The 2013 F1 season: What we know so far

2013 F1 season

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There is more uncertainty than usual surrounding the upcoming 2013 Formula One season.

As the new year begins the calendar has not yet been confirmed and the teams are yet to agree terms for the latest Concorde Agreement.

But with the first car launch set for the end of the month the clock is ticking to the start of the new season. Here’s what we know so far about what we’ll see in 2013.


Tests and car launches

The total number of ordinary testing days has fallen from 15 to 12. There will only be three pre-season tests and no in-season tests such as the one that was held at Mugello last year.

The young drivers’ test is expected to return to being a single event for all the teams instead of the three separate tests that were run last year at different venues during the season.

Two car launches have been confirmed so far: the McLaren MP4-28 (31st January) and Force India’s new car (1st February). Sauber have indicated their C32 will appear at the beginning of the first test on February 5th. Expect the remaining launches to be announced fairly soon.


Unusually, the race calendar for the new season has not been completed in time for the new year.

The 2013 F1 calendar is set to include 20 races but the host of the tenth round, set for July 19th-21st, is yet to be confirmed. As that race is scheduled for one week before the Hungarian Grand Prix, it will have to be within a reasonable distance of the Hungaroring. If no venue is found for this Grand Prix the calendar will feature 19 races instead of last year’s 20.

It is the Nurburgring’s turn to host the German Grand Prix, set for on July 5-7th, but it remains to be seen whether it will given its recent financial problems. The Hockenheimring, which it shares the race with, may step in.

There is no race scheduled at the Valencia Street Circuit which is supposed to be entering a race-share arrangement for the Spanish Grand Prix with the Circuit de Catalunya.

The Jersey Grand Prix, which was supposed to happen for the first time this year, has been postponed to 2014.

Dates for your diary

Find more information on next year’s race below and get all the car launches, test dates and F1 session times on your mobile using the F1 Fanatic Calendar for Google. These will be updated as more information becomes available.

Driver and team line-ups

HRT have disappeared from the entry list for 2012 leaving just 22 cars, down from 24. This also means six cars will be eliminated instead of seven in Q1 and likewise in Q2.

Driver moves

New faces for 2013

Three seats left

There are three seats yet to be officially confirmed for 2013. These are the two Force India seats and the second place at Caterham.

Paul di Resta is expected to remain at Force India. But it may be a while before we learn the identity of his team mate:

Sauber have also confirmed Formula Renault 3.5 champion Robin Frijns will be their new test and reserve driver:

Television coverage

For those in the UK only half the races will be available live on free-to-air television. Here are details of the races the BBC will show live – the rest will only be on Sky:

Italy will adopt a similar broadcasting model to the UK this year with half of the races only live on Sky Italia.

In America, Speed’s 17-year F1 coverage has come to an end and NBC Sports will take over the F1 broadcast as of this year.

Rules and cars

The technical rules for 2013 remain largely unchanged from last year.

One of the most significant changes is that drivers will no longer have free use of DRS during practice and qualifying. This is partly at the request of the drivers, many of whom warned that allowing DRS to be used everywhere posed a safety risk.

As a result drivers may now only use DRS in the designated zones at all times. Most tracks had only one zone last year, but teams are keen to see that rise to two.

A change in the technical rules will prevent drivers from creating ‘Double DRS’ devices of the type pioneered by Mercedes, who used a series of ducts within their car to stall the front wing as well as the rear when DRS was in use. However teams may still use stall parts of their wings without using DRS, as Lotus tried to do with their rear wing.

Teams will also have the option of adding ‘modesty panels’ to their cars to cover up the unattractive stepped noses that appeared on most designs in 2012. There will be tougher tests of front wing flexibility and more demanding crash tests too.

With HRT leaving and Marussia intending to use KERS on their car for the first time, this is set to be the first season where the entire field has KERS. Marussia will also be the only Cosworth-powered team.

A major rules change is coming for 2014 with the introduction of a new engine formula. How teams manage their 2013 race programmes while ensuring they do not fall behind on development for 2014 is likely to be a major theme of the coming season.

More information on the forthcoming rules changes here:


The tyre rules remain largely unchanged. However Pirelli have confirmed their 2013 rubber will be heavier this year, and the FIA has increased the minimum weight limit by 2kg accordingly and tweaked the weight distribution rules to reflect the change.

This is the last year of Pirelli’s three-year deal to be F1’s exclusive tyre supplier. They have indicated they would like to continue for 2014 and beyond.

Off the track

Concorde Agreement

Late last season the FIA said it expected a new Concorde Agreement for 2013-2020 would be signed by the end of October.

But the document, which governs how the sport is run, does still not have the agreement of all the parties. Bernie Ecclestone said yesterday “we should be able to reach agreement soon”.

It is not unusual for negotiations between the teams, the commercial rights holder (CVC and Bernie Ecclestone) and the FIA to overrun. Particularly when the issues at stake are key matters such as how revenue is divided among the teams and how decisions concerning the future of the sport are made.

