It's that time of year when the PF1 crew gets to impart their brilliance with our on-the-mark predictions for the 2013 season...
Michelle Foster, Frank Hopkinson, Shahida Jacobs and Julia Harris put forward their thoughts on the upcoming season.
01. Who will win the Drivers' Championship?
MF: Fernando Alonso. I reckon the Spaniard has what it takes now he just needs Ferrari to come to the party and if they do the title is his.
FH: Sebastian Vettel. He's not getting any worse is he, and this year he's unlikely to have alternator problems. The start to last season was very erratic and didn't work out in Red Bull's favour, and the likelihood is that won't happen again.
SJ: Not the biggest fan of Sebastian Vettel, but I hope he wins it for a fourth consecutive season just to irk those at Ferrari even more.
JH: Sebastian Vettel. Change may be coming but it won't be right at the front of the pack.
02. Which team will take the Constructors' title?
MF: Red Bull. Based on consistency, Red Bull have it. Based on technical genius, Red Bull have it. Based on great talent, Red Bull have it. So basically Red Bull have it.
FH: Red Bull. They have the money and expertise to develop a car through a season and they have the best aero specialist in Adrian Newey. Although Mercedes have come on very strong in testing from a dreadful start, the team has no experience of carrying momentum through 19 races. When Brawn won the World Championship in 2009 by the end of the year they were hanging on. In 2012 they were good at the start of the year, falling off at the end. Ferrari and McLaren can challenge all the way, but the combined driver talent of Red Bull edges it.
SJ: Ferrari as Felipe Massa looks like he might contribute more than Mark Webber this season.
JH: Red Bull. It will be closer this year but the Milton Keynes outfit will still lead the way - just.
03. Best indie outfit (Lotus, Sauber, Williams, Force India, Toro Rosso)?
MF: Lotus. It is not even a contest.
FH: Easily Lotus, as the E21 looks just as good as last year's E20 but with more development potential. I wouldn't expect technical director James Allison to be with the team by the end of the year, though.
SJ: Lotus by a distance.
JH: Lotus. They impressed last season and will continue to improve in 2013.
04. Best of the newbies (Caterham, Marussia)...
MF: I'd like to see Marussia overhaul Caterham because I like Bianchi. Pity he didn't get the Force India drive.
FH: Despite moving into the former Arrows HQ at Leafield I think Caterham are likely to drop behind Marussia, who were coming on strong at the end of 2012 even without KERS. Frightening to think that with just one season behind him Charles Pic is the veteran of the four drivers.
SJ: Are they still newbies? Caterham.
JH: The relative calm at Caterham during the pre-season could see them avoid the wooden spoon. Jules Bianchi is likely to decide this one though. If the Frenchman finds his feet quickly he could propel the team into a better position.
05. Who will be the rookie of the season?
MF: Valtteri Bottas. Another no contest really. He has the experience that the others don't have. The only one who could rival him points-wise may be Gutierrez but I don't believe he will.
FH: Valtteri Bottas. With a fair amount of Friday running already under his belt (15 days compared to Bianchi's 9 and van der Garde's 5) Valtteri has a head start on most of the other rookies, so this should be no contest. What will be more interesting is if he can beat team-mate Maldonado.
SJ: Esteban Gutierrez.
JH: Valtteri Bottas. With two years as Williams' test driver, Bottas has the skill and experience to beat the rest.
06. Hamilton or Perez?
MF: I'm not a Hamilton fan. Never have been. But I'd like to see him do well this season because I'd like Mercedes to do well. Maybe even pull off a 2009? So I'm going to say Hamilton.
FH: To do what? Most points, most poles, most wins, most cute pooch? In the same team Hamilton would win. Because they're in different teams with different machinery it's entirely up to the teams' ability to compete as to which driver comes out on top. Pushed to the cliff edge and asked to decide which driver will finish highest in the drivers' table I'd say Hamilton.
JH: Hamilton. Mercedes are looking impressive and with a point to prove after his move, Hamilton will show his class.
07. Biggest success story of 2013?
MF: Mercedes moving towards the front of the grid. And the birth of my niece (who is arriving days after Germany).
FH: Getting Honda back into F1 - if it happens. That will really gear F1's future; because if they come back and make a success of it, Toyota will hate to sit on the sidelines. The slightly rocky period we've been going through with BMW, Toyota and Honda all quitting the sport will be behind us.That's why the new engine formula is so important. The 2014 engines are going to cost a lot more than the old V8s, so the more new manufacturers get involved, the better.
