2013 Formula One season
The 2013 Formula One season will be the 64th season of the Formula One World Championship. Eleven teams and twenty-two drivers will contest the nineteen Grands Prix that will make up the calendar for the 2013 season, with the winning driver and team being crowned the World Drivers' and World Constructors' Champions. The season is due to start in Australia on 17 March and end in Brazil on 24 November.
Sebastian Vettel will start the season as the defending World Drivers' Champion, having won the title in the final race of 2012. His team, Red Bull Racing will be the defending World Constructors' Champions, having secured their third consecutive title at the 2012 United States Grand Prix.
Signed teams and drivers [change]
The following teams and drivers are contracted to drive in the 2013 season, subject to ratification of a new Concorde Agreement. At the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix, Bernie Ecclestone announced that the "majority" of teams competing in the 2012 season had agreed to compete in 2013, though he gave no indication of which teams – if any – were offering resistance to the new Concorde Agreement. At the 2012 British Grand Prix, Ecclestone announced that every team had agreed "in principle" to the terms of the new Concorde Agreement, and the final draft of the Concorde Agreement was presented to the teams ahead of the 2012 Indian Grand Prix.
|Team||Constructor||Chassis||Engine||Tyre||No.||Race drivers||Free Practice driver(s)|
|Infiniti Red Bull Racing||Red Bull-Renault||RB9||Renault RS27-2013||P||1||Sebastian Vettel||N/A|
|Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari||F138||Ferrari Type 056||P||3||Fernando Alonso||N/A|
|Vodafone McLaren Mercedes||McLaren-Mercedes||MP4-28||Mercedes FO 108Z||P||5||Jenson Button||N/A|
|Lotus F1 Team||Lotus-Renault||E21||Renault RS27-2013||P||7||Kimi Räikkönen||N/A|
|Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||Mercedes||F1 W04||Mercedes FO 108Z||P||9||Nico Rosberg||N/A|
|Sauber F1 Team||Sauber-Ferrari||C32||Ferrari Type 056||P||11||Nico Hülkenberg||N/A|
|Sahara Force India F1 Team||Force India-Mercedes||VJM06||Mercedes FO 108Z||P||14||Paul di Resta||N/A|
|Williams F1 Team||Williams-Renault||FW35||Renault RS27-2013||P||16||Pastor Maldonado||N/A|
|Scuderia Toro Rosso||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||STR8||Ferrari Type 056||P||18||Jean-Éric Vergne||N/A|
|Caterham F1 Team||Caterham-Renault||CT03||Renault RS27-2013||P||20||Charles Pic||N/A|
|21||Giedo van der Garde|
|Marussia F1 Team||Marussia-Cosworth||MR02||Cosworth CA2013||P||22||Jules Bianchi||N/A|
Team changes [change]
In November 2012, the owners of HRT F1 announced that they were putting the team up for sale. The team needed to find a buyer by 30 November – the date by which entry fees for the 2013 were due to be paid – or else face closure and a departure from the sport. HRT failed to find a buyer in time, and the team was omitted from the 2013 entry list. They were later reported to be in liquidation.
Driver changes [change]
In September 2012, seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher announced that he would be retiring from the sport for a second time. Following a protracted period of negotiation, 2008 World Champion Lewis Hamilton announced that he would leave McLaren at the end of the 2012 season, taking Schumacher's place at the Brackley-based team for the next three years. The move ended his fourteen-year association with McLaren, and Hamilton later described his decision to change teams as being motivated by the desire to find a new challenge for himself, and that the idea of taking a struggling team and building them up to become a successful one held more appeal to him than "cruising around with a great team".
With Hamilton leaving McLaren, the team sought out Sauber driver Sergio Pérez to replace him. Pérez was previously a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy, and was considered to be the leading candidate to join Ferrari should a vacant seat become available, but he later admitted that although he had talked with the team, he had never considered racing for them to be a realistic proposition, adding that McLaren was the best place for him to go.
Nico Hülkenberg will leave Force India after just one season, to fill the vacant seat at Sauber. Hülkenberg will be joined by Esteban Gutiérrez, who had previously served as Sauber's testing and reserve driver in 2011 and 2012 whilst campaigning in the GP2 Series. With Hülkenberg and Gutiérrez joining Sauber, Kamui Kobayashi was left without a seat after three seasons with the Swiss team. In a bid to secure a seat, Kobayashi accepted donations from fans to raise as much money as possible. However, shortly after Lotus F1 announced that they would retain Romain Grosjean, Kobayashi announced that he had given up hope of securing a racing seat for the 2013 season.