But the lack of an agreement is a concern and in recent weeks there have been rumours some teams might complain to the European Union about the new terms being offered.


The subject of the Bahrain Grand Prix has been an open sore for Formula One in the last two years. The 2011 race was cancelled and the 2012 race went ahead amid protests.

The event is on the calendar again and the situation in the country seems not to have improved in the months since the last race was held.

Over to you

What do you expect from the 2013 season?

Will we have 20 races again? Who will get the remaining seats on the grid? Have your say in the comments.

2013 F1 season

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Image © McLaren/Hoch Zwei, Red Bull/Getty images, Force India, Jamey Price/F1 Fanatic, Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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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111 comments on “The 2013 F1 season: What we know so far”

  1. Any clues on Dutch TV coverage, Keith? There were reports that Sport 1 — a subscribtion channel a la Sky — acquired the rights, with RTL only broadcasting free-to-air, either on delay or recaps.

    1. Oh, never mind, I found the clearest statement regarding this, just now. :-)

      1. @lustigson What did you hear? Just curious to know where Olav Mol will end up (if he even continues commentary).

        1. Check out the 2013 F1 season lemma on the Dutch Wikipedia. Apparently Veronica (part of SBS) made a deal with Sport 1 to broadcast delayed/recaps of most Grands Prix, with Canada, USA and Brazil live at prime time.

    2. I’m Portuguese and moved to The Netherlands in December 2010 and it seems that paying for F1 is chasing me. F1 is on paid channel in Portugal for some years now and I was happy in 2011 that I could follow F1 on BBC. Then BBC only got half last year so I needed to watch the remaining in RTL 7 (without understanding the commentary but fine with me).
      Now it moves to Sport.1 (paid)!

      The Dutch wiki references this article from GPUpdate ( It is confirmed 3 races live on Veronica but it mentions it is not yet decided if all other races will be only available in Sport.1 or a similar deal to the Sky one wiill be in place for next year.

      What I am curious is to know what the TV providers (UPC, KPN, etc) will do regarding BBC and RTL (german channel) when they are transmitting a race live that is also on Sport.1. In Portugal they cut the signal for these channels, because another channel has the exclusive rights, but I’m not sure if this will be done here as well.
      Well, I can always go back to using internet live feeds to see the grand-prixs…

      1. Better get used to it, Bernie has shares in FOM/CVC and wants to maximise the revenue to FOM even, or especially, if it reduces the revenue the teams can make independently through sponsorship/advertising.

      2. I got the cheapest satellite package from Canal Digitaal ~4 euro per month. (I think it’s unavailable for new subscribers)
        Keeping my fingers crossed that they won’t block RTL germany.

        1. davidnotcoulthard
          4th January 2013, 13:22

          Just as I thought that things aren’t going to get any worse in Indonesia- They came up with a free-to-air F1 show that can also be streamed from the Internet…. Just as I thought thing were better in the Netherlands…..

  2. I still don’t think they should go to Bahrain but hey what burnie says seems to be the law.
    I do hope Senna gets a seat because even though he didn’t do as well as we expected I don’t think he deserves to lose a seat.
    20 races simply isn’t going to happen unless valencia take it’s place.
    I get the feeling this season is going to be full of surprises and firsts for some teams and drivers. will it be better than last year I don’t know but it will be close and as a fan I expect Lotus doing better than last year.

    1. Regarding Bahrain, I wonder whatever happened to the principle of keeping sports and politics apart. I don’t see how the situation would even change to better if Bahrain GP was to be cancelled; the curtain separating the country’s real state of human rights from the awareness of other world would thicken if anything.

      Instead, organizing an sports event that gets global recognition could actually motivate the government to changes. Even if the effect would be only momentary, there’s is the slim chance.

      1. @tmekt

        I wonder whatever happened to the principle of keeping sports and politics apart

        What “principle”? You’re referring to a knee-jerk whinge from those who try to ignore politics for their own convenience. Sport and politics cannot be separated, at least not at this level.

        1. If you had actually tried to thoroughly comprehend my post you might’ve noticed that wasn’t the point I was trying to make

          1. @tmekt Of course I read your whole comment. If you don’t want people replying to red herrings then don’t write them.

            As for your ‘real’ point, I think the idea that giving the Bahrain government a race acts as an inducement for them to change is flawed. Clearly there is no incentive for improvement because they are already being given what they want, which is the prestige and international recognition of holding a Grand Prix.

          2. @keithcollantine

            Is it too much to ask that people would reply to a post as a whole and not bash it based on one sentence?

            I don’t think whether they’ll have an F1 race in Bahrain this year will make any substantial difference to any direction.

            If real change is wanted, stronger actions need to be taken. Of course, boycotting the country through globally insignificant sporting event can be part of it in future but pondering bits and pieces won’t change the big picture now.

