber driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Nico Hulkenberg (95%)
  • Esteban Gutierrez (5%)

Total Voters: 508

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Adrian Sutil, Force India, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013

Force India: Paul di Resta vs Adrian Sutil

Paul di Resta Adrian Sutil
2011 27 42

Although Di Resta and Sutil may not be the most exciting driver line-up F1 has ever seen, the battle for supremacy between them looks like it will be close.

Sutil had the beating of Di Resta the first time around in 2011. But he’s been on the sidelines since then while Di Resta has been accumulating experience, which should make for a hard-fought second round.

Which Force India driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Paul di Resta (49%)
  • Adrian Sutil (51%)

Total Voters: 511

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Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013

Williams: Pastor Maldonado vs Valtteri Bottas

Pastor Maldonado heads into his third year as an F1 driver with his third different team mate.

Rookie Valtteri Bottas has been with the team for several years and is highly regarded by them. But race-rustiness has to be a concern as he was out of action last year except for tests and practice session appearances.

Maldonado is clearly quick and capable of winning races. But if he makes as many mistakes as he did last year that could leave the door open for Bottas to put him under pressure.

Which Williams driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Pastor Maldonado (50%)
  • Valtteri Bottas (50%)

Total Voters: 508

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Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013

Toro Rosso: Jean-Eric Vergne vs Daniel Ricciardo

Jean-Eric Vergne Daniel Ricciardo
2012 16 10

Nowhere is the competition between team mates more keenly fought than at Toro Rosso, where the occupants of the two seats are vying for promotion to Red Bull.

Vergne beat Ricciardo on points last year, though some ill-timed car trouble for Ricciardo in Italy and Korea helped tip the balance. With a better car at their disposal this year we should get a better idea of the balance of power – and if either of them deserves to drive an RB10.

Which Toro Rosso driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Jean-Eric Vergne (35%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (65%)

Total Voters: 497

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Giedo van der Garde, Caterham, Jerez, 2013

Caterham: Charles Pic vs Giedo van der Garde

Caterham’s new driver pairing may not have raced for the team before but they have previously been team mates.

Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde drove for the Addax team in GP2 in 2011. Pic showed the same qualifying flair that was much in evidence at Marussia last year, taking three pole positions.

He won twice and ended the year on 52 points, three ahead of his win-less team mate.

Now their paths have crossed again Pic’s year of experience in F1 should stand him in good stead.

Which Caterham driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Charles Pic (84%)
  • Giedo van der Garde (16%)

Total Voters: 491

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Jules Bianchi, Marussia, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013

Marussia: Jules Bianchi vs Max Chilton

Marussia’s all-new, all-rookie squad are also graduates of GP2. Max Chilton was fourth in the series last year after winning twice in the last eight races.

Jules Bianchi did not enjoy the success that was expected of him in the category, finishing third in 2010 and 2011, so he switched to Formula Renault 3.5 last year. He came very close to winning the championship, missing out after a controversial collision in the final race.

Bianchi has ample F1 testing experience thanks to Ferrari and Force India, and was expected to make his F1 debut with the latter. Without a more experienced driver in the team this pair are facing a steep learning curve.

Which Marussia driver will finish ahead in the championship?

  • Jules Bianchi (87%)
  • Max Chilton (13%)

Total Voters: 499

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Images ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Lotus/LAT, Williams/LAT, McLaren/Hoch Zwei, Mercedes/Hoch Zwei, Daimler/Hoch Zwei, Red Bull/Getty, Force India, Sauber, Caterham/LAT, Marussia

109 comments on “Who will win the battle of the team mates in 2013?”

    1. The most interesting one should be Force India. Both drivers are evenly matched in the poll. For every other team there seems to be 1 driver that seems to be far ahead of his teammate, according to f1fanatic readers.

      1. I agree with how the standings lie. I think most of the team mate battles will be one sided (with the F1 fanatic readers predicting the correct driver.) Then I think it will be close between Di resta and Sutil – as I feel they’re evenly paced. Bottas and Maldonado, is an interesting one as both are unknowns. Then Ricciardo and Vergne will probably be close due to the fact they’ll only get a handful of points

    2. Rosberg and hamilton already were in the same team once. They were very closely matched back then. I assume they will still be. People utterly underestimate Rosberg, but his dominance over Schumacher should at least have been some indication. All the lame excuses from the Shumi fans aside.

