2013 Formula One season
FIA Formula One World Championship season
|Races by country • Races by season|
The 2013 Formula One season is the 64th season of the Formula One World Championship, a motor racing championship for Formula One cars which is recognised by the sport's governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), as the highest class of competition for open-wheel racing cars. Eleven teams and twenty-two drivers contest the nineteen Grands Prix that 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 started in Australia on 17 March and is planned to end in Brazil on 24 November.
The 2013 season is the final year the series uses the current 2.4 litre V8 engine configuration which was introduced in 2006; a 1.6 litre turbocharged V6 engine formula is to come into force for 2014.
Sebastian Vettel started the season as the defending World Drivers' Champion, having won his third consecutive title in the final race of 2012. His team, Red Bull Racing is the defending World Constructors' Champions, having secured their third consecutive title at the 2012 United States Grand Prix.
Teams and drivers 
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||Rounds||Free Practice driver(s)|
|Infiniti Red Bull Racing||Red Bull–Renault||RB9||Renault RS27-2013||P||1||Sebastian Vettel||1–5||N/A|
|Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari||F138||Ferrari Type 056||P||3||Fernando Alonso||1–5||N/A|
|Vodafone McLaren Mercedes||McLaren–Mercedes||MP4-28||Mercedes FO 108Z||P||5||Jenson Button||1–5||N/A|
|Lotus F1 Team||Lotus–Renault||E21||Renault RS27-2013||P||7||Kimi Räikkönen||1–5||N/A|
|Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||Mercedes||F1 W04||Mercedes FO 108Z||P||9||Nico Rosberg||1–5||N/A|
|Sauber F1 Team||Sauber–Ferrari||C32||Ferrari Type 056||P||11||Nico Hülkenberg||1–5||N/A|
|Sahara Force India F1 Team||Force India–Mercedes||VJM06||Mercedes FO 108Z||P||14||Paul di Resta||1–5||N/A|
|Williams F1 Team||Williams–Renault||FW35||Renault RS27-2013||P||16||Pastor Maldonado||1–5||N/A|
|Scuderia Toro Rosso||Toro Rosso–Ferrari||STR8||Ferrari Type 056||P||18||Jean-Éric Vergne||1–5||N/A|
|Caterham F1 Team||Caterham–Renault||CT03||Renault RS27-2013||P||20||Charles Pic||1–5|| Ma Qinghua
|21||Giedo van der Garde||1–5|
|Marussia F1 Team||Marussia–Cosworth||MR02||Cosworth CA2013||P||22||Jules Bianchi||1–5||Rodolfo González|
Team changes 
In November 2012, Thesan Capital, 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. Thesan Capital failed to find a buyer in time, and HRT was omitted from the 2013 entry list. The team was later reported to be in liquidation, and despite bids to purchase and revive the team under a new name, their assets were ultimately sold to Teo Martín, the owner of a firm specialising in recycling automotive parts.
Driver changes 
Upon starting his second career in 2010, Michael Schumacher signed a three-year agreement to race for Mercedes AMG. With that deal expiring at the end of the 2012 season, Schumacher was given the option of renewing his contract with the team for 2013. However, in the face of disappointing results over the past three seasons, Schumacher became indecisive about his future, prompting Mercedes to start searching for a new driver. Following a protracted period of negotiation, 2008 World Champion Lewis Hamilton announced that he would join Mercedes 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". Schumacher ultimately announced that he would be retiring from the sport at the end of the 2012 season.
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 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 left Force India after just one season, despite having originally signed a multi-year deal to race for the team starting in 2012, to fill the vacant seat at Sauber. Hülkenberg was 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. Hülkenberg's place at Force India was taken by Adrian Sutil, who returned to the team after a season out of the sport.
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. He later joined AF Corse for the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship.
Williams promoted test and reserve driver Valtteri Bottas to a full-time racing seat alongside Pastor Maldonado, replacing Bruno Senna. Bottas, the 2011 GP3 Series champion, made regular appearances for Williams during the 2012 season, in official practice sessions at fifteen Grands Prix. Faced with the loss of his seat, Bruno Senna initially sought a drive with Force India, but instead moved to the World Endurance Championship, joining Aston Martin Racing.
Charles Pic moved from Marussia to Caterham, joining former GP2 Series teammate Giedo van der Garde. Pic and van der Garde had previously raced alongside one another as team-mates in 2011, racing for Barwa Addax. Where Pic joined Marussia for the 2012 season, van der Garde became Caterham's test driver and contested the 2012 GP2 championship with their GP2 team before being promoted to Formula One. As a result of this, Caterham's 2012 drivers, Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov lost their seats for 2013. Caterham team principal Cyril Abiteboul later admitted that the relationship between the team and Kovalainen had fallen apart towards the end of the 2012 season, leading to his dismissal from the team, whilst Petrov lost his seat due to a lack of sponsorship. Kovalainen later returned to the team to take part in free practice sessions on a temporary basis.
Timo Glock was initially signed to compete for Marussia until the end of the 2014 season, but later announced that he would be leaving the team. Marussia team principal John Booth cited "tough economic conditions" as the reason for the team being forced to let Glock go, whilst Glock referenced the loss of tenth place in the 2012 World Constructors' Championship to Caterham at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix as the first sign that his position with the team was in danger. Glock moved to the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, driving for BMW. With Glock gone, the team elected to take two rookie drivers: Max Chilton, who spent the 2012 season competing in the GP2 Series with the Marussia-backed Carlin team; and GP2 Series runner-up Luiz Razia. However, Razia was removed from Marussia's testing line-up for the second pre-season test in Barcelona, leading to speculation that his future with the team was in jeopardy. It was later reported that his sponsors had missed payments to the team, prompting the decision to suspend his testing programme. His contract to race was terminated just twenty-three days after it had been announced, and Razia was replaced by 2009 Formula 3 Euro Series champion and 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 Series runner-up Jules Bianchi.
