2013 marks the 64th Formula one season. This season kicks off in Australia on the 17th of March. This season will see the 2.4 V8 engines being used for the last time. From 2014, 1.6 V6 engines will be enforced. 11 teams and 22 drivers will fight it out, in nineteen Grand Prix spread over eight months.
Major changes this year include the departure of HRT (Hispania Racing Team),thus leaving Narain Karthikeyan without a racing seat at the moment. Michael Schumacher turned down his option of renewing his contract with Mercedes-AMG over disappointing results in the last three seasons and has officially retired as a driver from Formula One. Lewis Hamilton will be moving from McLaren to the Mercedes Team. Lewis Hamilton’s place in McLaren will be filled by Sauber driver Sergio Perez. Nico Hulkenberg is moving from Sahara Force India and is taking up a place at Sauber. Force India are yet to announce a replacement for Nico Hulkenberg.
The Indian GP is slated for the 26th of October and will be the 16th race. The German GP will be hosted at the Nurburgring this year ,in line with the event policy agreement of the German GP alternating between the Nurburgring and the Hockenheimring every year. Similarly, the Spanish Grand Prix will alternate between Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona and the Valencia Street Circuit in Valencia. 2013’s Spanish Grand Prix will be hosted by Circuit de Catalunya.
Some changes in rules have been made for this season. A cost control measure may be introduced somewhat similar to the Resource Restriction Agreement. However, there is a voluntary agreement between teams to limit costs in the sport. Following HRT’s departure from the sport, the grid is reduced to twenty-two cars prompting a slight change in the qualifying procedure. Mid-season testing which came back in 2012 has been banned in 2013 in the interest of cost cuttig measures. A new contract between the FIA,Formula One teams and the Formula One Administration which discusses the terms by which the teams compete in races and take their share of the television revenues and prize money is currently under negotiation.
It will be an interesting year. Watch out for the defending World Drivers’ Champion;Sebastian Vettel and defending Constructors’ Champion; Red Bull Racing. Looking forward to seeing the top drivers Alonso, Button, Hamiltion, Vettel, Massa and Raikkonen fight it out once again for the top spot! It will be interesting to note that the Mercedes FO 108Z engine supplied to McLaren,Mercedes and the Force India Team are the same. Fingers crossed for Force India!