          3. @tmekt If you insist you did not mean the sentence you began your initial comment with to be taken at face value then of course I accept that. But I’m sure you can appreciate that as it’s what you started your comment with it seemed to me your argument was “sport and politics should be kept separate and here’s why”. Indeed if that wasn’t your point the first sentence serves no purpose (hence “red herring”). Let’s leave it at that.

        2. Keith, maybe you’re biting too hard into the wording of that sentence. Comparing arguments about funding for F1 races with an oppressive regime because they are both “politics” is borderline crazy.

          The sport should not be used to make political statements. We should not go there because we disagree with their politics is convenience as well. So is complaining about F1, while not doing much else about the situation. As @tmekt has said, bigger actions have to be taken. And that’s not F1s responsibility.

          Besides that, if you think after all the hoopla that has been made about the Bahrain GP, that they actually received any sort of positive recognition or prestige for holding the GP, you must have been ignoring your own articles as well as everyone elses.

      2. Nice in principle, but the key problem in 2012 was that the government politicised F1 themselves by promoting the ‘UNIF1ED’ campaign… so your idea of organising a sports event there doesn’t keep sports and politics apart at all – if anything it just makes things worse.

        1. And not organizing it doesn’t do any good either. THAT’s what really is turning an blind eye to the situation – literally.

          1. Yeah your right they have to go to Bahrain after going last year but I still feel they shouldn’t have gone in the first place but whats done is done.

          2. I think not going there would have done more good in my opinion. It would have highlighted the problem and also wouldn’t have given a platform for the UNF1ED campaign, which was a blatant abuse of the FIA own regulations (of course they conveniently chose to forget them).

            By not going there, it doesn’t mean turning a blind eye to the situation at all.

          3. If they hadn’t had the race we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

          4. And what good does this discussion do, exactly? The best way to put pressure on the Bahraini monarchy is to deprive them of their toys.

          5. @george – or of course use their toys against them.

          6. @vettel1

            Going to Bahrain means we support what they do.

            Not going means we object.

            There is no third option.

          7. @john-h

            That UNIF1ED campaign worked out great, hasn’t it? Everybody seems to have forgotten about the oppressive regime in Bahrain. Or maybe they haven’t, because F1 set the spotlight on the country again, which vanished from the tabloids for the rest of the year.

          8. @mike – what is was meaning is if some journalists backtrack on any agreement not to give the people a voice and interview locals – millions upon millions would be watching and so the world would be able to hear their pleas.

            Of course that would never happen though so rightly so I agree the Bahrain GP should be boycotted and I think the FIA should make a statement as to why, so the world can hear that F1 doesn’t support such oppressive regimes (unlike what UNIF1ED gave the impression of).

  3. My main hope is that we will have a competitive field, exciting races and a close battle for the championship. I hope that Mercedes and Lotus drivers will be able to fight for the title and that midfield teams will score victories or at least podiums. I would also be happy to see Caterham and Marussia join the midfield and score some points.

    I still hope that Kovalainen and Sutil will get both remaining seats even if their chances don’t look too good at the moment.

    I hope that we will see some new car designs and new liveries this year.

    I hope that Pirelli will have produced tricky tyres again that will lead to diversified pit stop strategies and occasionally improve outsiders’ chances of winning races. I also hope that potentially good wheel-to-wheel battles won’t be destroyed by too effective DRS zones.

    I hope that there will be a healthy discussion before the Bahrain Grand Prix about Formula One’s values and if and how they can be changed in the future.

  4. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    3rd January 2013, 10:17

    To be honest I’m not a fan of the new DRS rules. I respect that its been done in the best interests of the drivers safety.

    But think the drivers should be allowed to use the DRS freely, because it rewards teams who have worked harder to develop a better aero package (I.e. Redbull), which allows them to open the DRS where perhaps others cannot, which results in a better laptime. It’s also a matter of risk, putting it all on the line with a balls out lap with their DRS open in risky areas, makes for more entertaining viewing.

    The other ‘after effect’ of this new regulation is that the tracks are more likely to increase the number of DRS zones on tracks in a bid to make the qually laps less pathetically slower. Which is fine for qually, but ultimately for the race it will be bad (IMO), because a single DRS zone is enough.

    I don’t think we’ll see any record laps being broken this year unfortunately.

    On a positive note, I like the idea of the cover up of the stepped nose. :)

    1. I agree wholeheartedly. This new DRS rule has left me both bewildered and increased my loathing of it. It has been said that this rule change arose because the driver’s expressed a safety concern: frankly I strongly disagree with this. The driver chooses when he believes it is safe to open DRS and if he makes a misjudgement that is called driver error.

      One could draw comparisons between the throttle pedal and DRS: both are intended to increase the speed of the car and are controlled by the driver. The best drivers in the best cars can “open” these earlier, showing their skill and decreasing their lap time. Of course though, one does not express a safety concern over the unlimited use of the throttle pedal, so why DRS? Both can be equally dangerous if used excessively but that is part of driver skill, which is why they are sitting in the car in the first place – because they have a large amount of skill.

