Testing for the 2013 Formula 1 season began earlier this morning at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain. This is a stable year in terms of regulations, not much has changed since 2012. This [should] mean a closer field and some desperate development avenues for the Big 5. Red Bull is [still] clearly the team to beat coming of of their 3rd straight Constructors Championship & WDC after a down-to-the-wire finish at Interlagos in Brazil.
The offseason proved to be the biggest driver shakeup in recent memory, the most sizable of which was Lewis Hamilton making a shock exit at McLaren and forcing Michael Schumacher at Mercedes into his 2nd [and hopefully final] retirement. This inevitably caused a ripple effect to many of the teams and drivers below scrambling to fill – and find – seats, and left one of my favorite drivers on the grid, Kamui Kobayashi, hung out to dry sadly. How all the big money in Japan let this happen, I don’t know. Hope to see him back next year, maybe with a Honda sticker on his helmet.
With some interesting packaging choices and a new Pirelli tire, I’m personally hugely anxious to see how everyone’s form fares over the next few weeks. All teams will be in attendance, the only caveat being that Williams will be running their 2012 spec car in order to finish preseason preperations in time for the next test in Barcelona. Missing from the grid this year is perennial backmarker HRT who folded at the conclusion of last season. Rumour has it that some idiots here stateside are looking to buy in, however, and if that’s truly the case I’ve got a bridge to sell them as well…
Check out all the 2013 challengers after the jump.