  1. I’m surprised the Williams vote is currently split down the middle. I expect Pastor to handle Bottas easily. That’s not to say Bottas will be bad. I just think Pastor is extremely quick, has added consistency and knows the team. If Bottas DOES outpoint Maldonado then that’s either the end of Pastor or else Bottas will have shown something very special.

    1. I voted Bottas despite believing that Maldo is just as fast as him simply because I can’t get past the belief that Maldos headcase antics will continue and he will end up sabotaging himself.

      1. Come on! You think given those 90 minutes, Senna would have bettered Maldonado?

        Just look at Maldonado’s form after Grosjean got his race-ban. He made no contact with anyone, kept his nose clean, was running in the front till his tyres got ruined quicker than others and Senna was nowhere near him.

        1. Come on! You think given those 90 minutes, Senna would have bettered Maldonado?

          I didn’t say that.

          My point was that had people known that was going to be the situation at Williams last year they might have voted differently.

        2. Senna was near him sometimes (mainly in the latter stages of the season) and even overtook him in India. Most of the time he was far only because he didn’t qualify well, but in race pace they were evenly matched almost all year.

        1. It was his first proper season and I’m sure he would do a lot better in a second season with Williams. More experience, better conditions (the same track time in practice), tyres with a wider performance range for qualifying and stability to work with the same team for a second year.

          I wish Williams could have raced with 3 cars this year. I remember BRM racing with 3 cars in 1973, otherwise Lauda’s career in F1 would be over after just a season with March, scoring 0 points while Peterson got a podium and a 4th place…

    2. Agreed, to me Maldonado is one of the fastest drivers on the grid. He reminds me a bit of Montoya in a way, is quicker than just about anyone else on his day but way to agressive most of the time. If he manages to iron that aggressiveness out, he could be right up there if the Williams proves to be fast enough. Not sure why everyone rates Bottas so high, I bet most of you don’t even follow GP3 and just support him because he’s not a pay driver. The difference between GP3 and F1 is big enough as it is and he didn’t even race for an entire year in 2012. I’m not convinced he’s got what it takes from the get-go, but I’d like to be surprised. Still, I don’t expect Maldonado to be beaten easily this year, he’s got a clean slate to start with and I’m sure Williams is expecting more points from him this time around. We’ll see, but my money’s on Pastor!

    3. I think its because we saw how inconsistent Maldonado was last year. If Bottas is as good as Williams think they are, its well possible he can beat Maldonado over the year.

    4. I have always has a soft spot for Williams, this is fast line up with potientally a fast, reliable car. I have high hopes for Bottas, shame to have lost senna, it was exciting to see another senna in a williams drive past me last year, but I think even with a further 90 mins each weekend, he was no Aryton. Who knows, one day I might be equally excited to see another Hill in the car, ie Josh Hill, lets hope he progesses well and finds some rich people to back him.

      1. …”but I think even with a further 90 mins each weekend, he was no Aryton.”

        There was no way he could have a performance simlar to Ayrton, mainly after 10 years out of racing and another 3 without a proper development. So, he would lose to Maldonado even with a further 90 mins, but the gap would not be so big.

        Damon Hill was far from being like Ayrton Senna and look at what he did. Bruno could do the same with the same conditions (entering F1 at the right time, with a great car and a lot of testing).

    5. I also think Maldonado will handle Bottas easily. He’ll surprise many this year, I think, with consistent and fast drives.

      At least I hope so. I don’t really like him, but the guy’s really fast ! And it’s Williams :) I’d love them to be up there again.

  2. I am very interested to see how the battle of the William’s drivers will turn out: they both appear to be very quick and may be very evenly matched, which is reflecting currently in the polls. I think William’s actually have one of the stronger line-ups this season.

  3. Oups, voted Rosberg as it was the first name and there was a trend going on. Well, never mind. Maybe Nico will have a great year and Lewis’ nerves will let him down, who knows.

    1. I think Rosberg inherits the red camera mount from Schumacher making him the team’s first driver. So I’m not sure what kind of ‘trend’ you are aiming at. Hamilton is not their lead driver as of now.

