2013 Silly Season


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+Frank B.

With the 2012 season approaching the summer break it's time to speculate again: What is the grid going to look like next year?

I don't see many changes happening in the top teams. The major two variables at this point are Felipe Massa's position at Ferrari, and whether or not Michael Schumacher is going to race for another year or two. From the midfield downwards some changes are possible - depending on which driver offers which team the most money.

Here's a first draft for the 2013 grid, taken from the Autosport forum:

Scuderia Ferrari

Ferrari F2013 ? Ferrari 056

Team Principal: Stefano Domenicali ; Technical Director: Pat Fry

1. Fernando Alonso (contracted through '16)

2. Felipe Massa (current driver; ever more likely to stay on for another season)

Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Racing RB9 ? Renault RS27-2013

Team Principal: Christian Horner; Technical Director: Adrian Newey

3. Sebastian Vettel (on a long-term deal through '14, perhaps with options)

4. Mark Webber (another one-year deal)

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

McLaren MP4-28 ? Mercedes FO108Z1

Team Principal: Martin Whitmarsh ; Technical Director: Paddy Lowe, Neil Oatley

5. Jenson Button (contracted through '13 with option for '14)

6. Lewis Hamilton (current driver; might be an option for Ferrari or Mercedes; likely to stay on, though)

Lotus F1 Team

Lotus E21 ? Renault RS27-2013

Team Principal: Eric Boullier ; Technical Director: James Allison

7. Kimi R?ikk?nen (contracted through '13)

8. Romain Grosjean (current driver; likely to stay on)

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Mercedes F1 W04 ? Mercedes FO108Z1

Team Principal: Ross Brawn ; Technical Director: Bob Bell

9. Nico Rosberg (on a multi-year deal beyond '13)

10. Michael Schumacher (current driver; original 3-year deal runs out come '13; might sign for another (few) season(s))

Sauber F1 Team

Sauber C32 ? Ferrari 056

Team Principal: Peter Sauber ; Technical Director: James Key

11. Sergio P?rez (on a multi-year contract)

12. Kamuit Kobayashi (current driver)

Williams

Williams FW35 ? Renault RS27-2013

Team Principal: Adam Parr ; Technical Director: Mike Coughlan

14. Pastor Maldonado (on a long-term deal through '14, perhaps with options)

15. Bruno Senna (current driver; not having as good a year as his team-mate)

Valtteri Bottas (test driver; allegedly being groomed for the seat)

Sahara Force India F1 Team

Force India VJM06 ? Mercedes FO108Z

Team Principal: Vijay Mallya ; Technical Director: Andrew Green

16. Paul Di Resta (current driver)

Jules Bianchi (test driver and Ferrari junior programme member; said by Mallya to be in the frame)

17. Nico H?lkenberg (current driver)

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Toro Rosso STR8 ? Ferrari 056

Team Principal: Franz Tost ; Technical Director: Giorgio Ascanelli

18. Daniel Ricciardo (current driver; likely to stay on)

19. Jean-?ric Vergne (current driver; likely to stay on)

Caterham F1 Team

Caterham CT02 ? Renault RS27-2013

Team Principal: Tony Fernandes ; Technical Director: Mike Gascoyne

20. Heikki Kovalainen (current driver; has stated that he wants to joing higher-ranking team for '13)

21. Vitaly Petrov (current driver; possibly on 2-year deal)

Marussia F1 Team

Marussia MR02 ? Cosworth CA2013

Team Principal: John Booth ; Technical Director: Pat Symonds

22. Timo Glock (contract through '14)

23. Charles Pic (current driver)

HRT F1 Team

HRT F113 ? Cosworth CA2013

Team Principal: Luis P?rez-Sala ; Technical Director: Jacky Eeckelaert

24. Pedro de la Rosa (contracted through '13)

25. Narain Karthikeyan (current driver)

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+Frank B.

Raikkonen on Ferrari's radar for 2013, despite also nearing extension to Lotus deal

Kimi Raikkonen has emerged as a surprise contender to line up alongside Fernando Alonso at Ferrari next year, even though the Finn is closing in on a deal to remain at Lotus.

Ferrari is considering its driver options for 2013, with the team well aware it needs a team-mate to Alonso who can help contribute significantly to its constructors' championship ambitions.

Felipe Massa has not yet delivered strong enough form this year to guarantee his seat, which has left Ferrari evaluating whether to hope his current upswing in form will continue into 2013 or whether it needs to look at other options.

