What will happen during the 2013 Australian Grand Prix has never been so un-clear. Winter testing as always is completely inconclusive, this year more so than ever. It has been nearly impossible to tell which teams have been possibly sand-bagging, which team have pushed their cars harder than the rest and which are struggling for pace. If you stood back and asked what will happen during the 2013 Australian Grand Prix based of winter testing it would lead you down a path of anyone out of the top 5 teams, Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes or Lotus could hold the potential winner.
There hasnt really been anything between those 5 teams in terms of speed. Lotus appear to have some reliability issues, which is concluded from the fact they completed the least laps over winter than any other team in the paddock. For raw speed though Lotus appear to be just as quick if not quicker than the other teams around them. Could we have a potential Lotus winner in either Raikkonen or Grosjean in 2013 Australian Grand Prix?
I think the answer to that question is possibly, which leads me onto point 1 of what to watch out for during this years Australian GP…
1) Will A Lotus Win The Australian Grand Prix In 2013?
I really think Kimi Raikkonen could potentially win the Aussie GP this year. It may sound a bit crazy as I’m judging it to a degree on winter testing. From a reliability stand point the Lotus doesn’t appear to be in great shape. From a speed stand point they appear to have one of the quickest if not the quickest car on the track. Judging on last year when their race pace was relatively good, the car wasn’t as hard on the tyres and overall if they could have just qualified better then they may have notched up more race wins. This year I think the pace of the Lotus over a single lap may be vastly improved. Don’t be surprised to see a Lotus leading the GP, also don’t be surprised if you see retirement happen.
2) Hamilton Or Rosberg?
I am really looking forward to watching this inter team battle unfold over the course of the year. I think the Mercedes have a pretty competitive package this year and boast arguably the strongest driver line up, which really is a toss up between themselves and Red Bull. The first Grand Prix this season is definitely going to be interesting to see whether Hamilton or Rosberg come out on top. I find it hard to look past Lewis Hamilton to be the main contender in that team but Rosberg is also an incredible driver who has been overlooked some what. We can be 95% sure there will be no teams orders in Mercedes during the opening parts of the season, if one of their drivers pulls clear in the championship then possibly though I’m not convinced on that either. The driver battle between these 2 drivers should be intense and enjoyable to watch. Do I think Mercedes could win the Australian Grand Prix, mmmm maybe though I think there are stronger cars on the grid….
3) Will Felipe Massa Be Hot or Cold?
Last year Felipe Massa had a torrid time getting going. He had a very poor car which he could not get to grips with, compound that with the fact Alonso drove exceptionally which shone an even bigger spotlight on how poor Massa was performing. I don’t know whether he had some mental issues over the serious crash he was in or whether the car just didn’t suit him one bit. I tend to lean more towards the latter but possibly a bit of both of those points may be the truth. In 2013 I think the Ferrari’s have a much better car and definitely a potential race winner and championship winner. Something that may happen, you may see, Massa out qualifies Alonso in the Australian Grand Pix, don’t be surprised though if Alonso ends up winning the race.
I am desperate to know where the McLaren’s stand in the pecking order right now. In Jenson Button you have a 3 time winner of the Australian GP (no one on the grid has won the opening race of this season more than JB) and in Perez you have a young and promising driver. They have brought a completely new car into the 2013 season, one of the very few teams to do that. They said they reached the maximum potential of the previous MP4-27 (you can read about that here), so will the MP4-28 compete from the outset? If so then it could be a promising season for McLaren. I don’t expect Perez to score more points than Jenson this season. I will be very interested in seeing where Jenson is compared to Sergio throughout the Aussie GP race weekend. Keep your eyes on McLaren’s performance, are they close to the rest, are they leading the rest or have they dropped off a bit?
5) Tyres – What Is Going To Happen With The Pirelli Tyres During The 2013 Australian Grand Prix?
This is going to be fascinating how this unfolds. I’ve never heard drivers or teams complain about tyre degradation as much as they have over the winter testing period. Pirelli have said they want at least 2 pit stops per race, teams have said tyres lasted about a lap, this all leads up to a potentially hectic race. With the temperature high in Melbourne right now I don’t expect tyre degradation to be as prominent a factor. It could be when teams visit races such as in China when temperatures will be a lot lower then tyre degradation could prove to be a huge problem. It is something to keep an eye out for. How are the tyres holding up and how long for? Which teams appear to have a head start on understanding the tyres and when they may fall off the cliff? You may have the fastest car during qualifying but if it’s heavy on the tyres then you could be in for a long race. It is definitely going to be interesting to see how it all plays out.
Is there anything you would like to share in regards to what we can look out for during the Australian Grand Prix in 2013? Love hear your views and what you are excited to see unfold, what answers you are hoping to get? As it stands right now everything seems rather cloudy.
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