I’m going to be methodical about it and go team by team.
Red Bull Racing
Starting off slightly behind on McLaren and Ferrari, they will find themselves in a position akin to Ferrari the past couple of years; a calibration error of some sorts, but they can’t get their updates to work. Vettel will grow increasingly frustrated and despite winning some races early in the season, will have a very long drought of wins or even podiums. Mark Webber will have a typical season; starting off well, but with various races where he just isn’t on it. Will announce his retirement after a late season victory.
Fanboy bias: will win both titles this year. Ferrari will start off behind McLaren, but in front of Red Bull and will benefit from Perez’ inexperience. Alonso will spend most of his time fighting with Button and Vettel and despite not winning a whole lot of races, will lead the championship for most of the way and end up winning it, due to flawless updates, forcing Ferrari to consider buying the Toyota windtunnel. Massa will win a handful of races, including a VERY emotional win in Brazil. With Massa’s resurgence, Ferrari will score enough points to win the constructor’s as well.
Button will have a VERY strong season and use his experience to turn McLaren around in his favor. Updates, strategy, he will be the main man of the team before the season reaches the summer break. This will help him score many wins, but McLaren will be McLaren and there will be some utterly painful retirements as well. Perez will win a race or two and do fine generally, but with a frustrated Vettel, some strong midfielders and getting frustrated himself, he will be in a number of accidents and crashes. Will win a prestigious GP, like Monaco, Spa, Monza or Suzuka after a number of bad results and ends up contending for wins afterwards a lot more consistent. Will end up missing the constructor’s by a slight margin with DNFs in the final races and Ferrari winning.
Kimi will practically repeat the 2012 season, with more wins. Always doing well, some strategic blunders and never really contending for the championship. He will harm Alonso, Button and the Red Bulls in their fight for the championship, but will drop off before the final race mathematically. Grosjean will be much stronger as well, winning a race where the current top 3 teams make mistakes and Kimi is too far behind. Lopez will still be looking for a buyer and Honeywell will be announced as main sponsor in the middle of the season. Regardless of selling the team or not, they will also announce a different team name for 2014.
Lewis will win a race and Nico will either come close or win one as well. However, the car is still all over the place performance wise during the season. They will do well in the classic races, but at some newer tracks they’ll end up being lapped and Hamilton’s feud with Massa will re-ignite when Massa has some run ins with him while lapping him. Nico will have a decent season, but there will be talks of him leaving the team for Ferrari all season.
Nico Hulkenberg will end up on the podium a couple of times with a car that’s about equal in relative performance to the 2012 car. He will probably end up in the lead during a crazy GP as well, but end up losing the lead to Hamilton or Perez in superior cars. Gutiérrez will do better than expected, but Sauber will use Frijns as a means to put pressure on Gutiérrez, threatening to replace him for a race if he doesn’t score.
Silly season rumors withstanding, the team remains in its current ownership. Di Resta will be partnered by Bianchi and that will mark the first time Di Resta consistently outperforms his team mate. Di Resta will equal his personal best 4th early in the season and ends up fighting with Hulkenberg a lot on track. Perhaps there will be a podium in there somewhere, depending on reliability. Bianchi will have a disappointing season, with some point finishes, but a lot of run-ins with Giedo van de Garde, much like in Gp2 in 2011.
They will build another stunner of a car and consistently manage not to extract 100% from the car. Maldonado will come close to another win, since he will be a lot better than before. However, it’s a transitional season for him, trading some speed for staying on the track. Bottas will do fine and come close to the podium, but never quite getting there. He will also get into trouble in Bahrain for his wedding sponsor.
Same old, same old. Will have more opportunities to fight with Williams, Sauber and Force India on occasion, but never really beating them. One of the drivers will block a frustrated Vettel or Webber during a race, leading to Marko firing them on the spot and bringing in Da Costa, who goes on to outperform the Williams cars for the rest of the season and still winning the FR 3.5.
Will not score any points. Pic and van der Garde will do fine and come close to the Toro Rosso early in the season, but the team will lose out on the development race, focusing on 2014. Van der Garde will be mostly shown being crashed into by Bianchi and there will be a fight off-track between the two. Pic will develop himself as a stable driver, much like Kovalainen or Trulli was before, while van der Garde will have more peaks and some abysmal races.
Will beat Caterham to 10th. Their relationship with McLaren will be instrumental in this, as well as Razia. Chilton will be easily beaten. The team in general will develop nicely, with some lad named B.E. arranging some additional support from Russia.
Scorpion Racing will not be allowed to enter in F1 in 2013 and in true obscure team fashion, will fade away before 2014.
-No 20th race
-Podium interviews will take a further turn to the worse, with both interviewers and drivers laughing at the level of questions allowed
-With the top 4 teams’ drivers winning races as well as Hamilton, this season will have 9 race winners. Others will come close. Button, Alonso, Raikkonen and Vettel will be the only ones to win more than 1 race.
-All drivers except the Toro Rosso, Caterham and Marussia drivers will have a shot at the podium; perhaps a record will be set.
-Massa will shed more tears of joy than Barichello did in his entire career this season.
-Hugo Chaves will visit the Brazilian GP, where American intelligence will infiltrate the paddock, leading to the tames Brazilian GP audience in forever.