A number of young drivers are on Ferrari's radar - with Nico Hulkenberg, Paul di Resta, Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean all on the short-list of candidates for the drive.

However, Ferrari sources insist that the team has not seen enough from any of those drivers to be sure that they will be a definite step forward over Massa - which has resulted in Raikkonen emerging as a dark horse contender.

Although Raikkonen was dropped by Ferrari at the end of 2009, Ferrari sources suggest that senior figures inside the team believe he would be the perfect fit for next year ? because of his speed, availability and likelihood that he would not cause any political problems.

However, the biggest stumbling block at any deal happening is believed to be the strained relationship between Raikkonen and Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, who parted their previous working partnership on far from good terms.

Insiders suggest that di Montezemolo is not convinced about the Raikkonen route ? while the driver himself has said in private that he too would be reluctant to work with his former boss again.

Ferrari will have to make a final call on Raikkonen soon if it is to have any hope of doing a deal, because he is getting close to confirming another season with Lotus.

AUTOSPORT understands that Raikkonen has already held technical meetings about the 2013 car at the Lotus factory, and there is every indication from him and the team that they intend to carry on together for at least one more year.

Raikkonen's team-mate Grosjean is out of contract at the end of this year too, but his current strong form for Lotus makes it a no brainer for it to keep the Frenchman for another season.

Source: Autosport

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+Frank B.

The end of all speculations as to who will drive the second Ferrari alongside Alonso next year:

Ferrari retain Massa for 2013

Felipe Massa will remain at Ferrari in 2013, the team has confirmed.

A statement released by the team on Tuesday said: ?Scuderia Ferrari announces that it has renewed its contract with the driver Felipe Massa to the end of the 2013 race season.?

?The Scuderia?s driver line-up for next year is therefore made up of Fernando Alonso and the aforementioned Felipe Massa.?

Massa will remain with Ferrari for a seventh season. He joined them from Sauber in 2006 to partner Michael Schumacher.

In 2008 Massa finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton in the drivers? championship, winning six races.

But he missed half of the season in 2009 after suffering head injuries during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix. He has not won a race since returning in 2010, when Fernando Alonso joined Ferrari as his team mate.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo recently denied claims Sebastian Vettel would join the team in 2014, saying: ?I don?t want to have two roosters in the same henhouse.?

Source: F1 Fanatic

The 2013 grid as of today:

Scuderia Ferrari

Ferrari F2013 ? Ferrari 056

Team Principal: Stefano Domenicali ; Technical Director: Pat Fry

1. Fernando Alonso (contracted through '16)

2. Felipe Massa (another one-year deal)

Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Racing RB9 ? Renault RS27-2013

Team Principal: Christian Horner; Technical Director: Adrian Newey

3. Sebastian Vettel (on a long-term deal through '14, perhaps with options)

4. Mark Webber (another one-year deal)

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

McLaren MP4-28 ? Mercedes FO108Z1

Team Principal: Martin Whitmarsh ; Technical Director: Paddy Lowe, Neil Oatley

5. Jenson Button (contracted through '13 with option for '14)

6. Sergio Perez

Lotus F1 Team

Lotus E21 ? Renault RS27-2013

Team Principal: Eric Boullier ; Technical Director: James Allison

7. Kimi R?ikk?nen (contracted through '13)

8. Romain Grosjean (current driver; likely to stay on)

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Mercedes F1 W04 ? Mercedes FO108Z1

Team Principal: Ross Brawn ; Technical Director: Bob Bell

9. Nico Rosberg (on a multi-year deal beyond '13)

10. Lewis Hamilton

Sauber F1 Team

Sauber C32 ? Ferrari 056

Team Principal: Peter Sauber ; Technical Director: James Key

11. Nico H?lkenberg (will soon be confirmed)

12. Kamuit Kobayashi (current driver)

Williams

Williams FW35 ? Renault RS27-2013

Team Principal: Adam Parr ; Technical Director: Mike Coughlan

14. Pastor Maldonado (on a long-term deal through '14, perhaps with options)

15. Bruno Senna (current driver; not having as good a year as his team-mate)

Valtteri Bottas (test driver; allegedly being groomed for the seat)

Sahara Force India F1 Team

Force India VJM06 ? Mercedes FO108Z

Team Principal: Vijay Mallya ; Technical Director: Andrew Green

16. Paul Di Resta (current driver)

Jules Bianchi (test driver and Ferrari junior programme member; said by Mallya to be in the frame)

17. TBD

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Toro Rosso STR8 ? Ferrari 056