SJ: Caterham picking up their first points.
JH: Felipe Massa and Mark Webber. The good guys come good. We can dream.
08. Most notable controversy?
MF: It will be something to with the exhausts. The rules are stagnant this season so not much to play with except the exhausts.
FH: With everyone predicting what a close season it will be, teams won't really want their drivers taking points off each other. Red Bull and McLaren will be wary of pulling team orders, but Ferrari have always had a pretty open policy and won't be so shy. Team orders are allowed, they're part of F1, but use of them always stirs up the tag of manipulation and it could be viewed that Ferrari are a little bit premature in deciding that Felipe Massa isn't going to match up to Fernando Alonso in 2013 (even though he's going to have a better season than last year). It might be simplest to say team orders are only allowed in the last five races of a GP season.
SJ: Button drives Hamilton off the track or vice verse cue British media going insane.
JH: Whatever innovation Red Bull come up with first.
09. Biggest mistake of the year?
MF: Ferrari retaining Massa. Force India chosing Sutil over Bianchi. Either could cost the team dearly.
FH: Lewis Hamilton admitting that he would pray for something as low-priority as Adrian Sutil getting a seat back in F1. Already I hear that the writer behind SekretTageblog on OffonF1.com is preparing a 'Lewis Talks to the Big Guy' feature.
SJ: Grosjean accidentally taking someone out.
JH: Force India's line up.
10. How long before Grosjean takes out another driver?
MF: Sooner or later he will because sooner or later everyone makes a mistake. But I'm going with later instead of sooner.
FH: I think Romain will surprise us all and have an error-free start to the year. I think over winter he will have looked back at the races of 2012 and learnt quite a bit from his mistakes. We will see a new driver in... Sorry, I can't keep this up. No, he'll have learnt nothing and he'll probably hit someone in Melbourne. If we started in China maybe he might keep his carbon fibre to himself but not the confines of Albert Park. Paddy Power should have that as a bet.
SJ: First one will be in China.
JH: How long is the opening corner? No, he'll be a little more restrained this year, the Lotus man knows he can't afford another error-strewn season.
11. Most exciting race of the season?
MF: Valencia? Haha, just kidding. Thankfully that has been dropped. I always love Canada and especially Canada if it rains.
FH: You have to look to the venues that have treated us royally in the past, such as the USA, Canada and Brazil. To pick one, Canada.
SJ: The Canadian GP has delivered the past few seasons.
JH: Austin. It will continue to impress after a great debut year.
12. Will the season come down to the last race for the Driver's title?
MF: Here's hoping - two of the last three did.
FH: No. On the balance of probabilities.
SJ: No, Seb will have it wrapped up quite early this year.
JH: Yes. This season is going to be a humdinger. I hope...
13. Which driver will be replaced before the year is over?
MF: Hasn't one already? Razia went after not paying. But as everyone else appears to have paid up I think the line-up won't change.
FH: We could see drivers serve race suspensions before the year is out, which would partially answer that question. So that might point the finger at Grosjeanbecause of 'previous'. In terms of permanent replacements the pay-drivers are all fairly well-heeled and because there are fewer talent-drivers, those that remain are good. If it's anybody it'll be Giedo van der Garde.
SJ: Giedo van der Garde.
JH: I think we've seen all the drama for the year. Maldonado's financial position may have come under the spotlight in recent days but he will be safe for the year regardless.
14. Bottas or Maldonado?
MF: Bottas because even in some Friday practice sessions last season he was quicker than Maldonado. Here's hoping he's more consistent as well.
FH: Bottas. And at some point this year they'll hit each other.
JH: Ooh, this could be tight. Bottas to be more consistent but Maldonado may get the big result that sees him just pip his team-mate.
15. Who will we see more of Nicole or Roscoe?
MF: Roscoe. If you need comfort after a bad weekend cuddle a dog. It's safer.
FH: Nicole. Because her movement isn't controlled by international quarantine regulations and she can be photographed on her own, whereas Roscoe only becomes a personality when Lewis is holding him. It would be interesting to find out from the Mercedes team which plaything is more high maintenance. I'm guessing it's not the one that likes gnawing on a doggie chew.
SJ: Does Nicole have an official 2013 F1 paddock pass? No, I don't think so.
JH: The dog.
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