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F1 2013 Season Preview: Teams and Drivers line-up

813   //    14 Mar 2013, 13:56 IST

With the Australian GP just around the corner, and the dust finally settled after the intensive pre-season tests at Jerez and Barcelona, the F1 season is all but ready to roar into action. While most of the teams have retained their drivers, a few major changes have occurred over the long gap after the previous season.

Exeunt HRT…

F1 Grand Prix of Brazil - Practice

The 2012 season saw the demise of the Hispania Racing Team, with owners Thesan Capital putting the team up for sale in November. When the team failed to find any buyers to clear their dues, they went into liquidation to clear their dues and were ultimately sold to a firm dealing in recycling of automotive parts.

And we keep shuffling…

Most notably, when 7-time champion, Michael Schumacher made a sensational return to the sport with Mercedes GP, much was spoken about his abilities to deal with the new drivers in the fray. The big German had a disappointing comeback in many terms, and ultimately decided to retire permanently at the end of last season. Schumacher’s departure meant Mercedes signed Lewis Hamilton from British outfit, McLaren. Lewis Hamilton has gone on record defending his move to Mercedes, saying that it will be a step-up in his career, as he’ll be helping a struggling team rise to their fullest potential in F1.

On English shores, McLaren Mercedes sought the services of Sergio Perez to replace the outgoing Briton. Mexican racer, Checo Perez, who finished 10th overall in the drivers standings, was earlier a part of the famed Ferrari Academy and has confessed to being in talks with the Maranello outfit, if a seat were to open up. But ultimately, McLaren proved to be a more realistic prospect for the young Mexican.

F1 Testing in Barcelona - Day One

Ferrari powered Sauber F1 filled up the void left by the departure of Sergio Perez by nicking Force India driver, Nico Hulkenberg, who left the Vijay Mallya-run team after just one year. He was also joined at Sauber by Esteban Gutierrez, who has formerly been Sauber’s test driver.

Force India swiftly replaced the departing Hulkenberg by signing Adrian Sutil, who last raced for them in 2011.


While Bruno Senna failed to secure a move to Force India, Williams replaced the legendary Ayrton Senna’s nephew by promoting test and reserve driver, Valteri Bottas. Bottas is a 2011 GP3 Champion and has made regular appearances for Williams in the Friday practice sessions.

Meanwhile at Caterham, Vitaly Petrov was forced to quit after failing to secure sponsorships and 2012-season team mate, Heikki Kovalainen had a fall out with the team towards the end of his days, according to team principal, Cyril Abiteboul. Caterham have managed to secure the services of Frenchman, Charles Pic, who joins Dutch driver, Giedo van der Garde. The duo have previously raced along side each other for Barwa Addax in the GP2 series.

Marussia turned out to be the most complex among the lot. While Timo Glock was expected to sign on until the 2014 season, the deal went kaput at the last moment, with team principal John Booth citing financial reasons for the same. Marussia then took on two newbies for the 2013 season, Max Chilton from GP2 team Carlin, and GP2 series runner up, Luiz Razia. Lack of financial sponsorship led to Razia’s abrupt termination, days after the announcement. 2009 Formula 3 Euro Series champion, Jules Bianchi will now take the second Marussia seat in 2013.


Also, Japan’s Kamui Kobayashi failed to secure a seat due to lack of sponsorship and will now race for AF Corse in the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship.

Full team line-up’s have been listed below:

Infiniti Red Bull Racing

Engine: Renault
Drivers: Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber
Test and reserve driver/s: Sebastien Buemi

Scuderia Ferrari

Engine: Ferrari
Drivers: Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa
Test and reserve driver/s: Marc Gene, Pedro de la Rosa

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Engine: Mercedes
Drivers: Jenson Button, Sergio Perez
Test and reserve driver/s: Gary Puffett, Oliver Turvey

Lotus F1

Engine: Renault
Drivers: Kimi Raikkonen, Romain Grosjean
Test and reserve driver/s: Davide Valsecchi, Nicolas Prost, Jerome D’Ambrosio

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1

Engine: Mercedes
Drivers: Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg
Test and reserve driver/s: Not confirmed

Sauber F1

Engines: Ferrari
Drivers: Nico Hulkenberg, Esteban Gutierrez
Test and reserve driver/s: Robin Frijns

Sahara Force India F1

Engines: Mercedes
Drivers: Paul di Resta, Adrian Sutil
Test and reserve driver/s: Not confirmed

Williams F1

Engines: Renault
Drivers: Pastor Maldonado, Valteri Bottas
Test and reserve driver/s: Not confirmed

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Engines: Ferrari
Drivers: Jean Eric-Vergne, Daniel Ricciardo
Test and reserve driver/s: Not confirmed

Caterham F1

Engines: Renault
Drivers: Charles Pic, Giedo van der Garde
Test and reserve driver/s: Alexander Rossi, Ma Qing Ha

Marussia F1

Engines: Cosworth
Drivers: Jules Bianchi, Max Chilton
Test and reserve driver/s: Not confirmed

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