Most will concede that over the past few years, Red Bull has been the car to beat in Formula One (F1). Add to that the fact that the very talented three-time world champion Sebastian Vettel drives a Red Bull car and the team from beautiful Milton Keynes has become dominant. But is team principal Christian Horner and the rest of the Red Bull group favorites to to win the Constructors’ (manufacturers) title in 2013?
Either Vettel or the car is very good – or maybe both? Regardless, this season deems to be a close battle between multiple manufacturers. Red Bull has Vettel and veteran driver Mark Webber back for another year. Ferrari has the remarkable Fernando Alonso back along with Felipe Massa who is in his eighth season at Scuderia. McLaren has had quality issues or they might have been able to contend for a championship. Lotus has shown a penchant for improving and look stronger than ever. Mercedes added former champion and McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton to their stable, so does Hamilton know something we don’t?
Let’s take a look at these top five teams and where they might eventually finish in the Constructors’ championship.
5. Mercedes – The short answer to whether Lewis Hamilton can make a big difference at Mercedes is no. There are some who think Brackley-based Mercedes will be stronger this year and with the addition of Hamilton, they could actually be vying for multiple wins and a championship … but not from this particular reviewer’s perspective. Nico Rosberg, who last year garnered Mercedes’ first victory since the mid 20th Century, coupled with Hamilton will make for an excellent tandem. And yes, in testing, the two cars have been fast on short runs. However, that won’t be fast enough under race conditions to make a charge at the championship.
4. Lotus / Renault – They came on strong last year and their performance was somewhat surprising. There is little separating all the top teams so it might come down to which driver can get the most out of the car. Kimi Raikkonen will lead the Enstone-based team again and with Romain Grosjean having shown promise – when he wasn’t crashing last season – Lotus could give the Constructors battle a run. Keep an eye on Lotus’ funding because they are without a prime sponsorship (source: F1Zone) and the company as a whole has been cutting back.
3. McLaren / Mercedes – If you ask a McLaren fan, they’ll tell you that hands-down they will win the championship. Jenson Button is back so those fans might be right; however, with Hamilton having left and the young Sergio Perez in his place, a manufacturer’s championship is a bit of a stretch for the fellows from Woking. Is the Mercedes powerplant in question at McLaren? It’s not publicly known but the rumors of Honda coming back to the sport in 2015 and joining forces with McLaren have some wondering.
2. Red Bull / Renault – Is the championship team sandbagging? They haven’t sounded confident recently and their testing results aren’t exactly screaming good news. Veteran driver Mark Webber says he isn’t retiring but certainly at 37, he’s not young for F1. Of course, Vettel is back for a fourth championship in-a-row but he doesn’t sound convinced about his Red Bull equipment saying he was “disappointed”. (source: Yahoo! EuroSport) It appears the championship streak will end with a new champion in …
1. Ferrari – The folks at Maranello haven’t won the championship since back-to-back titles in 2007 and ’08. 2013 will be their year partly because they look to have better equipment than last season. The team has two-time former champion Alonso back along with Felipe Massa who seems to be finally getting his confidence back after a horrendous accident over three years ago. Alonso has warned his competitors, saying he’ll be better than last year which is saying something and that warning may be all you need to know regarding who will be the Constructors’ champion.