Introducing F1’s new drivers for 2013

2013 F1 season

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At least three rookie Formula One drivers will be on the grid at Melbourne on March 17th.

Valtteri Bottas will make his F1 race debut for Williams, Esteban Gutierrez will do the same for Sauber and Max Chilton likewise for Marussia.

F1 Fanatic’s biographies of all three drivers have just been published so have a look at the links below to find out more about the three latest additions to the roster of Formula One drivers.

Which one was given a special dispensation to race in Formula Three despite being too young? Who won two new racing series on his way to F1?

And which driver has a sponsor whose slogan is “The Joy of Welding”? If you don’t know already, you will do soon:

You can also show your support for the three new drivers through your F1 Fanatic account. To add them as drivers you support:

  • Log in and select Edit My Profile from the top-right menu
  • Select F1 Teams and Drivers
  • Make your selection then click "Save Changes"

Update: Since this article was published, two more new drivers for 2013 have been announced:

2013 F1 season

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Image © Marussia

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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37 comments on “Introducing F1’s new drivers for 2013”

  1. Probably worth mentioning while he wasn’t taking exams, Gutierrez was actually in Mexico when it was the 2011 Canadian Grand prix, Hence not being able to drive since you can’t warp to Canada from mexico in time for FP2.

    1. But why was he in Mexico in the first place? It’s not like Perez’s withdrawal was entirely unforeseeable…

      1. I wouldn’t know why, I guess Reserve drivers don’t always have to follow the team around all year.

      2. If I remember correctly BBC had reported back then that Esteban was back in Mexico for his exams in the Univercity.

      3. Sauber said he wasn’t ready and they brought Pedro’s seat just in case, so there was a back-up plan.

        1. Pedro was part of McLaren at the time and even did the practices in his McLaren uniform, so i don’t see that as a backup plan.

          1. @bosley A backup plan doesn’t need to be as incredibly thought out. They knew who to go to, and Pedro accepted. It’s as good a backup plan as anything else

  2. Maybe not the most exciting rookie driver line-up we have seen in Formula 1, but still nice to see (at least) three new faces. In my opinion, Valtteri Bottas is the most exciting addition to the 2013 grid. He has had an unusual path to his rookie seat, to say the least. In 2012 he already showed that he can match Maldonado’s pace, but I fear he might not be able to reach the top teams and show his potential.

    Esteban Gutièrrez has not had the 2012 season many had expected. Whether he underperformed or his teammate is simply talented, I don’t know. The Indian GP disaster of course is not representative for his abilities. He’s certainly going to have a tough time against Hülkenberg and I don’t think it’s realistic to expect him to outperform his teammate in his first year.

    Whether Max Chilton can make his mark in F1? He certainly needs to perform extraordinarily if he wants to move up the ladder, though that’s exactly what he hasn’t done in the past.

    1. Pic held his own against Timo, and got the reward – Caterham.

      Chilton has quite the challenge ahead. It’s not like the 2nd Marussia seat comes with a multi-year contract…

      1. I think Caterham was more impressed by Pic’s sponsorship than talent. There were far better choises available but they didn’t carry so much dough.

  3. I’m looking forward to Valterri Bottas’ début; Senna never really impressed me – he was consistent but never really shone, unlike Maldondo with that fanatstic Spanish GP win (it’s a shame he never managed to get back on the podium, on many occasions he was in a great possition to do so only to be robbed through his own crash-prone nature or reliability issues). I believe Bottas will be much more able to take the fight to Maldonado on raw pace after he aclimatises to competive F1 racing and hopefully Williams will have a car as good as last years so he has the chance to show his true speed (which is hopefully rather fast!).

    I reckon if Bottas can get within a row of Maldonado in qualifying in the first few rounds he’s doing a very good job.

  4. Alot of mentions of Calado in the bios, what has happened to him? Are we likely to see him in F1 any time?

    He seems nice guy in all the interviews I have seen, and seems to match most peoples pace. Is it the dreaded ‘S’ word holding him back?

    1. I noticed a lot of talk about him in the articles too, but chances are we’ll have to wait till, at the earliest, next year or even 2015 if we want to see him on the grid, it’s not like he has much sponsorship going for him.

    2. He was really impressive in GP2 in 2012 and he’s probably the title favourite heading into 2013. If he wins it he could get an F1 seat I should hope.

      1. @enigma
        Given his track record so far, if he wins GP2 next year I can’t see him not getting a seat in 2014, sponsorship or not.

  5. I’m impressed with the driver line-up of 2013. We’ve got 5 world champions in the top 5 teams, all paired with very capable drivers, and we’ve got very talented youngsters in the midfield. HRT leaving adds to the quality of the field, and if Bianchi and Kovalainen get the remaining two seats, we’ll have a brilliant line-up. No old drivers and pretty much no pay drivers, but instead majority of the field being proven race winners or good enough to be considered possible future champions.

    Might well be as close to a grid of 22 best drivers in the world as F1’s ever gotten.

    1. Giedo van Der Garde is the hot favourite to win the 2nd seat at Caterham, so it looks like its going to be no Bruno Senna, Vitaly Petrov or Hekki Kovalanein for this years F1

    2. I agree with everything you said. 2013 easily has the strongest drivers grid since I start watching F1 back in 2001.

    3. @william Petrov is now rumored to be the favorite for the 2nd Caterham seat – a rich reward for getting them 10th in last year’s WCC.

