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Winter testing is over: your team-to-surprise and team-to-disappoint choice


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Poll: Winter testing is over: your team-to-surprise and team-to-disappoint choice (159 member(s) have cast votes)

Team to pull a positive surpise (most improved)

  1. Red Bull (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. Ferrari (12 votes [7.55%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.55%

  3. McLaren (4 votes [2.52%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.52%

  4. Lotus (11 votes [6.92%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.92%

  5. Mercedes (97 votes [61.01%])

    Percentage of vote: 61.01%

  6. Sauber (9 votes [5.66%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.66%

  7. Force India (8 votes [5.03%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.03%

  8. Williams (10 votes [6.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.29%

  9. Toro Rosso (2 votes [1.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.26%

  10. Caterham (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  11. Marussia (6 votes [3.77%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.77%

Team to disappointed (step backwards)

  1. Red Bull (18 votes [11.32%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.32%

  2. Ferrari (6 votes [3.77%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.77%

  3. McLaren (64 votes [40.25%])

    Percentage of vote: 40.25%

  4. Lotus (18 votes [11.32%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.32%

  5. Mercedes (11 votes [6.92%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.92%

  6. Sauber (9 votes [5.66%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.66%

  7. Force India (8 votes [5.03%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.03%

  8. Williams (11 votes [6.92%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.92%

  9. Toro Rosso (1 votes [0.63%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.63%

  10. Caterham (13 votes [8.18%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.18%

  11. Marussia (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

Team to beat (best all-round package)

  1. Red Bull (108 votes [67.92%])

    Percentage of vote: 67.92%

  2. Ferrari (12 votes [7.55%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.55%

  3. McLaren (14 votes [8.81%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.81%

  4. Lotus (9 votes [5.66%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.66%

  5. Mercedes (15 votes [9.43%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.43%

  6. Sauber (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  7. Force India (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  8. Williams (1 votes [0.63%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.63%

  9. Toro Rosso (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  10. Caterham (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  11. Marussia (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

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#1 F.M.

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 19:09

With winter testing over, what team do you think will pull out a positive surprise and what team do you expect to disappoint compared to last year?
So basically, what team do you think has made a clear step forward and what team has made a step backwards?

Since I'm allowed 3 polls, the third one is about what team you expect to be the team to beat.

I myself think McLaren will be underwhelming when the season gets underway and while I hope Lotus has made a bigger step than the other top teams, I think Mercedes will be the most improved car compared to last year. Followed by Williams (and I 'fear' Ferrari).
I expect Red Bull to have the best all-round package.

Oh, and please let your mind/gut-feeling speak and not your fanboyism or hate! :)

Edited by F.M., 03 March 2013 - 19:18.


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#2 Tauhid

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 19:15

Mercedes to surprise, McLaren to disappoint and Red Bull the team to beat.

Easy choices really. Anything but a faster car than W03 is a huge plus from Mercedes and it surely looks like they'll be fighting for top 6 grid slots come qualifying, maybe not challenge for wins but podiums are a huge possibility. Looking good so far for the first part of the season.

Anything but pole at Melbourne will be a huge disappointment coming from McLaren. They clearly had the all-around fastest car, last year. So going back on pace and also such team changes will surely let them and their fans down. I don't think they'll get pole but will surely be in contention for a race win at Melbourne.

Red Bull is the best car from all images and videos by far. The car has great reliability too and so far it looks much better than the RB8 (Australia'12). I think they'll get pole and the win if all goes well at Australia.

Edited by Tauhid, 03 March 2013 - 19:15.


#3 Disgrace

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 19:19

Anything but pole at Melbourne will be a huge disappointment coming from McLaren. They clearly had the all-around fastest car, last year. So going back on pace and also such team changes will surely let them and their fans down. I don't think they'll get pole but will surely be in contention for a race win at Melbourne.


Too harsh, the car is brand new whilst others have continued on a development path. McLaren are practically beginning a new one, so it's inevitable they'll be behind. Like Mercedes, we can only truly judge improvement over a season.

#4 tarmac

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 19:29

I think Ferrari might "disappoint" in that they are not much nearer to Red Bull and Williams/Mercedes are better or on par

Edited by tarmac, 03 March 2013 - 19:30.


#5 Kingshark

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 04:01

According to the pecking order of armchair experts; Red Bull have the fastest car, followed by Mercedes and Lotus, and then Ferrari and McLaren.

I still believe that Mercedes will once again disappoint. People are once again tipping them to fight for poles and podiums, this will be its downfall. This team was bluffing its way into being a championship threat ahead of both the 2012 and 2011 occasions, and twice in a row they failed to deliver.

The best surprise will be Ferrari, and I'm not just saying that as a fan. Most people are already labeling them as the fourth-fifth best car this season, claiming that they couldn't beat Merc with light fueled cars, but I don't think so.
With DRS banned for qualy, Ferrari's biggest weakness of dry weather qualifying is tamed. Likewise, the Scuderia tend to excel at evolutionary cars, as it is a part of Maranello's team culture to improve cars via testing.