Bruno Senna also lost his seat after Williams promoted test and reserve driver Valtteri Bottas to a full-time racing seat alongside Pastor Maldonado. Bottas, the 2011 GP3 Series champion, made regular appearances for Williams during the 2012 season, driving Senna's car during Friday practice sessions at fifteen Grands Prix.
Charles Pic will move from Marussia to Caterham. Max Chilton will take his place at Marussia, after spending the 2012 season competing in the GP2 Series with the Marussia Carlin team. In joining Marussia, Chilton became the team's fourth new driver to join the team in as many years.
The following nineteen races are currently contracted to appear on the 2013 race schedule. Bernie Ecclestone has previously said that he believes twenty races is the maximum that is viable. The number of races on the Formula One calendar is dictated by the Concorde Agreement, the arrangement between teams, the FIA and Formula One Management. At the time of Ecclestone's comments regarding the length of the series schedule, the then-current Concorde Agreement was set to expire at the end of the 2012 season. Twenty to twenty-five races would be possible if the teams agreed to it.
At the 2012 Hungarian Grand Prix, Ecclestone announced that the 2013 calendar would consist of twenty races, and would be largely similar to the 2012 calendar. The provisional calendar was announced at the 2012 Singapore Grand Prix, which was approved by the FIA World Motorsports Council on 28 September 2012.
The calendar was originally intended to host twenty races, with the inclusion of the new Grand Prix of Jersey, a new event to be hosted on the streets of New Jersey. Following its removal from the calendar, the schedule was reduced to nineteen races until the FIA World Motorsports Council announced that a twentieth round would be included at a circuit in Europe, pending the outcome of negotiations between Bernie Ecclestone and event organisers.
- ^‡ — The tenth round of the championship remains provisional, provided that Formula One Administration can find a suitable venue for the race.
Calendar changes [change]
New and returning races [change]
- The Nürburgring is scheduled to return to the calendar to host the German Grand Prix, in keeping with the event-sharing agreement first established in 2008 with the Hockenheimring for the two circuits to host the Grand Prix in alternating years. The Nürburgring last hosted a Formula One Grand Prix in 2011. However, the Nürburgring fell into financial trouble and, as of 1 December 2012, it is not known which circuit will host the German Grand Prix. The race was later brought forward by two weeks so as to create an opening in the calendar for an additional race in Europe.
- The Spanish Grand Prix will alternate between the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona and the Valencia Street Circuit in Valencia – in a similar event-sharing format to that used by the Nürburgring and Hockenheimring – while the European Grand Prix will be discontinued. The Circuit de Catalunya will host the Spanish Grand Prix in 2013, beginning the cycle.
- At the December 2012 meeting of the World Motor Sport Council, organisers of the United States Grand Prix requested a change of date for the 2013 race so as not to clash with a football match due to be hosted by the city of Austin.
Proposed races [change]
- In December 2012, Red Bull Junior Team director Helmut Marko revealed that parent company Red Bull were lobbying to resurrect the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. The circuit, previously known as the Österreichring and later as the A1-Ring, last hosted the Austrian Grand Prix in 2003 before the pit buildings and main grandstand were demolished to make way for a circuit extension that was never completed, rendering the circuit unusable. The circuit remained dormant until 2008, when it was purchased, rebuilt and renamed by Red Bull, and formally re-opened in 2011. The Red Bull Ring retained its FIA Grade-1 licence, allowing Formula One to race at the circuit.
- After being removed from the 2012 calendar, organisers for the Turkish Grand Prix announced that they had entered negotiations with Bernie Ecclestone to be a last-minute replacement for the Grand Prix of America after the Istanbul Park circuit underwent a change in ownership. The bid hinged on the Turkish government agreeing to pay have the circuit's race sanctioning fee, but the Ministry of Youth and Sports instead referred the organisers to the private sector to raise the necessary capital.
Failed race bids [change]
- The 2013 season was scheduled to see the addition of the Grand Prix of Jersey to the calendar. The race was to take place on a new, Hermann Tilke-designed street circuit in New Jersey in June of that year, back-to-back with the Canadian Grand Prix. However, shortly after the race was given a date on the provisional calendar, Bernie Ecclestone admitted that the contract with organisers in New Jersey had been nullified, and organisers later confirmed that the race had been removed from the 2013 calendar and rescheduled for 2014.