      I don’t like this trend for F1 cars getting slower each year: it seems like negative progress to me. F1 is supposed to be the highest tier in motorsport, with the fastest cars and the fastest drivers in the world but increasingly the cars are slowing down (usually by over a second per lap per year) and this new DRS rule is definetly not going to help matters. Perhaps it is an attempt by the FIA to close-up the field and “improve the show”?

      1. @vettel1 You don’t think that the drivers are the ones best placed to decide whether the unlimited use of DRS in practice created unacceptable risks? We all love to express our opinions about the sport, but if the drivers say that something is not acceptable safety wise, who are we to second guess them?

        1. @tdog – I suspect many of these drivers were the ones who pushed the boundaries too far, such as Kovalinen in practice in Singapore I believe. I feel this is a partial ploy to reduce the gaps between the front-runners and mid-fielders/back-markers in qualifying, as cars with a more stable platform will be able to open the DRS sooner.

          I understand the drivers are the best informed to make these decisions but as I’ve said it is after all their choices to when to open it; it’s not as if there is an inherent danger unlike with HRT’s brake failures for example. As I said, it’s rather more like the throttle pedal – which few would be silly enough to call dangerous. It is only dangerous when the driver makes an error.

          1. Think of the fact that DRS opening greatly dis-balances the car, up to the point where you are spinning and can’t do anything to stop it. Unlike throttle application which is a controlled movement with perceptible feedback (how the car reacts) all the time. They are not superhuman and they want to lower the chances of making an irrecoverable mistake by opening the DRS a faction too soon and ending up in the wall.

          2. A-Safieldin (@)
            3rd January 2013, 18:26

            I’m sorry everybody total thumbs up @vettel1 the drivers need to man up, this talk of dangerous DRS is total **. The DRS-throttle comparison is justifiable, the people who said it was dangerous are merely trying to cut the deficit to the big boys. I don’t recall Alonso or Vettel ever crashing because of this dangerous ticking time bomb called DRS. Thats just what F1 needs getting slower and slower.

          3. @a-safieldin

            The danger comes in when people try to push harder, then harder then even harder, pushing the limits of when it’s safe to use it. This is necessary to be competitive, it’s the nature of the sport.

            I don’t think putting drivers lives at risk is the right way to go, and DRS can do that, if used aggressively enough.

        2. @tdog, maybe it is the drivers opinion or maybe it’s just Bernie,( f’rinstance), the drivers are under contract to say what they are told to say.

      2. @MaxJacobson: “One could draw comparisons between the throttle pedal and DRS”
        With respect, I think that it’s a very bad comparison. A good driver has control and feel for the throttle pedal. DRS is an on/off switch.

        1. @tribaltalker – granted, the throttle pedal is variable and not a digital switch but the point was more so that both are fully within the drivers’ control and it is the driver that decides ultimately when to use it. Therefore, I’d put a DRS-related spin down to driver error – which isn’t an inherently dangerous safety risk.

          This isn’t like previous bannings for safety reasons, such as ground effects: that was firmly out-with the drivers’ control and was rightly banned as it was a highly dangerous practice. DRS however is a button which the driver operates and which closes automatically when the brakes are applied, which to me doesn’t sound like a highly dangerous recipe.

          I’m not defending DRS as I loathe it and would rather it be banned altogether but if that isn’t going to happen any time soon I’d rather the rules stay as they were, as DRS use in qualifying for me was one of it’s few upshots.

          1. I’d put a DRS-related spin down to driver error – which isn’t an inherently dangerous safety risk.

            I disagree with that, I don’t think increasing risk is the way to go. Especially as it’s not necessary. I see it as a risk as the drivers are encourage (by the nature of the sport) to use to more and more aggressively.

            Although I agree in that I think DRS isn’t needed anymore, F1 has evolved past the point where it was needed.

        2. Drop Valencia!
          3rd January 2013, 21:37

          There is no rule that says the DRS has to be on/off.

      3. I think part of the driver safety factor is the potential danger of the DRS system breaking down and getting stuck in the open/on position as has happened several times, for example I think it happened to Michael Schumacher in Canada in 2012. What if this was to happen during entry into a dangerous corner? That could be a life threatening scenario. It has nothing to do with driver skill but with reliability of the DRS system and reliability is never perfect.

    2. Max, totally agree with you about DRS (if we must have it at all) but have reservations about complaining about higher lap times, it is the excessive use of aerodynamics to glue the car to the road which created such lap times, unfortunately only cars in clear air gain maximum benefit from the aero-package and this is what creates processional races, reducing the effectiveness of aero will make for slower laps but will create better racing without the need for gimmicks like DRS

      1. @hohum – I agree about the aerodynamics part and persoanlly I’d like to see more emphasis placed on engine development. A simple solution to the “dirty air” problem I have always thought would be to reintroduce ground effects (although much more closely regulated than those of the 80’s, as they were inherently dangerous as I have stated above) and regulate wing use. After all, with ground effects perhaps front wings may not even be necessary, which would also solve the problem of lost front wings/punctures.

