Formula 1

F1 PREVIEW 2013

The 2013 Formula 1 season is fast approaching and MoneySupermarket got in touch with us to ask if we would be interested in being one of the participants in their Grand Prix Preview campaign.

They asked us to identify who we believed would be the 2013 Drivers and constructors’ champions; as well as the most improved drivers and teams. We were also asked to predict the outcome of this season’s battle of the team-mates and prophesise the big news stories of 2013.

Well it turns out that grandprixweekly.com were with the majority; in picking Fernando Alonso and Red Bull Racing as the most likely winners of both championships. Over 55% of respondents believed that the Ferrari driver would finally take that long overdue 3rd drivers championship in 2013, with just over a quarter of respondents believing that Sebastian Vettel will become the youngest ever four times champion this season.

An overwhelming 66.7% of respondents however believe that Red Bull will be unstoppable on their quest for a fourth consecutive constructor’s crown. Ferrari were next up on the list, with a mere 18% of the overall vote. This was due largely to the fact that 10% of respondents believe that Felipe Massa will be the most improved driver of the upcoming season. However, the overall winner on this metric was Romain Grosjean; with 36% of respondents believing that he will overcome his propensity for getting involved in needless incidents in 2013. 

However, only 13.2% of respondents believe that Lotus will be the most improved team. The winner in this category was Mercedes Benz AMG, with many judges referring to the arrival of Lewis Hamilton having a galvanising effect on the team.

Mercedes were however at the centre of one of the most frequently mentioned news stories; with a number of participants including grandprixweekly.com predicting that the German manufacturer will sell the team on at the end of the season- potentially to new shareholder Toto Wolff.

Grand Prix Preview 2013 – An infographic by the team at MoneySupermarket Car Insurance

 

GP2

GP2 Test jerez 2013

TOM DILLMAN ON TOP OF DAY 1 AT JEREZ-

Hilmer Motorsport driver quickest on first day of GP2 Series pre-season test in Spain
 
It was a perfect way for newcomers Hilmer Motorsport to start their GP2 career: on the opening day of the first pre-season test session, the German squad put Tom Dillmann at the top of the timesheets. The Frenchman who was testing for Hilmer today set a laptime of 1:25.059 in the final minutes of the afternoon session.
 
The day started under blue skies but in cold temperatures. As soon as the pitlane opened, the cars fed to the track but once their installation lap was done, the drivers opted to stay safely tucked away in their garages waiting for the temperatures to rise.
 
Rene Binder at Lazarus was the first man to set a laptime and as the track warmed up, more drivers ventured back on the circuit. A first red flag briefly halted the proceedings, courtesy of returnee Pal Varhaug at Hilmer who spun and stopped on track. At the restart, Dillmann went top, but his laptime was almost immediately bettered by Johnny Cecotto at Arden. As we entered the final hour of the morning session, Marcus Ericsson put his DAMS car at the top of the timesheets before Sergio Canamasas went off track at Turn 2 and saw his Caterham machine end in the tyre barrier, prompting another red flag. When the session went live again, Carlin’s Jolyon Palmer found some extra pace and nipped to the top spot, 0.09s quicker than Ericsson. There was one final interruption with three minutes left on the clock as Mitch Evans stopped his Arden car at Turn 13 following electrical issues which effectively put an end to everyone’s session. Palmer finished top ahead of Ericsson, Rene Binder, Cecotto, Stéphane Richelmi, Jake Rosenzweig, James Calado, Dillmann, Simon Trummer and Felipe Nasr.
 
The pitlane reopened after a two-hour lunch break, and Fabio Leimer set the early pace at the wheel of his Racing Engineering car. While the drivers mainly focused on covering race distance, Richelmi led the timesheet, but Calado improved and edged the Monegasque driver from the top spot. Just as Leimer reclaimed P1, Daniel De Jong stopped on track at Turn 7 causing a quick red flag. At the restart, Leimer was still sitting pretty at the top of the timesheet with Binder and Nasr in tow. With just twenty minutes left on the clock, Dillmann put his head down and claimed P1 ahead of Leimer, Nasr, Calado, Binder, Ericsson, De Jong, Richelmi, Robin Frijns and Cecotto.