Team Principal: Franz Tost ; Technical Director: Giorgio Ascanelli

18. Daniel Ricciardo (current driver; likely to stay on)

19. Jean-?ric Vergne (current driver; likely to stay on)

Caterham F1 Team

Caterham CT02 ? Renault RS27-2013

Team Principal: Tony Fernandes ; Technical Director: Mike Gascoyne

20. Heikki Kovalainen (current driver; has stated that he wants to joing higher-ranking team for '13)

21. Vitaly Petrov (current driver; possibly on 2-year deal)

Marussia F1 Team

Marussia MR02 ? Cosworth CA2013

Team Principal: John Booth ; Technical Director: Pat Symonds

22. Timo Glock (contract through '14)

23. Charles Pic (current driver)

HRT F1 Team

HRT F113 ? Cosworth CA2013

Team Principal: Luis P?rez-Sala ; Technical Director: Jacky Eeckelaert

24. Pedro de la Rosa (contracted through '13)

25. Narain Karthikeyan (current driver)

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MightyJordan

Valtteri Bottas replaces Bruno Senna at Williams

Valtteri Bottas says he is ready to justify Williams's faith after taking Bruno Senna's seat for next season.

The Finn replaces Bruno Senna and will partner Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado, who drove for Williams in 2011-12.

Bottas, Williams's reserve driver in 2012, said: "I don't see any reason why I can't do well in Formula 1."

Founder and team principal Sir Frank Williams said Bottas was "one of the most talented young racing drivers we have ever come across".

Williams have picked Bottas after a string of impressive performances in many of the free practice sessions this year, when he often matched Maldonado's pace and rarely made mistakes.

Bottas, 23, said in an exclusive interview: "I think that was the key. Many times I was in the same pace as Pastor and sometimes even quicker.

"Sometimes, for sure, Pastor had the edge but that was to be expected - he has already two seasons in the car and knows the team as well. He's a really quick guy and I'm really happy I could match him sometimes.

"I think they have seen I am really quick, I am ready to work hard and to do everything I can to get a lot of points for the team.

"I know and the team has seen that there will be much more to come from my side as I get to drive the car more.

"It is not an easy job doing the Fridays. It is just one session, one set of tyres, job done. And there are always big gaps between the Fridays so it is not easy to keep the rhythm.

"The team has seen I can still improve a lot and we can do good results."

Bottas, who last raced when winning the GP3 feeder series in 2011, acknowledged that he was making a big step up next season.

"I know it won't be easy because you are competing against the very best in the world," he said.

"But once I get into the racing rhythm again I don't see any reason why I would struggle massively. I will keep improving all the time, that's for sure."

Williams said of Bottas that he expected "great things from him in the future".

And Bottas said he believed he could follow in the footsteps of countrymen Keke Rosberg, Mika Hakkinen and Kimi Raikkonen and win the world title in the future.

"I am here only for one reason. One day I want to be the world champion," he said.

"Everyone in Finland will be expecting me to be world champion one day because most of the Finnish drivers have been.

"But I am not going to take any pressure for that. I just think it is really cool that that is the way it is. For sure I will get a lot of support from Finland. It is my goal, too."

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+Frank B.

Infiniti Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Racing RB9 ? Renault RS27-2013

Team Principal: Christian Horner; Technical Director: Adrian Newey

1. Sebastian Vettel (on a long-term deal through '14, perhaps with options)

2. Mark Webber (another one-year deal)

Scuderia Ferrari

Ferrari F2013 ? Ferrari 056

Team Principal: Stefano Domenicali ; Technical Director: Pat Fry

3. Fernando Alonso (contracted through '16)

4. Felipe Massa (stays on for yet another season)

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

McLaren MP4-28 ? Mercedes FO108Z1

Team Principal: Martin Whitmarsh ; Technical Director: Paddy Lowe, Neil Oatley

5. Jenson Button (contracted through '13 with option for '14)

6. Sergio P?rez (on a multi-year contract)

Lotus F1 Team

Lotus E21 ? Renault RS27-2013

Team Principal: Eric Boullier ; Technical Director: James Allison

7. Kimi R?ikk?nen (contracted through '13)

8. Romain Grosjean (current driver; all but confirmed by Boullier prior to Korean GP)

Jer?me d'Ambrosio (current reserve driver; did one GP in Grosjean's place)

Rubens Barrichello (rumoured)

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Mercedes F1 W04 ? Mercedes FO108Z1