        @mjf1 That is an issue but one which is infrequent and no more dangerous in my mind than brake failure. After all, the problem wouldn’t be the DRS opening suddenly but not re-attaching, which would be a problem only in braking (where it would be noticed and the driver would probably take to run-off areas which border almost every corner.

        As far as I’m aware, the safety concern expressed was the back end stepping out on corner exit, causing a spin. As I’ve repeated before, that is caused by premature activation a.k.a driver error. Where it is safe to operate DRS should have been known to the drivers from practice and if they see it necessary to take an unknown risk in qualifying ultimately that is the driver’s decision (such as Vettel’s decision to have the DRS open through 130R).

        Personally I like to see drivers gambling as it adds to the excitement of viewing; all I think this new rule will achieve is reducing the spectacle of a driver extracting the maximum out of the lap so I would rather see DRS banned altogether.

    3. @a-safieldin Exactly! I to don’t recall Alonso or Vettel ever crashing/spinning due to premature DRS activation (at least in qualifying anyway) which just serves to prove that they are great drivers, +1!

  5. How do these “modesty panels” work?

    1. My mental image is a cardboard box draped over the step.

    2. I’d like to know how it would have no influence on the aero?

      1. @infy I would think it would smooth the airflow over the nose but I doubt it will make a massive difference aerodynamically, which is perhaps what is meant by “no influence” – the difference is so minor that it is almost irrelevant. Besides, some teams may possibly choose to follow Red Bull’s lead and utilise the step for “driver cooling”!

        1. the difference is minor, unless your name is Newey that is ;)

    3. I imagine it’ll be a panel to smooth out the drastic step. Although I believe they are optional, so perhaps Red Bull (with their nose duct) may opt not to use it? It’ll be interesting to see who adopt the change (I for one hope the majority of the field do as some of the steps were incredibly unsightly, namely Mercedes’ step).

    4. Simply, a bit of Carbon Fibre attached to the nose but which isn’t an integral part (i.e. not part of the chassis, merely an attachment).

    5. A-Safieldin (@)
      3rd January 2013, 18:39

      @mike Apparently as max said its not integral to the nose assembly, that is, the nose is lowered for safety reasons so as not to go over the side pods in a T-bone accident. The modesty panel will be made of something weak and will essentially disconnect or flick off during an accident and will therefore not cause any damage to the occupants of the car Grosjean or Maldonado. Here’s a good summary of the 2013 technical rules if you like:

      1. A-Safieldin (@)
        3rd January 2013, 18:40

        Grosjean or Maldonado hit.

      2. Thanks for the link @a-safieldin, I wasn’t fully aware of the 2014 nose changes so that has provided me with some much welcome information, and indeed for elaborating on my comment! Oh how much better the 2014 cars look (in drawings at least)!

  6. That’s a shame about the use of DRS in practice. I completely understand the need for the rule as it concerns safety, but I have tickets for the Waite stand at the Australian GP and was looking forward to watching the drivers get out of shape opening the DRS over the curbs and slippery astro turf on the exit of Turn 12..
    Oh well.

  7. With HRT gone for 2013 and no obvious imminent replacements, could we be looking at another team joining for 2014 – potentially spending the 2013 year developing for the upcoming rule changes?

    I’d like to see more teams and drivers on the grid, but is F1 now basically a closed shop for non-established privateers?

    1. Could you really call the new teams privateers? They weren’t expressly manufacturer-backed, but they definitely had relatively decent slabs of money propping them up.

  8. I really hope they open the rules a bit for 2014, allow for more engineering challenges and technological innovations. If the FIA want to keep the engine freeze (which probably is best), I think they should consider allowing multiple types of engines, each with different restrictions that would balance them out. Have some teams with a normally aspirated V8 and other with a turbo charged V6, or something to that effect.

    1. My guess is there will be a lot of engineering development allowed in 2014 on reliability and performance grounds, given the new formula, but afterwards it will be frozen.

      They aren’t going to allow disparate engine specifications, because it will just increase the costs on the engine manufacturers.

      1. @optimaximal, in fact the rules are so comprehensive that apart from bore spacing and bearing diameter the block design is virtually fixed, piston crowns and combustion chambers (in the heads) are about the only other variables.

    2. @blockwall2, read the regs, you will be sadly disappointed .

      1. @hohum I know its depressing. I am hoping for a sudden, miraculous change in the FIA’s mind.

  9. Ah Bahrain will be rearing it’s oh-so-ugly head again! What a joke.

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      3rd January 2013, 12:50

      Agreed! They shouldn’t be racing there. Not only is the racetrack boring as all get out, but it gives F1 a bad rep.

