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

2013 F1 season preview

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 ?é?® 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

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

  1. Brace (@brace) said on 13th March 2013, 21:37

    Toro Rosso pair is the only one where I didn’t vote because, when it came to it, I realized I have no clue what to think of either of them. Even to roughly pick one driver. Only time they attracted my attention was when they were being flamed/praised for letting Vettel through.
    I guess it say a lot about both the team and the drivers, when you have no opinion, even though I didn’t miss a race and I’ve been reading F1 news each day.

  2. So,

    The obvious ones: Vettel, Alonso, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg, Pic, Bianchi. No chance in hell for something to happen differently here.

    The obvious ones that I hope will prove to be not so obvious: Button (but I hope Perez will give him a hard time), Hamilton (but again, here’s hoping Rosberg will rise up to the challenge, just for the fun of it)

    The VERY interesting ones: Maldonado / Bottas (chose Maldonado, but it should be VERY close), Sutil / Di Resta (chose Sutil, and I truly believe he will edge Di Resta out by some points and by the best classification in a race as well), Ricciardo / Vergne (chose Ricciardo simply because he’s a better qualifier than Vergne and at least in theory that should give him a slight advantage)

    So, basically, for me there are at least three and at most five teams worth keeping an eye on, from the team-mate-battle perspective. And I took the liberty of rating them according to my personal interest: Williams, McLaren, Mercedes, Force India, Torro Rosso.

  3. Robert (@rob91) said on 13th March 2013, 21:56

    Red Bull: Vettel is defending 3x world champion and has beaten Webber in all 4 years together, no reason why that would change with the rules pretty much staying the same this year.
    Ferrari: Massa has never looked like beating Alonso on points in their 3 years together so far, I will be very surprised if this changes.
    McLaren: I reckon this will be a lot closer than most people think it will be and I tip Perez to just outscore Button in his first year at a top team.
    Lotus: I think Grosjean will be better this year but Raikkonen was very consistent last year so will probably be this year too.
    Mercedes: Like McLaren, this will be closer than expected but in the end Hamilton will score just a little bit more than Rosberg.
    Sauber: Hulkenberg should have little trouble in getting the upper hand over his new rookie teammate Gutierrez.
    Force India: Sutil has had a year of no racing whilst Di Resta has improved since they were last together in 2011, so it will probably be the Scot who prevails in the end.
    Williams: Bottas will do well in his first year in F1 but Maldonado is one of the quickest drivers on the grid and will be too strong for the Finn.
    Toro Rosso: I think Ricciardo will beat Vergne this year by a decent margin.
    Caterham: Pic has one year of racing in F1 under his belt and this will prove decisive against Van der Garde.
    Marussia: Bianchi will comfortably have the upper hand against Chilton.

  4. Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 13th March 2013, 22:13

    A few interesting battles, but I think Force India, Williams and Torro Rosso will be the closest. Force India have two solid drivers, but I think Sutil’s experience will win out over a season, just. I think Maldonado is quick and will beat Bottas IF, and it’s a big if, he can drive consistently, otherwise I tip Bottas to win. Can’t call Torro Rosso, not convinced by either driver to be fair.

    • Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 13th March 2013, 22:14

      By contrast, I expect Ferrari, McLaren and Sauber to be very one-sided. All three of those teams have a clear lead driver. The others have a driver who should win the battle, but it could swing either way.

  5. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 13th March 2013, 22:44

    Force India and Williams will be interesting…
    But maybe Rosberg or Perez’ will surprise us.

  6. d3v0 (@d3v0) said on 13th March 2013, 23:35

    Did anyone else get to the battle of the Toro Rossos and then even lower; the battle of the pay drivers – and just think “sheesh, who cares?”

    The only driver I am excited about this year is Bottas. To a lesser extent of course, Kimi. The only battle I am interested in truthfully is Nico v. Hamilton – because I rate Nico VERY highly, and Lew might be a bit distracted with all of his new freedoms (going out on a limb here).

  7. clappy (@danielc) said on 14th March 2013, 3:33

    Come on Rbull change driver so Vet is challenged more. Mark Webber is way two inconsistent , no doubt he will win a classic then go on his customary invisible streak , the guy drives a fast car for 3 years and he has won less than Ham and Button in last 3 seasons.

  8. mike-e (@mike-e) said on 14th March 2013, 3:52

    Rbr – vettel
    Ferrari – alonso
    Mclaren – perez
    Lotus – grojean
    Mercedes – hamilton
    Sauber – hulkenberg
    Fi – sutil
    Williams – bottas
    Tr- ricciardo
    Caterham – pic
    Marussia – bianchi

    Heres to hoping anyway.

  9. David-A (@david-a) said on 14th March 2013, 4:06

    Red Bull – Vettel
    Ferrari – Alonso
    Mclaren – Button
    Lotus – Raikkonen
    Mercedes – Hamilton
    Sauber – Hulkenberg
    Force India – Di Resta
    Williams – Bottas
    STR – Ricciardo
    Caterham – Pic
    Marussia – Chilton

    I think Chilton won’t do as badly as everyone says and may have the fortune of getting a lucky highest finish.

  10. SundarF1 (@sundarf1) said on 14th March 2013, 6:01

    Between the Marussia and Caterham drivers, everything can change in one mad race so there’s no point in predicting it. But I’m surprised at the confidence people have in Ricciardo and #BOTTAS (Great, now I’m subconsciously typing his name as a hashtag). I reckon Vergne is better on race day and if he can get his qualifying sorted he could comfortably beat Ricciardo. Also, Maldonado is seriously quick, and last year he showed an ability to learn from mistakes. #BOTTAS will have to adapt, endure the rookie mistakes, and he will have to be extraordinary to beat Pastor this season.

  11. LoreMipsumdOtmElor said on 14th March 2013, 8:10

    Wow, I’m completely alone with my predictions^^

    Webber; Alonso; Button; Grosjean; Hamilton; Gutierrez; di Resta; Maldonado, don’t care; don’t care; don’t care

  12. 23kennyboy23 said on 14th March 2013, 11:55

    Really looking forward to the fight between nico and lewis in china. both seem to be good on that track, would be great to see who comes out on top.

  13. PJA (@pja) said on 15th March 2013, 20:21

    I seem to have picked the same as most of the readers of the site, judging from the current poll results.

    I think the closest will be Force India but Sutil will edge it.

    Toro Rosso will also be close but I chose Ricciardo to finish ahead in the championship.

    As long as Maldonado can cut out all the silly mistakes he should come out on top at Williams but I think Bottas will impress.

    At Mercedes I think Hamilton should finish ahead but I don’t think it will be a big margin like some may be expecting.

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