Just my two cents and gut feeling.

#6 BigCHrome

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 04:05

Mercedes have improved the most.

Lotus are going to flop big time.

Red Bull are the best according to everyone whos seen them live.

#7 Menace

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 04:14

Most improved: Mercedes/Lotus/Ferrari, given only one vote I will say Mercedes.

Disappointing: Mclaren

Team to beat: Red Bull

The WDC will be fought between Vettel, Alonso and Kimi... again.

Edited by Menace, 04 March 2013 - 04:15.


#8 HoldenRT

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 04:22

Think of it this way..

If Brazil just ended.. and the whole testing period took place on one Friday.. and now today was Saturday and qualifying day.. would you think the order has changed that much?

To me it's still.. Redbull then Ferrari and McLaren.. then Lotus.. then Mercedes..

And after the Friday practice (testing).. expecting Mercedes to be higher up.. Lotus to be similar.. and Ferrari and Mclaren.. expecting them to compete with Redbull. The order could change but even if it doesn't.. Mercedes could be right up there (equal in speed).. and the whole thing could just be way more compressed. With a tenth seperating the good and bad cars at the front.

Which comes down to the drivers having a good Q3.. and then getting a good start.. and having a good strategy or clear air.

And that's the way it's already been between the top cars on most weekends in the last few years.

Redbull could be quickest but I wouldn't like to predict who will be second fastest. It could be Hamilton, Alonso and Kimi or Button. And if they are all seperated by a tenth.. how do you say one car is faster than the other? The gap between teammates is usually 1-4 tenths.

Edited by HoldenRT, 04 March 2013 - 04:23.


#9 HoldenRT

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 04:32

My point is.. during the season.. we don't pay much attention to Friday times.. and we go off of the races before. So if Ferrari came 2nd, 4th and 3rd in the last three races.. and then are in 15th on Friday.. we don't think Ferrari are doomed.. even if the car isn't as good at that track.. you know they will be up the front somewhere. And most of these cars are just evolutions of last years car and the regulations are really tight. They are new cars now.. but it's hard to imagine things changing that much. I think it's more just about figuring out the right strategies and setup for the new tyres.

#10 ChiltonsCats

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 04:59

most improved: Mercedes = looked much better than expected in testing, won't repeat their mistakes from last season on development, Lewis Hamilton will get more from the car as well.

step backwards: Lotus = reliability was poor throughout testing, Mercedes step forward is most likely to cost them, good as Kimi is I think they will struggle more this season overall, Grosjean may or may not iron out errors from last year but I expect him to be more cautious and do less well when he does finish as a result either way.

best all-round package: McLaren = looking good throughout testing, if they get the setup and development right then I can definitely see Button in the hunt for the WDC, imo it's gonna be between them and Red Bull at the very top of the grid, Ferrari and Mercedes just behind in most races but up there on some, Lotus behind them with Williams/Sauber/Force India all quite close in the midfield, Toro Rosso have looked pretty slow in preseason so I think Caterham and Marussia will compete with them and all teams I think will pick up points this season.

#11 seahawk

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 05:57

most improved Merc.

disapointment: Caterham

Tema to beat: Merc

#12 loki0420

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:04

most improved: Marussia

disapointment: Caterham

Tema to beat: Voted RB but could as well be Mac

#13 JustinD

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:12

People are only saying Redbull is the quickest because of their previous track record. We really don't have a clue. It will probably be the quickest though, Newey is just too good.

#14 NotSoSilentBob

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:51

Most improved: It's relative to where they were on the grid in 2012, but i'm guessing Mercedes up the top and Marussia down the back.

Biggest Disappointment: Red Bull up the top, Caterham down the back

Team to beat: Ferrari, specifically Alonso's car.



#15 denthierry

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 07:32

Same here,

I have this stronger and stronger gut feeling that RBR is simply not the car to beat anymore. Them testing last years front wing on the very last day of testing (yesterday) is the last clue we've had confirming that feeling. The tone of the comments (both from team members, pilots and journos) also changed quite a bit between first tests and last one.

#16 Kelateboy

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 10:42

The team that surprised me the most over the winter testing is Mercedes. We have no clue of their fuel loads but their times were impressive.

The team that disappointed me the most was Red Bull. I did not see anything impressive from them and the fact that they tested the old front wing on the last day of winter testing sent chills up my spine. Vettel's comments that they could not tick all the boxes due to the tyres were a cause of concern too.

The team to beat is McLaren. They have the best package at the end of last year, and they should have a slight edge over RBR and Ferrari.

#17 xman

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 10:56

The question is who has improved their car the most from last year.

Lotus had some interesting ideas (DDRS etc) but didn't have time to develop them enough during the season.
Last years Lotus was a poor man's RedBull, this year I think they will be closer to eachother in pace.

Meanwhile Mercedes have also had plenty of time to recover from last season's mishaps. I think the grid will be unbelievably tight every race this year, and any driving errors during qualification will be severely punished.
Consistent scoring will be important, so I expect Vettel, Alonso and Kimi to be up there again, and possibly Hamilton also.