If one thing is certain in F1, it’s that you need a little fight about you. Whether that is between two team-mates, a driver and the guy in front/behind, or between two teams, everyone is (or should be) fighting for something.
With that in mind, here are some predictions for the fiercest 2013 spats.
Paul Di Resta vs. Sergio Pérez
What’s eating Paul Di Resta? You’d think he’s been chewing on one too many thistles by the way he sulks around the paddock. Since his appearance in 2011 I can’t remember once seeing him look cheerful or happy with his lot at Force India, which might explain his recent handbags with Sergio Pérez. According to the ever reliable Daily Mail, Paul spoke to McLaren about a move into the F1 elite before the Woking outfit opted for the young Mexican starlet instead, a move Di Resta thinks was motivated by Pesos.
“Unfortunately in this sport now there’s a little bit more to it. There’s a commercial side and money’s tight. Perez has some good backing.“
Looking to rubbish these *outrageous* rumours, Pérez responded through Twitter, claiming:
“The money you can buy a seat but never the results! Say x those who still doubt!Greetings and good night going very well!”
Yeah, you tell em’ Sergio…
It could be argued that Di Resta had a point, he was relatively even in terms of results with Sauber-bound Hülkenberg, and has that British connection that must surely have been a strong temptation to McLaren, as well as links with Mercedes. However Pérez was no slouch last year, and Paul’s end of season form, and perhaps his attitude, did him no favors. If the two find each other on the same bit of track, expect the Scot to be out to prove a point.
Fernando Alonso vs. Red Bull
I was going to call this point Fernando Alonso vs. Adrian Newey, but that didn’t seem fair on the Spaniard.. Alonso isn’t just fighting Newey, he’s also fighting Horner, Renault, Webber, Vettel and Ferrari’s inability to build a competitive car. Yes yes, I know Newey makes a big difference, and yes, it could be argued that Red Bull would be nothing without him, but Formula One isn’t a sport about individuals, it’s about the team effort. Although that didn’t stop Fernando saying the contrary
“When we had similar cars to everyone, we were leading the championship. Now we are fighting against a Newey car,”
The only exception to this, ironically enough, is Ferrari – where Fernando is the only man in the team that matters (ask Felipe). He almost single-handedly wrestled a pig of a car into the hunt for the world 2012 title, and despite some questionable tactics toward the end of last season, should be lauded for his gargantuan effort. With Newey and co claiming that last year’s title push has taken the wind out of the 2013 Red Bull’s sails, it will be interesting to see if Fernando will be able to extract his revenge.
Romain Grosjean vs. anyone in front of him (especially Mark Webber)
Yep, i’m going for the obvious one.
Grosjean’s startline antics attracted more than a little attention last season, partially due to unfortunate circumstance, but mostly due to him ploughing into the back/side of another car, in particular, Mark Webber, who kindly labelled the Ice Age look-alike as “an embarrassing first-lap nutcase”. Here’s hoping they are next to each other on the grid come Melbourne.
Nico Rosberg vs. Lewis Hamilton
Remember when Fernando Alonso won the world title for the second time with Renault? Remember him going to McLaren? Remember him getting routinely beaten by Lewis Hamilton? Well, Lewis could be in store for a similar treatment as he makes the trip from Woking to Brackley, where Nico Rosberg has been ensconced in Mercedes grey for the last 3 years.
Hamilton has driven for McLaren (or at least been helped by them) since he was 13. Now is the time for him to show the world what he is really made of,and what better way than pounding your team-mate (and close friend) into the dirt? On the other side of this particular coin, we have Nico, who has spent his last 3 years as Michael Schumacher’s motivation to retire for a second time. Will he have the edge to compete with a younger and more vibrant team-mate?
Pastor Maldonado vs. …well, everyone.
Pastor doesn’t always seem angry, but he does always have that little sparkle of insane in his eyes, something this particular Sett dweller loves.
Ayrton Senna once famously said;
“By being a racing driver means you are racing with other people. And if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver.”
I think Pastor may have read this as;
“By being a racing driver, other people are in the way. Make a gap, or you are not a racing driver”.
And fair play to him. He is, as a result of this attitude, very exciting. However he doesn’t make many friends, and although he managed to keep his nose clean toward the end of last year it’s not totally inconceivable for him to ruffle more than a few feathers come the start of the season.
What are your picks for 2013 grudge-matches in the making?