Here is the second part of our writers’ 2013 season predictions. Let us know your thoughts and best guesses for this year in the comments below and catch the part of our predictions here.
6. Who will be top rookie?
Nico B – Bottas. The Williams looks a great car this season. I can see him and Maldonado having good years.
Eddie H – Bottas, Williams are due a good year and showed promise at times last season.
Craig N – Gutierrez. Got some big Mexican shoes to fill stepping into Perez’s old seat, but the Sauber looks a tidy package and he could ride that wave if the car turns out to be a surprise.
Emma B – Bottas. Williams look like they’ve made some very good progress over the winter, and Valtteri has a very good track record from his racing in the lower formulae. He has a lot of pressure on him to perform because of this though, which could get to him.
Rachel C – Bottas. Good car, good team, good racing experience
Chris K – Bottas. Has been preparing for the drive for a while now and seems the best prepared out of all of them.
7. Who will be the most Improved team?
NB – Williams. 2nd year with Renault/new technical team and arguably the most interesting driver line-up on the grid. Car looks awesome too.
EH – Lotus. The car looks good from testing and they have a strong, if unpredictable, driver line-up combined with some great talent back at Enstone.
CN – McLaren. If they eradicate the pitstop and reliability issues, and the car is as good as last year, they’ll walk it. That’ll be a massive improvement.
EB – Mercedes. Their reliability in testing has been remarkable compared to the last couple of years, and I don’t see why it couldn’t carry on into the season proper. Add Hamilton at the wheel, and they have the chance to get some impressive results.
RC – Williams, expecting better than 8th.
CK – Marussia. Should be relatively closer to the pace with very limited resources and beating Caterham will be a huge achievement.
8. Who will be the most improved driver?
NB – Massa. It will be almost impossible for him to be as bad as he was at the start of last season, and he looked like he had his mojo back toward the tail end of 2012.
EH – Jenson. He had a torrid time last year but with the team now built around him I think he’ll shine this year if they can sort the reliability problems out.
CN – Massa. He started to ignore the fact that Alonso was on a completely different level to him and drove better because of it. Expect to see more of this.
EB – Massa. It was like he’d become a whole different person in the middle of last season, and I think concentrating on his own game instead of worrying about Alonso will do him the world of good again.
RC – Massa. He was great at the end of the year, expecting that to continue
CK – Massa. From Hungary to the end of the 2012 season Massa scored 99 points to Alonso’s 124. Only a race win between them over 10 GPs. If he carries that kind of form over into a better car he should be looking good.
9. Which team will be the biggest underachiever?
NB – I think Sauber might have a bit of a fall from grace. I’m still not totally convinced by Hulkenberg and they faded toward the end of last year. Nobody seems to be talking about them post pre-season… not that it means an awful lot.
EH – Force India, No second driver until very recently and I get the impression all might not be well upstairs / at the bank. Also I’m still unconvinced by di Resta. He was grumpy enough last season I it seems like he thought he should have been a certainty for Lewis’ seat at McLaren.
CN – Force India. They have been for several seasons now, and it’ll continue into 2013. They’re the only midfield team not to score a podium (bar Toro Rosso) even though they’ve had the equipment, drivers and opportunity to. The second driver debacle only adds to their inability to bring everything together.
EB – Toro Rosso. A goal of 6th in the constructors is a very high bar to set for a team near the bottom of the midfield, even if they do feel confident about being faster. If they don’t reach that it’ll give them the excuse to drop either Ricciardo or Vergne, and bring in Felix da Costa.
RC – Force India. just think their are too many issues and things for team to worry about
CK – Force India. Not a great winter with all the driver issues and constant financial concerns that won’t seemingly go away. I think they will miss Hulkenberg desperately as well.
10. Which driver will be the biggest disappointment?
NB – Despite predicting a win for Lewis, I can see this year being tough for him. I expect Rosberg to have the edge on him early season and push him a lot harder than he has been pushed in recent seasons at McLaren.
EH – Chilton, I hope I’m proved wrong but looking at his lower formula form he doesn’t seem super quick.
CN – Perez. He’s been built up and he’s built himself up, so the feisty little Mexican has a long way to fall if he doesn’t have a perfect start to the season.
EB – Perez. He’ll be so focused on trying to prove he’s worthy of the McLaren drive that he’ll make silly mistakes.
RC – Perez – not sure he’s ready for that team.
CK – Perez. Ever since the announcement it just sounds a bit too much like Frentzen to Williams circa ‘97. Some great performances in a midfield team with lots of good comments, but then for whatever reason it just doesn’t happen at the sharp end. The pressure will be immense.
That’s all of our thoughts for 2013, what are yours?
We’ll be checking back mid-season to see how we all fared!