Team Expectations in 2013: Part Two

In Part two of this series, I will focus on the 2012 midfield and what they should expect and focus on for next year.

Mercedes:

It seems strange that a giant team like Mercedes would be feature in a midfield group, but their 2012 performances justify this.

They may have won the third race if the season, but by Hungary, the Mercedes team was firmly in the midfield, often struggling for points.

Signing Lewis Hamilton will surely give the team a boost for 2013, but this can only do so much.

The corporate reshuffling going on recently in the team could also prove beneficial, but it could also be deleterious. With Haug gone, Wolff in, Brawn rumored to go, Lauda in there doing something important (maybe) and Paddy Lowe rumored to come in, there could be a serious clash if egos which could derail the team’s focus.

Mercedes also need to not forget Nick Rosberg. He may not be as fantastic as Lewis, but he’s still very goodand a driver which has been very loyal to a team which has broken its promises for the last three years.

Mercedes need to do one this this season. Build a reliable, fast car. The drivers will do the rest of the work.

Mercedes-W03-2012-Barcelona-fotoshowImage-dabdbb70-571452

Sauber:

A team that nearly took two wins and which could have fought for more on other occasions will be very optimistic for 2013, indeed!

2012 was Sauber’s most successful year since it became private in 2010. The car proved extremely easy on its tires and good on most tracks.

The drivers were also pretty reliable for the most part, with a few niggles along the way. Perez’s move to Mclaren left and open seat for Hulkenberg, and the decision to not resign Kobayashi opened the door for Esteban Gutierrez. An all new line up for 2013 could be cause for concern especially as Esteban has proved a bit raw, but hopes are high for this season.

Sauber just needs to keep up the work on their design and make sure that they provide a calm environment for the young Mexican rookie. If this happens, then they could challenge the big boys more often than not.

sauber-c31-test-jerez-2012-fotoshowimage-9612ad92-569320

Force India:

Hopes were high for 2012, but they weren’t always met. They were slightly overshadowed by Sauber and Williams but strong performances from their drivers ensured the most points ever hauled in the team’s history.

Losing Hulkenberg to Sauber puts Force India at a bit of a disadvantage because he was their star performer of 2012. His replacement is eat to be announced (as is, surprisingly, di Resta) but I don’t think his replacement will be quite as good. Bianchi seems the best option for the seat to me.

Their future is uncertain in monetary terms, but if they sort out their drivers and produce a good car in 2013, they are sure to improve on last years’ position.

force-india-vjmo5-2012-9659-2g

Williams:

After the near farce that was 2011, 2012 was an exponential improvement. A win in Spain was very emotional for the team. Also great were Maldonado’s qualifying performances, the Venezuelan starting in the top 5 on several occasions. His tendency to get into accidents put a dent on his season, but he is no doubt a great driver.

Senna was a disappointment, however. He didn’t show the type of star quality drives that his teammate did and it was good that Bottas got the seat. They now have a team for the long haul.

Williams need to keep Maldonado under control and provide a nurturing environment for Bottas. If they do this while improving upon their 2012 car, the only way is up.

williams

Torro Rosso:

What to say about this team? Well, their car is fast in a straight line. This, unfortunately was the extent of their performance in 2012.

They have two promising, if unspectacular drivers who did a decent job with a less than decent car.

If Torro Rosso are to do anything for 2013, they need to come up with a car that will show off their drivers’ talents. This team is not designed to move up the grid because the last thing Red bull wants is another Monza 2008. Red Bull don’t want to be shown up by their junior team.

I don’t know if Vergne or Ricciardo have what it takes to be the next big thing for Red Bull, but 2013 could be the year we all find out.

Formula One Testing, Day 3, Barcelona, Spain, Saturday 3 March 2012.

 

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