  10. I heard that Mercedes are having a film day at Jerez, the monday before testing starts so I wonder whether that will be the car launch day as well.

  11. I hope Pirelli can keep the teams guessing throughout 2013. At the start of last season it took all the teams a long time to properly understand the tires but by the end the degradation was almost nothing and teams were doing one stop races. Hopefully next season Pirelli can keep up the degradation without making the racing a lottery.

    1. Pirelli intentionally didn’t bring hokey tyres to the final few races because they didn’t want to get accused of trying to influence the championship with radical choices.

      They’ve since accepted that they were too conservative, although how the tyres were going to behave at Austin was anyones guess.

    2. @colossal-sqid, yes great idea, let’s cover the track with gum-balls to prevent any driver from going of-line to pass and let’s make sure no driver can run right on the tail of the driver ahead and pressure him into a mistake. No indeed, let’s get rid of old fashioned racing and have a tyre lottery instead.

      1. Hopefully next season Pirelli can keep up the degradation without making the racing a lottery.

        Did you even read my comment? Pirelli can keep the degradation at such a level that tactics for a race don’t devolve into constant one or two stoppers with everyone doing the same thing, as happened regularly in 2010. We’ve had a great year’s racing, look at Canada as a prime example of how exciting a race can be if there are different strategies, and these same strategies can help overtaking and wheel to wheel racing. So yes, I want more of that.

        1. I don’t believe you can have your cake and eat it too, @colossal-sqid.

    3. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
      3rd January 2013, 20:33

      What I think Pirelli need to do is increase the performance differential of their chosen tyre compounds for race weekends – for instance, instead of bringing a soft/medium tyre combination to a race, bring a soft/hard combination instead. That should give teams more options as to how they want to run their race, creating the variety of strategies that has worked so well to spice up the racing.

      1. what about all types of tyres being available? even more possibilities for different strategies.

  12. It would also be nice to see something done about the non-running in q3 to save tyres.

    1. and while you’re at it get rid of the fastestQ/racestart same compound rule. That one really is bad *sigh*.

      1. and get rid of the compulsory “use both compounds rule” and why shouldn’t the teams be allowed to run different compounds at the front and rear like they do in motoGP ?

    2. We at F1fanatic should overthrow the FIA and take charge of the sport, our rule-making decisions would be infinitely better than the FIA’s! What d’ya say @danbrown180, @hohum & @john-h?!

      1. I’ll give it a go, at least until the hatemail drives me out.

        1. @hohum – We can always put Keith in charge, I’m pretty sure he’ll be able to cope with it ;) Some of the ideas that come from this site just beg the question as to why it hasn’t already been done…

  13. Michael Brown (@)
    3rd January 2013, 14:33

    Bianchi will get one of the seats at Force India. The other seat will be close between Kovalainen, Senna, Petrov, and Di Resta of course.

    Senna will most likely get the Caterham seat, but I think Petrov is much better.

    I have doubts that the Nurburgring will actually happen, as much of an awesome track as it is.

    Bahrain shouldn’t happen. They should go to Dubai Autodrome, a much better track.

    1. Bianchi and Di Resta. Hmmm. Doesn’t get the heart rate going to be honest. Would love to see DJ Alguersuari in that spare seat instead, although it won’t happen of course.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        3rd January 2013, 18:01

        Agree. I’ve been a massive supporter of Alguersuari but I don’t think he’ll be in F1 anymore.

  14. Few words in and I’m already frowning.
    Amount of testing is getting ridiculously small. This is supposed to be a sport.

    Restrictions on this, restrictions on that, restrictions, restrictions, restrictions…

    1. Got to keep the show nice and cheap to maximise the investors return.

  15. Sauber now say the C32 will be launched on February 2nd at their headquarters:

    1. Ok, but will it be the real car or just a mock-up with a new paint job. (two-tone white?)

      1. @hohum Well like I say it’s the new car and it’s designated C32. But as usual expect it to be the new tub with the old aero.

        1. More likely the old tub with new aero. Part of the reason we saw all the ugly noses in 2012 was because teams were running the old tubs but had to comply with the new nose rules, hence the ugly step.

  16. Well there seems to be a pattern emerging over the last few seasons, going exciting season-boring season so by that logic 2013 could be the most boring season yet!!

    1. @colm – persoanlly I thought a lot of the races in 2011 were actually very exciting, if not the championship battle!

      1. @vettel1 – there were some good races but the title was won with four races to go

        1. @colm yes, which is why I said “if not the championship battle” ;) I didn’t mind so much obviously as a Vettel fan but if you happened to be a casual fan just watching F1 for the races it wasn’t all that bad (bar races such as the Indian GP for example).

          1. sorry i misunderstood what you said

          2. @colm – it’s okay, an easy mistake to make!

  17. petebaldwin (@)
    3rd January 2013, 15:42

    Personally, whilst I appreciate there is more to it than what meets the eye, I can’t understand why the Bahrain GP isn’t a good thing for the people of Bahrain.