- In March 2012, Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced plans for a revival of the Argentine Grand Prix, outlining details of a three-year contract starting in late 2013. The proposal would see the event take place on a street circuit in the city of Mar del Plata, with a proposed route running around the Base Naval de Mar del Plata and its breakwater. Despite this, the race was not included on the provisional calendar released in September 2012. Bernie Ecclestone had previously floated the idea of Mar del Plata as a potential host venue for the renewed Argentine Grand Prix in May 2009, with similar results.
- In August 2012, French newspaper L'Equipe reported that a bid was underway to revive the French Grand Prix after a four-year absence, with the Circuit Paul Ricard and the Circuit de Nevers in Magny-Cours put forward as candidate venues. The French Grand Prix was not included on the provisional calendar released in September 2012, but the Fédération Française du Sport Automobile – the national motorsport body of France – revealed that both circuits were still under consideration for inclusion on the 2013 calendar the week after the provisional calendar was released. In December 2012, reports emerged stating that the bid had fallen through as organisers could not agree to a race fee.
- In June 2012, the London Legacy Development Company and Bernie Ecclestone announced that they had been approached with a proposal for a Grand Prix to be held at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park following the 2012 London Olympic Games. Ecclestone later declared his willingness to personally fund the event, admitting that he had previously attempted to establish a race in the City of Westminster, but the attempt had failed because of the cost. The bid was formally abandoned in December, when the London Legacy Development Company rejected the proposal for "uncertainty" and "assumptions" in the business plan.
- A second race in Italy, tentatively titled the Rome Grand Prix and to be held on a street circuit around the city's EUR district was added to the calendar in March 2010. However, a lack of support from local residents and political pressure from Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo led to the plans being abandoned in January 2011, with the city instead concentrating on its bid for the 2020 Olympic Games, which was eventually cancelled as well.
Rule changes [change]
Sporting regulations [change]
- At the June 2012 meeting of the World Motor Sport Council, the FIA announced plans to introduce cost-control measures for the 2013 season, which would be policed by the FIA pending the agreement of the teams. This follows a failed attempt by former FIA President Max Mosley to introduce a budget cap for the 2010 season, and the withdrawal of Ferrari, Scuderia Toro Rosso, Sauber and Red Bull from the Formula One Teams Association in December 2011 over the implementation of the Resource Restriction Agreement, a voluntary agreement between teams to limit costs in the sport.
- Following HRT's removal from the entry list, the grid was reduced to twenty-two cars, prompting a change to qualifying procedures. With twenty-two cars on the grid, six cars – instead of seven – will be eliminated during the first period of qualifying, with six more eliminated at the end of the second period (as in 2006–08). The third qualifying period remains unchanged, with the ten fastest drivers all advancing to the final ten minutes of qualifying.
- The rules of the Drag Reduction System (DRS) will be altered. Where drivers were free to use the system at will during free practice and qualifying, from 2013, the use of DRS will be restricted to the DRS zone in a bid to improve safety. In response to this, the FIA announced plans to include two DRS zones at every circuit on the 2013 calendar where it was feasible to do so.
- The FIA will remove the rules of "force majeure" to help scrutineering procedures. Under the rules of force majeure, cars must be able to return to the pits under their own power during qualifying or else risk exclusion from the results. However, if a team can adequately demonstrate that circumstances beyond their control forced them to stop a car on the circuit before it could return to the pits, then the rules of force majeure dictate that the team and driver in question are exempt from any exclusion. Under new regulations, force majeure will no longer be recognised as a valid reason for stopping a car. From 2013, race stewards will measure the amount of fuel remaining in a car that has stopped on the circuit and compare it to the minimum amount set forward in the rules, and calculate any penalty based on the difference between the two. These changes were first proposed in the aftermath of the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, when Red Bull Racing instructed Sebastian Vettel to stop on the circuit after qualifying. Although race stewards initially accepted the team's explanation that the order came because of an imminent technical fault that threatened lasting damage to Vettel's engine, it was later discovered that Vettel had insufficient fuel in his car at the time and had been ordered to pull over so as to preserve the mandatory one litre sample required for testing at the end of qualifying.[source?] As a result, Vettel was excluded from the results, and the changes to force majeure were put forward.
- Following a crackdown on driving standard by race stewards in 2012, the FIA has sought to introduce a "penalty points" system of enforcing driving standards modelled on the points system used for road-going drivers' licences worldwide. Under the system, driving infringements would be assigned a points value that would be deducted from a driver's Super Licence when they commit an infraction. When a driver accumulates a pre-determined number of points, they face an automatic ban from racing.