Team Principal: Ross Brawn ; Technical Director: Bob Bell

9. Nico Rosberg (on a multi-year deal beyond '13)

10. Lewis Hamilton (signed for '13-'15)

Sauber F1 Team

Sauber C32 ? Ferrari 056

Team Principal: Monisha Kaltenborn ; Chief Designer: Matt Morris

11. Nico H?lkenberg (confirmed)

12. Esteban Guti?rrez (confirmed)

Sahara Force India F1 Team

Force India VJM06 ? Mercedes FO108Z

Team Principal: Vijay Mallya ; Technical Director: Andrew Green

14. Paul Di Resta (current driver; has a long-term deal, according to Wikipedia)

15. Jaime Alguersuari (rumoured)

Jules Bianchi (test driver and Ferrari junior programme member; said by Mallya to be in the frame)

Adrian Sutil (rumoured; former driver)

Bruno Senna (rumoured)

S?bastien Buemi (rumoured)

Kamui Kobayashi (rumoured)

Vitaly Petrov (rumoured)

Williams F1 Team

Williams FW35 ? Renault RS27-2013

Team Principal: Frank Williams ; Technical Director: Mike Coughlan

16. Pastor Maldonado (on a long-term deal through '14, perhaps with options)

17. Valtteri Bottas

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Toro Rosso STR8 ? Ferrari 056

Team Principal: Franz Tost ; Technical Director: James Key

18. Daniel Ricciardo (confirmed)

19. Jean-?ric Vergne (confirmed)

Caterham F1 Team

Caterham CT02 ? Renault RS27-2013

Team Principal: Cyril Abiteboul ; Technical Director: Mark Smith

20. Heikki Kovalainen (current driver; has stated that he wants to joing higher-ranking team for '13)

Giedo van der Garde (Caterham GP2 driver, said to have an F1 deal based on GP2 performance)

Vitaly Petrov (current driver; possibly on 2-year deal)

Jaime Alguersuari (rumoured)

S?bastien Buemi (rumoured)

21. Charles Pic (confirmed; long-term deal)

Marussia F1 Team

Marussia MR02 ? Cosworth CA2013

Team Principal: John Booth ; Technical Director: Pat Symonds

22. Timo Glock (contract through '14)

23. Max Chilton (current reserve driver, finished 4th in 2012 GP2 series)

HRT F1 Team (team is up for sale; rumour has it that they're closing shop)

HRT F113 ? Cosworth CA2013

Team Principal: Luis P?rez-Sala ; Technical Director: Toni Cuquerella

24. Pedro de la Rosa (contracted through '13)

25. Narain Karthikeyan (current driver)

Dani Clos (rumoured)

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Chasethebase

I would place odds on d'Ambrosio and Sutil not getting their rumoured seats, due to the fact that the former performed badly in his one race at Monza, while the latter will have issues with attending numerous races on the calendar.

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Guth

I thought Raikonnen was out in 13?

He said in pre-race interview at Brazil that this was probably his last race? Unless I'm confused?

13 should be good, lets hope its even better than 2012 was (12 was the best F1 season in years IMO)

edit: I'm also sad to see Senna out. Think he has promise but I do understand why he is out, he certainly did not deliver this year

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MightyJordan
Kamui Kobayashi has received almost ?1m in donations from fans as he tries to raise funds to stay on the Formula One grid.

Kobayashi launched the Kamui Support website after Sauber confirmed Esteban Gutierrez would join the team for 2013, leaving no place for Kobayashi at the team.

Gutierrez brings backing from Mexican telecommunications giant Telmex. Sauber had already appointed Nico Hulkenberg for next season following Sergio Perez?s move to McLaren.

As of today Kobayashi has raised ?127,863,961 (?967,000) via the website.

Lotus, Force India, Caterham and Marussia potentially have vacancies in their 2013 driver line-ups, as do HRT, though there are serious doubts over whether they will continue in F1 next year.

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Daedroth

HRT absent from 2013 FIA entry list

HRT have not been included in the official FIA 2013 team entry list. With the team still struggling to find a buyer, and the deadline for teams to pay their entry fee for the 2013 season passing on Friday, it looks almost certain that there will only be 22 drivers for 11 teams in the 2013 seasons.

Source: http://www.formula1....2/12/14143.html

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MightyJordan

HRT absent from 2013 FIA entry list

HRT have not been included in the official FIA 2013 team entry list. With the team still struggling to find a buyer, and the deadline for teams to pay their entry fee for the 2013 season passing on Friday, it looks almost certain that there will only be 22 drivers for 11 teams in the 2013 seasons.

Source: http://www.formula1....2/12/14143.html

Bye bye, HRT.

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