    I haven’t heard anything about the problems in Bahrain on the UK news since the race last year. It’s not even hidden away in the papers – it’s simply not covered at all! Can anyone else confirm if it’s the same where you live? Have you heard much?

    If nothing else, the GP gets people talking about the country and the issues that are being faced by the people of Bahrain. It focusses the world on the country and it massively increases awareness of what is going on.

    I know global awareness doesn’t specifically help them but if I lived there, I’d want the world to know what is happening and whatever your view, F1 certainly gives the people of Bahrain a voice.

    1. The problem is though that F1 seems to be living in a fantasy world. They are almost supporting the current regime, with gimmicks such as the ridiculous “UNIF1ED” slogan of last year. Any pleas are silenced and commentators and reporters are strictly confined to reporting upon the racing and not the politics.

      What would be ideal is if F1 went back on any pre-arranged agreements to refrain form giving the people of Bahrain a voice and devoted time to interviewing locals, spreading the word on an awful regime to a global audience. I’m sure that’d create strong opposition to the government of Bahrain from a worldwide perspective, which I doubt the leaders would be able to downplay. That of course won’t happen though and it’d be a brave journalist to rebel against the government of a foreign nation on their turf.

  18. What do you think the chances are of Cosworth continuing after this year @keithcollantine ? Do you think we might lose them for good this time?

    1. @george, Cosworth are hardly likely to want to make a completely new engine just for 1 team, especially when there is absolutely no room for innovation or clever design to differentiate between the 2014 engines, the only way 1 engine will stand out in 2014 will be by self destructing.

      1. of course the electric gen/power is another animal entirely!

  19. I personally feel that some are taking the ban on drs during practice and qualy to a whole new pathetic level… Some talk about skill, and i say, what skill? anybody can press a button and have a boost in performance, not much skill needed there… you can always wait for the car to be partially straight and then press it… I feel that this ban is actually a good thing. It is leveling out the playing field even more. Now we will really see who is fast or who is slow. That is the best thing that is gonna come out of this! Now we will know who the top qualifiers really are. I suspect Webber, Kimi, Hamilton, SV and Alonso will all be up there and the best of all is that the gap will be even less! There will be no “sandbagging” this way and teams will have to show all their “arsenal” in every race! Much easier to know what the peckng order is!
    I for one am all for it!!!

    As for the 2013 season… I can´t wait… it is taking way too long!! I do have to say thank you to @keithcollantine for not resting and keeping us all well informed!

    1. Anybody can press a button and have a boost in performance

      When you put it that way indeed it sounds very simple @catracho504. Although when you add to the equation driving a highly strung machine, without much in the way of electronic aid, being subject to several g’s and with the pressure of putting in a fast lap, not to mention having to judge the correct time to deploy it and ensuring the back end doesn’t step out and it’s a rather different kettle of fish.

      I feel personally that the unlimited use in qualifying was one of DRS’s few perks – now that it has disappeared I’d rather it disappear altogether (hopefully in 2014 with the proposed new aerodynamic regulations) to allow for some proper racing.

    2. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
      3rd January 2013, 20:42

      I believe the skill in using DRS for qualifying lies in daring to use it along portions of track where others would not. Any driver can flick on the DRS within the designated zone, or indeed, any given straight. It takes a driver with precise car handling ability, a fair bit of courage, and I will admit, the right machinery, to use it in unconventional places, through corners like 130R, or down Spa’s high-speed Sector Three. In a way, it’s a test for both constructors and drivers – for the former, a test of their car’s aerodynamic performance, and for the latter, sheer nerve under pressure.

      As for how this rule change will affect the pecking order and our perception of it, I will reserve judgement until the first race of the season.

      1. @bobthevulcan I agree, I was pleased to see Vettel opening the DRS through 130R this year, which few (if any) other driver’s attempted. I also agree that of course pushing a button on a straight is not difficult – so why bother at all is my question really. I suppose though DRS will live on as long as it “improves the show”. Sigh.

      2. @vettel1

        I agree, I was pleased to see Vettel opening the DRS through 130R this year, which few (if any) other driver’s attempted

        Sorry Max but, opening the DRS on the 130R says nothing about Vettel…. it justs says that Newey built such a good aero package and that the rb8 had so much down force… that he could indeed use the DRS in that corner and not lose grip.
        If by your comment you meant to imply that SV was “braver” for opening it on that corner than all the rest…. I would have to disagree… if all had such a good aero package… i bet there are a lot of guys in the grid with the balls to do it… they just didn´t do it because they lacked balls…. they did not open it because their cars were not good enough for it plain and simple… Let´s see if SV would have opened it if he would have been driving an HRT!! would he have opened it?? I would bet my right nut he would not have done so…

        1. @catracho504 Ah yes but of course it is up to the drivers to push the limits as to how early they can open it on exit and through what corners, so there is an underlying skill involved in who pulls the trigger first. Granted, aerodynamics packages have a large influence in who can afford to open it the earliest but there definetly is an element of driver bravery involved – who dares push the boundaries.