- The practice of mid-season testing, which returned to Formula One in 2012 after having been banned in 2009, will be discontinued in 2013 as part of cost-cutting initiatives.
- The FIA introduced a curfew system in 2011 that prohibited team personnel from accessing the circuit in the six hours before the first session of the day, with teams given four "jokers"—exceptions to the rule that allowed them to stay within the circuit boundaries past the curfew hours without penalty so as to complete work on cars—to use throughout the season. The rule will be revised for 2013, with teams limited to two exceptions over the course of the year. The curfew hours were also extended from six hours to eight.
- Teams will be faced with an increased entry fee for the season. Whereas entry fees had previously been fixed at EUR€309,000 (USD$396,637) for all teams, from 2013, entry fees will be based on the World Championship points a team scored during the previous season. Teams will now pay a basic entry fee of USD$500,000 (EUR€389,525), plus USD$5,000 (EUR€3,895) per point scored. The reigning Constructors' champions will pay at a premium rate of USD$6,000 (EUR€4,614) per point scored. With a final tally of 460 points, Red Bull Racing were presented with an entry fee of USD$3,260,000 (EUR€2,507,091).
Technical regulations [change]
- Changes to the rules in 2012 resulted in the development of a "platypus" nose, with teams designing cars with a visible change in height along the nose assembly of the car. The design attracted criticism, with Red Bull Racing driver Mark Webber labelling the cars "ugly" and Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali calling them "not that pretty". At the 2012 Australian Grand Prix, Charlie Whiting, the FIA technical delegate, announced that although the changes to the sporting regulations planned for the 2014 season would effectively remove the "platypus" effect, the sport's governing body is planning to phase the stepped nose out for 2013. The FIA later accepted a proposal that would allow teams to cover up the stepped nose with a "modesty plate", a panel designed to obscure the step without fundamentally altering the aerodynamic profile of the car or offering any aerodynamic gain itself.
- The FIA will completely overhaul testing procedures for front wings in 2013, introducing a more-comprehensive and strenuous series of tests designed to root out the practice of exploiting flexible bodywork regulations. Front wings in particular will be subjected to revised parameters, with a tolerance of just 10 mm (0.39 in) permitted when the wing is subjected to a load of 100 kg (220 lb).
- The "double-DRS" system, first developed by Mercedes for the W03 in 2012 will be banned in 2013. The device, which used a series of channels that ran through the car to create a stalling effect over the front wing when the rear wing Drag Reduction System was open, thereby cancelling out the downforce generated under normal conditions, would allow the car to achieve a higher top speed and better stability in fast corners. The system was the subject of several legal challenges early in the 2012 season, and rival team Lotus developed a similar system of their own before teams agreed to a ban in July 2012. However, while the regulations specifically banned the system developed by Mercedes, they make no provision for the variant developed by Lotus.
- The minimum weight of cars will increase to 642 kg (1,420 lb) so as to account for the weight difference between the 2012 and 2013 specification of tyres.
Other changes [change]
- The Sixth Concorde Agreement – the contract between the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the Formula One teams and the Formula One Administration which dictates the terms by which the teams compete in races and take their share of the television revenues and prize money – which was first ratified by teams in 2009 – expires at the end of 2012, necessitating the creation of the Seventh Concorde Agreement. As part of the renewed Agreement, the commercial rights to the sport were to be floated on the Singapore Stock Exchange; however, in June 2012 the planned floatation was delayed, with weak markets, uncertainty within Europe over the continent's economic future, and Facebook's disappointing IPO cited as reasons for the delay.
- The sport's decision-making process will be restructured. Prior to 2013, any decision to change the sporting or technical regulations required the agreement of at least 70% (or nine votes) of the teams in order for those changes to be accepted. From 2013 onwards, those changes will only need a 51% majority (six teams) in order to be approved. The Technical and Sporting Working Groups, the committees responsible for deciding upon the technical and sporting regulations, will also be disbanded in favour of a "Strategy Working Group" that will oversee both technical and sporting regulations and will be made up of representatives from each of the teams that scored points in the previous season's championship, the FIA, Formula One Management, one engine supplier and six event promoters. FIA President Jean Todt described the changes as necessary and designed to give each of the stakeholders in the sport a proportionate representation in deciding the future of Formula One.
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