      1. @roald : I was just referring to the fact that for the top 4 teams I had ticked the first name and I got a bit carried away. I guess it’s what happened to @Mads. Don’t look for controversy or argument where there is none. I couldn’t care less who is listed as first driver.

    2. I think people are writing Nico off too easily. I have always been a big fan of Nico, back to when he ripped through GP2. I think he’s very quick, but has never had a clear chance to show it. He’s strong in quali and can battle wheel to wheel as well.

      I think he will be strong, in fact I think he could be as strong a teamate as Lewis has ever had. To top that, Nico is an intelligent guy, he is technically adept, given his keen interest in engineering. ..he will be formidable and I dont think its a foregone conclusion.

      As a fan, I would like to see him come out tops. Hopefully the car is good enough to make the podium regularly.

    3. Most of us certainly expect Hamilton do beat Rosberg (me included) @tango, but Rosberg himself thinks he stands a good chance. And he gives pretty convincing reasons:

      “Karting is pure, but in formula one, my other strengths come into play much more,” said Rosberg.
      “I always get the most from the setup; I am very consistent,” he said, raising the idea that Hamilton is more of an instinctive driver.

      Sure enough, Hamilton is super talented and can drive a car fast even if its not that great. But it does take away from finding the perfect setup, because he does not need setup as much as others (Button, Alonso, Rosberg?). So then when Rosberg is able to do a better job in setup (and his experience with the team should be a bonus there), he can well be able to beat Hamilton more often than expected.

  4. Keith, there’s a slight error, Sutil beat Di Resta in 2011, not the other way around.

    The top 4 teams are pretty much no-brainers. Mercedes will be interesting but I think Hamilton will take that one. Sauber will clearly go to Hulkenberg, and Force India will be close between the two but I think Di Resta will get some good points in early while Sutil gets back up to scratch. I think/hope Bottas will beat Maldonado, and Riccardo will beat Vergne. The bottom two teams should be pretty boring unless there’s another Singapore/Brazil. Pic and Bianchi should win their inter-team battles on pace.

    1. close to mine, except I picked Bottas, Vergne, accordingly. I feel Bottas could be stronger, not so sure about Vergne but I am willing to give him a chance. not sure about the Toro Rosso lineup anyway.
      The rest seems to be pretty predictable and the results in this pole reflect that.

      1. Haha! Brilliant summation. I get the feeling from both Di Resta and Sutil in the lineup that this is team Heidfeld. Solid, unspectacular, good enough on their very best day for a surprise podium but nothing at all special.

    1. @mw – at the moment though it’s looking unlikely, but I wish him all the best! Of the current pairings though, I’m 99% sure Vettel and Alonso will come up trumps – they are the only ones I am so certain of (and possibly Hulkenberg).

  5. My picks: Vettel, Alonso, Button (I think his experience and accustomistaion with the team will serve him in good stead), Räikkönen (I doubt Grosjean has levelled his head and besides, Kimi is very fast), Hamilton (I think outright speed will prevail here), Hulkenberg (he looks a champion in the making), Maldonado (if he’s calmed down, his speed and experience will shine through I think), Ricciardo (he looks better in qualifying and about on equal terms in the races if he meets his promise of more aggression, so I think the former point will give him the edge), Charles Pic (experience and a subtly impressive first season lead me to believe he’ll get the better of van der Garde) and last but not least Bianchi (he looks to be quite the racing driver, and is very quick on one lap which should compilement Marussia’s KERS nicely).

    1. Vettel : even if it would be nice to see Webber having the upper hand, I don’t see it
      Alonso : Would like Massa to continue how he ended 2012 and let’s have a close fight between them
      Button : Still not sure of Perez potential, could even be a mistake, let’s hope he doesn’t have a flop
      Grosjean : He can outqualify Kimi and has pace, now certainly the vote where I tried to find which team mate will create the surprise. Not sure I really see it happening …
      Hamilton : He knows how to qualify and got pace, a new start will probably be good for him
      Hulkenberg : No doubt on this one, he should be the one at McLaren instead of Perez, but the season will tell
      Bottas : He showed great speed without having full allocated time which is quite promising.
      Vergne : I shouldn’t have vote for any of STR driver as it’s really 50/50 for me, went for Vergne purely on feeling
      Pic : Has more experience and show last year he was worth a drive against Glock
      Bianchi : No doubt he will be ahead of Chilton, one is very promising while the other still have to prove he has his place…

        1. Hulkenberg proved FAR more consistent throughout the season, got involved in significantly less incidents and has a pole position next to his name. Perez got onto the podium 3 times last year and beat Hulkenberg by ONLY 3 points.. who was in the lesser car.