          My comment was not only implying that Vettel was brave though, as of course he probably knew his car was capable of doing so in theory. It was more so I admire the spectacle of seeing who actually did it, which gives both an indictor of car performance and skill (for example, Maldonado flicked the DRS on for a millisecond just to get the car turned in and then opened the DRS again).

          1. @vettel1

            Okay… but, Max, you did not say anything about how brave SV would be in an HRT… would he have dared opening it in the 130R….
            You are failing to see my point… Like I said before… He opened it in the 130R because he knew how good his package was. That is all I´m saying. They are all brave men for going 300 km/h + with 23 (21 now) other guys in a racetrack. I just don´t think it´s fair to say one is braver than the rest for his performance in a specific corner when he has a car that drives on rails through corners. Even NK would have opened it in an RBR…. it´s just a simple fact sir. The RB8 was one of the “slowest” in top speed but because it had a lot of downforce… so it´s not a surprise that it can take that type of corner flat out with drs open. I respect your opinion but I feel it is very biased.

          2. @catracho504 – I just persoanlly feel this isn’t a change for safety reasons. I feel the true reason for this rule change is as you say to close up the field, which I don’t like. If a team has a superior aerodynamics package they should be able to use it. That is beside the point though; I’ve always felt one of DRS’s few perks was it’s unlimited use in practice sessions and now that is banned I think the FIA should just go one step further and ban it completely, as I’m sure you’ll agree it’s never exciting to see a driver breeze past under DRS.

          3. @vettel1

            I just persoanlly feel this isn’t a change for safety reasons. I feel the true reason for this rule change is as you say to close up the field, which I don’t like.

            Why? we should get more wheel to wheel racing because of all the top drivers being closer together on the grid start! How can that be bad??

            If a team has a superior aerodynamics package they should be able to use it. That is beside the point though; I’ve always felt one of DRS’s few perks was it’s unlimited use in practice sessions and now that is banned I think the FIA should just go one step further and ban it completely

            You are basically admitting that RBR´s advantage and reason for their results is indeed their aero package!
            I for one do not like the fact that DRS makes it all to easy to pass, yet it does add a bit more excitement and that is basically why you have KERS… to defend yourself from DRS… The one thing I see wrong is… there should only be 1 DRS zone in every race… if it improves passing, fine, if it doesn´t… tough….

            Oh and BTW…. you never did mention anything about if SV would open the DRS in an HRT through the 130R ! ;D

          4. You’re basically admitting that RBR’s advantage and reason for their results is indeed their aero package

            When did I ever deny that? Of course performance is intrinsically related these days to aerodynamics, that doesn’t however take away from Vettel’s driving ability if that is what you are implying.

            Of course the aero matters which is why an HRT will never be seen opening DRS through 130R but there is also an element of skill involved in being able to open it early and control the car: so to answer you’re question no Vettel wouldn’t be foolish enough to open DRS through 130R if he were in an HRT. That doesn’t then mean that the reverse is true and that NK would definitely open the DRS in an RB8 through 130R.

            It’s not that I don’t like the field closing up (as I do to an extent – although I believe that the FIA are trying to falsely induce a close field) it’s the fact that the FIA are claiming that the use of DRS in practice is being banned on safety grounds, when I don’t believe that is the main reason for it (as I have explained before it isn’t dangerous in the sense of ground effects for example). I also think that this rule change will bring the onset of multiple DRS zones to satisfy the teams, which I think will be to the detriment of wheel-to-wheel racing and instead just increase the volume of overtakes (I personally value quality over quantity).

          5. @vettel1

            so to answer you’re question no Vettel wouldn’t be foolish enough to open DRS through 130R if he were in an HRT

            I rest my case… by SV opening his drs on the 130R, doesn´t mean he is braver than all… he just has a superior aero package!

            the FIA are claiming that the use of DRS in practice is being banned on safety grounds, when I don’t believe that is the main reason for it

            Kimi the other day stated he was happy that the DRS was banne during practice and qualy…. seems the drivers had a big say in this. It would not be fair to blame it all on the FIA.

            I also think that this rule change will bring the onset of multiple DRS zones to satisfy the teams, which I think will be to the detriment of wheel-to-wheel racing and instead just increase the volume of overtakes (I personally value quality over quantity).

            I really hope that it doesn´t. I for one feel one zone is enough and I agree 100% with you about the quality over quantity. I wish F1 or FOM had a forum to where the fans could express their opinions and let them know about it!

  20. I really hope for an EU intervention regarding unequal terms in the contracts with the teams.

  21. I think with Cosworth only supplying and focusing on one team, we won’t see Marussia retiring becuase of engine problems. Formula 1 is all about consistency.

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