With Lewis Hamilton’s headline-grabbing move to Mercedes and an influx of five new drivers, the F1 field has had a shake-up this year.
Red Bull, Ferrari, Lotus and Toro Rosso head into the new season with unchanged driver line-ups, while three of their rivals have all-new squads.
But which team has the best blend of speed, consistency, technical ability and racecraft? Read more about the 22 drivers of 2013 below and vote for which team you think has the best driver line-up.
Red Bull Sebastian Vettel Three world championship titles and still only 25 years old. Superb in qualifying, he still makes mistakes but they’re getting rarer as he adds layers of experience to his daunting natural speed. Sebastian Vettel biography Mark Webber Capable of giving Vettel a hard time on his best days, but can blow hot and cold. Particularly effective on ‘proper’ tracks and fearless in wheel-to-wheel combat. Mark Webber biography Ferrari Fernando Alonso Two times a champion already and could have had more since. Consistent and seldom makes mistakes but doesn’t like pressure from team mates. Fernando Alonso biography Felipe Massa Was a championship contender before his nasty crash in 2009. Has been under the cosh from Alonso ever since but ended last year on a high. Felipe Massa biography McLaren Jenson Button Surprised many by holding his own against Hamilton at McLaren after taking an unlikely title win in 2009. A shrewd judge of mixed weather conditions but often misses that final tenth in qualifying. Jenson Button biography Sergio Perez Making the transition from scrappy insurgent to front-runner. Could be even better at eking out tyre life than Button, but had too many incidents at the end of last year. Sergio Perez biography Lotus Kimi Raikkonen Impressive comeback last year showed only a little race rustiness. Capable of winning another title even if he lacks that last one percent of commitment. Kimi Raikkonen biography Romain Grosjean Prone to errors of judgement, particularly on the first lap. Quick enough to trouble Raikkonen and justify a second season but needs to show a new maturity. Romain Grosjean biography Mercedes Nico Rosberg Defeated a past-his-prime Michael Schumacher and scored his first win last year. It’s hard to see him as a championship contender though the same might have been said of his title-winning father. Nico Rosberg Lewis Hamilton Possibly F1’s fastest driver. A gutsy racer, though more susceptible to mistakes than his fellow champions and occasionally gets lost on set-up. Lewis Hamilton biography Sauber Nico Hulkenberg His F1 development was disrupted by losing his Williams seat for reasons not related to his performance. Made rapid progress with Force India and is one to watch this year. Nico Hulkenberg biography Esteban Gutierrez His GP2 record suggests another Grosjean in the making – quick but careless. But he’s patiently racked up the miles in testing and understands the scale of the challenge awaiting him. Esteban Gutierrez biography Force India Paul di Resta Has been solid but unspectacular in his first two years of Formula One and is yet to out-score his team mate over a season, which needs to change this year. Paul di Resta biography Adrian Sutil Shook off his reputation for being crash-prone and had developed into a dependable midfield runner before being dropped at the end of 2011. Has something to prove on his comeback. Adrian Sutil biography Williams Pastor Maldonado A first-rate qualifier and capable of the kind of mature race performances that you might think were beyond the same driver who all too often loses his head when battling with a rival. Pastor Maldonado biography Valtteri Bottas This year’s potential Next Big Thing. Impressed Williams with his performances in practice last year off the back of a GP3 championship victory. Valtteri Bottas biography Toro Rosso Jean-Eric Vergne Out-scored his team mate last year but was weaker in qualifying and made some costly errors. Jean-Eric Vergne biography Daniel Ricciardo Showed flashes of promise in the uncooperative STR7 but like his team mate needs to stand out this year to remain part of the Red Bull programme. Daniel Ricciardo biography Caterham Charles Pic Made a name for himself last year by giving the more experienced Timo Glock a hard time, particularly in qualifying. Has a lot on his hands this year as de facto team leader at Caterham. Charles Pic biography Giedo van der Garde Has been on the periphery of F1 for years and would have made it in a long time ago if enthusiasm alone made it so. Caterham were pleased with his work with their fledgling GP2 squad in 2012. Giedo van der Garde biography Marussia Max Chilton F1 is a big step up for this well-funded driver who doesn’t have a championship victory from the junior categories on his CV. But Marussia’s problems have given him the opportunity to conduct extra testing. Max Chilton biography Jules Bianchi Has got more F1 experience than a typical new driver thanks to Ferrari’s patronage and practice runs for Force India. A solid qualifier but racecraft has been a weaker side to his game. Jules Bianchi biography Over to you
Which team has the best driver line-up for 2013? Cast your vote below and have your say in the comments.
Which team has the best driver line-up for 2013? Red Bull: Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber (27%) Ferrari: Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa (14%) McLaren: Jenson Button and Sergio Perez (5%) Lotus: Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean (12%) Mercedes: Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton (37%) Sauber: Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez (1%) Force India: Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil (1%) Williams: Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas (2%) Toro Rosso: Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo (0%) Caterham: Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde (0%) Marussia: Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi (1%)
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Find the updated driver line-up for 2013 including test and reserve drivers here:
2013 F1 season preview
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