With HRT withdrawing from the championship, Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan were left without full-time racing seats. De la Rosa later joined Ferrari to aid the team in developing their simulator, while Karthikeyan began contesting the Auto GP World Series part-time.
The following nineteen races are currently contracted to appear on the 2013 race schedule. Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One's commercial rights holder through his Formula One Management and Formula One Administration companies, 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 Grand Prix of America, 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. In February 2013, Ecclestone announced that a replacement venue had not been found, leaving the calendar at nineteen Grands Prix.
Calendar changes 
New and returning races 
- 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.
- 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 college football game due to be hosted by the city of Austin.
Failed race bids 
- The 2013 season was scheduled to see the addition of the Grand Prix of America 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. The collapse of the race was attributed to the failure to get all of the necessary permits to hold the race from multiple branches of state and federal government departments.
Rule changes 
Sporting regulations 
- 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 omission from the provisional entry list, the grid was reduced to twenty-two cars, prompting an adaptation of the 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 governing the use of the Drag Reduction System (DRS) have been altered. Where drivers were free to use the system at will during free practice and qualifying, from 2013, the use of DRS is restricted to the designated 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 clarify 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.[not in citation given] As a result, Vettel was excluded from the results, and the changes to force majeure were put forward.
- 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 has been revised for 2013, with teams limited to two exceptions over the course of the year. The curfew hours have been also extended from six hours to eight.
- Teams were faced with an increased entry fee for the season. Whereas entry fees had previously been fixed at €309,000 (US$396,637) for all teams, from 2013, entry fees were based on the World Championship points a team scored during the previous season. Teams now paid a basic entry fee of $500,000 (€389,525), plus $5,000 (€3,895) per point scored. The reigning Constructors' champions paid at a premium rate of $6,000 (€4,614) per point scored. With a final tally of 460 points, Red Bull Racing were presented with an entry fee of $3,260,000 (€2.5M).
Technical regulations 
- 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 completely overhauled 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 are 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 is 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 increased to 642 kg (1,420 lb) so as to account for the weight difference between the 2012 and 2013 specification of tyres.
Other changes 
- 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—expired 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 flotation 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.
Season report 
With five races complete the reigning World Champion, Red Bull Racing driver Sebastian Vettel, leads the drivers' championship by four points which included a controversial victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix that came when he defied team orders, overtaking team mate Mark Webber late in the race to secure victory. Vettel apologised afterwards to the team, although later refused to apologise for winning. Vettel went on to take his second race win of the season at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Webber currently sits in sixth place with 42 points, but his results have nevertheless allowed Red Bull to maintain a fourteen-point lead over Ferrari in the World Constructors' Championship.
Lotus driver Kimi Räikkönen is currently second in the Drivers' Championship, four points behind Vettel. Räikkönen won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix and placed second at the Chinese, Bahrain and Spanish Grands Prix. A third position finish in Bahrain by team-mate Romain Grosjean has placed Lotus in third place in the Constructors' Championship, six points adrift of Ferrari.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso sits in third place overall, after winning the Chinese and Spanish Grands Prix, and placing second in Australia, but a retirement in Malaysia and eighth place in Bahrain has left him seventeen points adrift of Vettel. His team-mate, Felipe Massa, sits in fifth place, and their combined efforts have seen Ferrari sitting second in the Constructors' Championship after five races.
Lewis Hamilton, who scored two podiums and a pole position with Mercedes AMG is placed fourth in the drivers' standings 49 points behind Vettel. His team-mate, Nico Rosberg, sits ninth, after two retirements from mechanical issues in Australia and China, a fourth place in Malaysia, and a ninth place in Bahrain. Despite taking three pole positions in the first five races, the Mercedes team has struggled with tyre wear, and have just 72 points to their name.
Despite finishing the 2012 season with two wins in the final two races, McLaren have openly admitted to a difficult start to their 2013 campaign. Jenson Button sits tenth overall, whilst new team-mate Sergio Pérez is eleventh, having secured sixth place at Bahrain and two points from the earlier races. With just 29 points between their drivers, McLaren sit sixth in the World Constructors' Championship, 43 points behind Mercedes AMG.
Force India leads McLaren's points tally by three points, with drivers Paul di Resta recently finishing fourth in Bahrain and Adrian Sutil recording an earlier top eight finish. Scuderia Toro Rosso moved into seventh place overall, when Daniel Ricciardo scored a career-best seventh place in China, putting the team two points ahead of Sauber F1. Sauber have scored just five points, all recorded by new recruit Nico Hülkenberg. Rookie team-mate Esteban Gutiérrez endured a difficult introduction to Formula One, with a retirement due to driver error in China, a lowly eighteenth place in Bahrain, and a string of grid penalties for causing avoidable collisions and blocking other drivers during qualifying, but recovered to eleventh place overall and recorded the fastest lap of the race in Spain.
Williams F1, Marussia F1 and Caterham F1 have yet to score points in 2013. Williams sit in ninth after rookie driver Valtteri Bottas and team-mate Pastor Maldonado scored a best result of eleventh place a piece; by comparison, Marussia and Caterham's best results have been a thirteenth and fourteenth place respectively.
Results and standings 
Grands Prix 
Drivers' standings 
Points are awarded to the top ten classified finishers using the following structure:
Bold - Pole position
- † — Drivers did not finish the Grand Prix, but were classified as they completed over 90% of the race distance.
Constructors' standings 
Bold - Pole position
- † — Drivers did not finish the Grand Prix, but were classified as they completed over 90% of the race distance.
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