        2. Yes he should have. Perez is hugely overrated. much like Kobayashi. They had their occasions where they performed well, but mostly because in those exceptions they were on the better tyres at the time.

          Kobayashi and Perez would often put on a fresh pair of tyres at the end of the race and go on a rampage through the field because their tyres were 3 secs a lap faster than the people they were driving past.

          1. @vettel1
            Apart from the fact that Alonso, at the age of 25, in 2006, was at least as good as Vettel is today.

            All the people who are claiming Hulkenberg is more consistent, has the age difference ever occurred to you?
            Sergio Perez, at the age of 22 outshines and outscores his teammate Kobayashi.

            Hulkenberg, at the age of 22, was getting whooped by Barrichello, who scored twice as many points as him.

          2. @kingshark

            Apart from the fact that Alonso, at the age of 25, in 2006, was at least as good as Vettel is today.

            That’s an ambiguous claim at best.

            I am just highlighting the fact you have blatantly ignored that the Sauber was a faster car than the Force India and so naturally Perez will have achieved more. That is not to say he hasn’t done well for himself, but the context is most definitely needed.

            As for the consistency argument, Perez scored in 7 races last season, Hulkenberg did so 11 times. So yes, Hulkenberg is more consistent and showed in Brazil he is very fast also.

          3. @vettel1

            That’s an ambiguous claim at best.

            How so? In 2006, Fernando Alonso did not lose a single point due driving error; and beat Michael Schumacher on merit alone with an equal car, and equal luck.

            I am just highlighting the fact you have blatantly ignored that the Sauber was a faster car than the Force India and so naturally Perez will have achieved more. That is not to say he hasn’t done well for himself, but the context is most definitely needed.

            Hulkenberg threw an easy podium, if not a victory away in Brazil due his crash with Hamilton. If he hadn’t spun into the McLaren, he certainly would’ve won that race, given his pace in the wet. He choked when a golden opportunity was presented to him.

            Whenever Perez was given a chance for a podium, he took it with both hands. Malaysia, ran slightly wide but still finished second. In Montreal and Monza, he maturely brought his car to the finish.

            As for the consistency argument, Perez scored in 7 races last season, Hulkenberg did so 11 times. So yes, Hulkenberg is more consistent and showed in Brazil he is very fast also.

            Regarding your consistency argument, you are ignoring the age difference far more than I am ignoring the car difference.

            As for Brazil, see above.

          4. @kingshark – I’m just making it clear age is often of less value than experience. They had both raced in two season by the end of last year, and Hulkenberg trumped Perez in the consistency rankings.

            That’s an ambiguous claim at best.

            How so?

            There is no evidence to suggest Alonso was any faster or any more consistent in 2006 than Vettel was in 2011 for example. You simply can’t state that as fact – there is not a measurable factor in that statement. I could just simply say the opposite and it would be as just a claim as you are making…

      1. @vettel1 I don’t think Toro Rosso and Force India will be more entertaining than Caterham and Marussia this year, I even think we could have interesting battles between Pic and Bianchi (which of course won’t be aired)

        The surprising results so far are for Button and Hamilton, I was expecting the same sort of contrast we see with other lead drivers. While Hamilton is probably due to people clicking the first pick (Rosberg), it seems Perez is quite popular (or Button unpopular).

        1. @jeanrien – I could understand why somebody may have voted for Perez, but for the reasons I’ve discussed above I think it’s probably not going to materialise.

          STR’s and FI’s battles will be close no doubt, but it’s a bit like saying a race between a tortoise and a snail would be close – it is, but it’s not exactly enthralling. That said, I think Di Resta is due more credit than he gets from some but less that what Brundle dishes out.

          1. @vettel-1

            There is no evidence to suggest Alonso was any faster or any more consistent in 2006 than Vettel was in 2011 for example.

            I didn’t say that. I said ’06 Fernando was equally good to ’11 Sebastian.