      @enigma Yes, I’m very impressed with this year’s grid. I’m a bit disappointed that Kamui is no longer on the grid, but Esteban is no no-hope driver either.

      @kingshark But does 2013 have a stronger driver lineup than 2001? I’m not so sure. You had Schumacher and Barrichello at Ferrari, Hakkinen and Coulthard at McLaren, Montoya and Ralf at Williams, Raikkonen at Sauber, Frentzen and Trulli at Jordan, Villeneuve and Panis at BAR, Fisichella and Button at Benetton, Irvine at Jaguar, Alesi at Prost, Verstappen at Arrows, and Alonso at Minardi. When you look at that list, only Jos didn’t win a GP in his F1 career, and 6 of them were or would become world champions.

  6. I actually think that Gutierrez and Chilton are too inexperienced to drive in Formula 1 this year. I don’t understand why you need to give a seat for an “upcoming driver” so quickly. The average age of a Formula 1 driver now must be the lowest it has ever been. Have them racing in the slower classes for a bit longer so that there will not be the same pressure on the current drivers to perform fresh out of the box

    1. @dam00r – put simply, it’s money driven. The rookies you have stated were signed partially because of their financial backing, with full emphasis not put on experience or indeed talent. Not to say they won’t be quick, as they probably will, but I don’t expect Gutierrez to be a worthy replacement for Perez (since technically Hulkenberg is the replacement for Kobayashi which I believe to be the correct decision).

      1. Yes, regarding F1 preparedness, I’m a bit worried about Gutierrez — and it sounds like even Gutierrez is a bit worried about Gutierrez! (I don’t know very much about Chilton.)

    2. we will have to adopt a wait and see attitude with the rookies, but it worries me that all these rookies are to inexperienced to be on the grid, in 2012 we saw that grosjean had a lot to prove and did his reputation no good by being most likely to crash into someone…at least bottas has had a good chuck of friday practice experience

      1. Vergne, Pic, Ricciardo did fine not all have to crash, 2011 was hamilton year crashing is not age prone..

        1. BTW below maldonado was schumaher with grosjean on best 2012 crashers

  7. I’m not sure at all how any of these rookies will do. Bottas has effectively had a year off from racing, Gutierrez was disappointing in GP2 last year and Chilton had only just started to show something good of himself in last year. I guess my expectations for the rookie class of 2013 are lower than my expectations of the rookie drivers in previous years.

  8. I always like following Finish drivers, dating back to the days of Keke Rosberg, they have a finesse in a car that other nationalities can’t seem to capture, of course with the odd exception throughout the years. I’m jumping on board the Bottas bandwagon.

    1. The funny thing is, Bottas out-performed Senna as a test driver for the team.
      And Mika Häkkinen out-performed Ayrton Senna as a test driver for McLaren. (driving in his car).

      1. @dam00r I don’t recall Hakkinen vs A. Senna testing times, in Australia, at that time, I was lucky to see the race live, let alone get information about testing/practise/qualy times ;)

        However, if you’re right, that wouldn’t suggest too much, because everyone knows that Ayrton’s passion/obsession was winning races, and he always brought a little more to his pace in a race, through gritted determination he just pushed. Where as Hakkinen was all about consistency, and logical breakdown of problems.

        1. I better say that I acknowledge A. Senna was an expert Qualifier, I’m not trying to suggest he was bad at qualifying ;)

        2. This was in 93, when Senna drove with Andretti for McLaren. Mika Häkkinen was a third driver for them, when suddenly Andretti left McLaren, Häkkinen jumped in for him in the Portugal Grand Prix (I think) and immediately out-qualified Senna, Häkkinens first ever qualifying for McLaren.

    2. To finish first,first you must (be) Finish.

      1. If you want to win, hire a Finn.

    1. @dansus No. It’s BOTTAS. :D

  9. I’m not very excited about the rookies this year. The only one who I think will be around at the end of the season on merit is Bottas, who I think will give Maldonado a good run for his money. Gutierrez’s Telmex cash should be enough to get him a couple of seasons in F1 regardless of how he fares against the impressive Hulkenberg. I’ve not really paid much attention to Chilton, I know he started to come good a bit last season but that second Marussia seat hasn’t exactly been a secure one.

  10. Marko never amounted to much of anything in F1 and from that low posture he’s passing judgement on fast drivers like Mark Webber. Marko really seems to like the Gernan boys – case in point, has anybody seen any file footage photos of Marko with his arm around Mark Webber? Red Bull racing doesn’t need any fluffed up amateurs splitting the F1 driver pool right down the middle in public. Marko should either be sent packing or at least told by RB management to keep his pie-hole closed. If Marko, who is not the measure of either one of the two drivers, has anything derogatory to say about Webber in the grossly inept manner in which he presents his comments, he should be saying it in private to Webber and see where that gets him. The last thing RBR needs is a public back-stabber. Stick Marko in the car and let’s see his lap times. RBR needs to replace Marko with a retired top level driver who at least has some street credentials.

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