German set to take championship… again
By Aidan Mouellic, Staff Writer
The 2013 Formula One season is coming to a close, and with Sebastian Vettel in the lead with a more than 100-point buffer, it looks like the German wunderkind will take the championship. The 64th season of the race series began in Australia on March 17 and will end in Brazil on November 24.
From the start, Sebastian Vettel has dominated the season in an unparalleled fashion. The German driver has amassed 372 points this year, to easily claim the championship title. In second place is a distant Fernando Alonso with 227 points, and Lewis Hamilton rounds off the podium with 187 points. In addition, Vettel’s team, Red Bull Racing-Renault, leads the way with 553 points. Mercedes is behind with 348 points, and Ferrari is in third with 333 points.
Many people claim that this season has been a bit too predictable due to Vettel and his team’s strong performances; this is a fair claim, since Vettel has set a record for most consecutive races in a single season this year, with eight so far. But having a champion as talented as Vettel lighting up the race courses is anything but boring. Having the predictability of Vettel on a race course just means that the audience will witness perfection.
If Vettel maintains his quality of driving in the final round in Brazil, this will be the fourth consecutive World Championship title for Vettel and his Red Bull Racing-Renault team and they are only gathering momentum with each passing year. However, next year brings in a new era of Formula One with the introduction of a radical new engine design. Instead of the current naturally aspirated 2.4 litre V8 engines used in all current F1 cars, the 2014 cars will be powered by 1.6 litre turbocharged V6 engines.
No season is complete without a dash of controversy, and this year was no different. A few controversial highlights included the finish of the Malaysian Grand Prix which had Vettel disregard team orders to not pass teammate Mark Webber; Vettel did pass and claimed the victory. He eventually apologized to his team for not following instructions, stating “It’s not a victory I should be proud of because it should have been Mark’s. If I could change it I would. I didn’t do it deliberately.”
Tire sponsor Pirelli was also at the centre of many controversies regarding the quality of their supplied tires. Teams complained to the Formula One organizers about poor tire performance and many teams experienced ”unacceptable” tire failures during events. Pirelli has had to do plenty of in-season tire tweaking and it appears that their efforts are making positive differences.
As the 2013 F1 season wraps up, it’s time to reflect upon a season where Vettel proved that he is the definite king of F1 for now and for many seasons to come. If any of the other drivers want to mount a legitimate challenge against Red Bull Racing-Renault in 2014, they will have to come up with some sort of miracle in the off-season while developing their new cars.