  6. After 11 rounds last year Webber was still ahead of his team mate in the standings

    He was ahead of him after 18 rounds in 2010. But when you drill down into the results he was ahead in both cases for the same reason – Vettel suffering mechanical problems. And all the teammate battles for 2013 may also be influenced by car reliability. That being said –

    Vettel, Alonso, Button, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Sutil, Maldonado, Ricciardo, Pic, Bianchi.

    Hamilton-Rosberg and Button-Perez have the most potential for a past champion being upset. They should be the most interesting intra-team battles.

  7. I am surprised JEV is getting almost 31% votes! I think RIC will easily get the better of him in 2013. This is because the lack of 12th team affects Toro Rosso more than other teams. Earlier in Q1, only one of their drivers would be eliminated giving that driver an extra fresh set of tyres. This is how JEV got the better of RIC early on in the season, by virtue of a bad qualifying.

    But with just 11 teams, only 6 drivers will exit Q1. So that would leave JEV and RIC in the same boat (given that they would most likely be the last of the established teams). On an equal footing, raw speed of RIC should give him the upper hand.

    1. If there are 6 drivers dropping out, the best 16 in stead of the best 17 will go to the next round. So, that leaves another midfield driver at Q1.

      OT, I’d say Vettel, Alonso, Button and Raikkonen. Any other result would be a major surprise in my opinion. Hamilton will have the upper hand over Rosberg but only by a tiny margin. I’d rate Rosberg a bit like Button in that respect. Hülkenberg is also a certainty. Di Resta may beat Sutil, though both drivers will be unimpressive. Maldonado will win the battle versus Bottas, I think his experience will actually pay off this time in results. Bottas is still a rookie and needs time to adjust. Ricciardo and Vergne will probably be about some peak results. The car is usually not enough for points so an above average result is needed to score. Both won’t be impressive but I think Ricciardo has the edge over his team mate. In terms of championship standings the previous is especially true for Caterham and Marussia as was shown in Brazil. Still, I think Bianchi is better than Chilton and I voted Van der Garde just for the sake of it. I don’t expect him to underperform compared to Pic.

      1. Last year it was the 6 bottom cars (3 teams) + 1 car eliminated. This year its the bottom 4 cars (2 teams) + 2 cars eliminated.

        Although who knows, if one of the teams actually develops some good aero parts they might jump into the mix? My money is on marussia to pull it out the bag later on.

    1. As a Brit, I would have loved to have voted for Chilton, but I think Bianchi is hands down better, and deserving of a drive, I hope that Marussia can pull something out of the bag this year, they are far more interesting than Caterham this year and Toro Rosso.

    2. Since both Catreham and Marussia under normal circumstances won’t score points, its difficult to call the Team mates battle in that Team..
      Bianchi can consistently finish 15th-16th every race and still finished behind Chilton with 18 Dnf and 1 14th place somewhere

  8. Red Bull – Sebastian Vettel
    Ferrari – Fernando Alonso
    McLaren – Jenson Button
    Lotus – Kimi Raikkonen
    Mercedes – Lewis Hamilton
    Sauber – Nico Hulkenberg
    Force India – Paul Di Resta
    Williams – Valterri Bottas
    Torro Rosso – Daniel Ricciardo
    Caterham – Charles Pic
    Marussia – Jules Bianchi

  9. Red Bull – Sebastian Vettel
    Ferrari – Fernando Alonso
    McLaren – Sergio Perez
    Lotus – Kimi Raikkonen
    Mercedes – Lewis Hamilton
    Sauber – Nico Hulkenberg
    Force India – Adrian Sutil
    Williams – Pastor Maldonado
    Torro Rosso – Jean-Eric Vergne
    Caterham – Charles Pic
    Marussia – Jules Bianchi

      1. Comfortably? Perez has potential but he is a young driver at a new team (a team with high expectations) with quite a bit more to prove. Button, on the other hand, benefits from experience, familiarity with the team, a strong voice in the development process, and (let’s not forget) he is a world champion.

        I like Perez and the move to bring him to McLaren. However, I have a hard time envisioning Perez “comfortably” defeating his teammate. It’s possible – just not probable.

  10. its sad really that the Hamilton effect has eclipsed the Mercedes team, seems that just because he is at the team everybody has forgot about rosbergs talent. i just hope that the rivalry between the Mercedes team mates will mirror the senna/prost years, both team mates only happy if they beat the other

    1. I’m sure everyone in Mercedes is quite pleased if it doesn’t mirror Senna/Prost rivalry. You just have to take a look at Alonso/Hamilton to realize that there’s no way they’d want that. Although they might be wishing it somewhat subconsciously, while actually hoping that their paring is as strong as Senna/Prost or Alonso/Hamilton.

      I think they’d be perfectly happy if they had one driver who is able to extract maximum out of the car at every weekend.

  11. Vettel; Alonso; Button; Grosjean; Rosberg; Hulkenberg; Sutil; Maldonado; Ricciardo; van der Garde; Bianchi (People might call me crazy for Grosjean, Rosberg and van der Garde).

  12. I’m surprised of the PER votes… I feel him and KOB were both relatively equal last year except PER seems to have better luck with his tires in last years’ car and therefore got two more podiums. I truly don’t feel that PER belongs at McLaren nor does KOB belong to not drive in F1.

    Meaning that BUT should handle him quite easily provided car reliability.

    1. Just for the sake of argument, How do you get lucky with tire management. Kamui got the short end of the stick with Sauber pit stop strategies in 2012 and I believe he deserves to be in F1; however, Perez managed those first long stints pretty well, not locking or sliding to much without loosing time, then would get the softs to be very fast towards the end of the races. strategy not luck, talent? possibly.
      Do you think that Hulk should have gotten Mclarens ride? everybody here seems to think so dunno why though. In Brazil he was brilliant but thats about it.

    1. Me! If we get two or three races under the rain with these crazy weather ( global warming?) we are having across the globe, He will shine. In BMW USA , GP3 and GP2, everytime there was rain, he would pass drivers left and right. And then that Bahrain pass last year was magnificent.

  13. Vettel: I’d like to see Mark beat him, but Webber has problems stringing together a consistently strong season. 2010 was the best season of his career in that respect, and even with Vettel dropping a boatload of points due to reliability, it wasn’t enough.
    Alonso: Massa should have the raw pace to put up a challenge to Alonso, but I doubt he will have either the self belief or the support from the team to do it.
    Button: so far the result of the poll is quite one-sided in favour of Button, but I think this will be close in points. Last year may have taken some shine off his image, but when he’s not struggling with tyres and set-up, he’s a very strong operator.
    Grosjean: this is my first ‘hope’ vote. Currently 91% of the votes are on Kimi, but I think Romain can also do a strong season, especially if he keeps his nose clean the first couple of races. With Kimi, I’m never convinced he wants to win as badly as the other 21 blokes out there.
    Hamilton: although I hope and expect Hamilton to come out on top in this team mate battle, I think this could be close. So far, Rosberg has shown plenty of promise in his career, and there is nothing to suggest he couldn’t be a world champion one day.
    Hulkenberg: it’s quite possible Nico has been hyped up too much after his strong end to 2012, but he should still be able to get the better of his rookie team mate, who has struggled for consistency in his GP2 career.
    Sutil: there’s probably little to choose between Adrian and Paul, but I have a feeling Sutil will have a slight edge in the races.
    Ricciardo: JEV thinks he will qualify better on the 2013 tyres, but I still hope Daniel will get the better of him.
    Van der Garde: Pic came out on top when they were team mates in 2011, but it was by no means a one-sided affair. For much of that season, Van der Garde was the nearest challenger to Grosjean, though in the final two weekends everything went horribly wrong for Guido (partly his own fault).
    Bianchi: there’s quite a lot of hype surrounding Jules at the moment, though when I looked up his GP2 record recently I saw it was good but not great (some podiums and 1 win). Still, I also think he’s faster than Chilton.

      1. @me262, I believe Webber gets the same material and treatment that Vettel does. If not, I think Webber would be the first to let us know. Marko is a troll and I don’t think Webber is losing any sleep over his comments. Unfortunately, Mark has proved his own worst enemy on too many occasions. He fluffs too many of his starts, and often gets stuck in traffic when Vettel does not (Spa 2012 springs to mind).

        Btw, I forgot Bottas: Maldonado may intend to keep his nose clean, but I think from time to time the red mist will still descend and on those days the cool Finn will collect the points. Or so I predict.

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