The 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship was the 64th Formula One World Championship, recognised by the sport's governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), as the highest class of competition for open-wheel racing cars. Eleven teams and twenty-three drivers contested the nineteen Grands Prix that made up the calendar for the 2013 season, with the winning driver being crowned the World Drivers' Champion and the winning team the World Constructors' Champions. The season started in Australia on 17 March 2013 and ended in Brazil on 24 November 2013.
Sebastian Vettel successfully defended his World Championship, winning his fourth consecutive title in the fourth to last race of 2013. In doing so he became the third driver in Formula One's sixty-four years to win four consecutive World Drivers' Championships. It was one of the most dominant championship victories in the sport and the last won by a Red Bull driver until 2021 with Max Verstappen, it remains the last for a Renault-powered driver, as of 2022[update]. Vettel won the championship by a record 155 points. Vettel's 2013 season performance additionally saw him recognised by the Laureus World Sports Awards as the Sportsman of the Year, the second racing driver to be so recognised. He became the fourth driver to win at least four titles along with Alain Prost, Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher.
Vettel tied Schumacher's season record of 13 race wins and closed out the year with nine consecutive victories. 2013 would turn out to be the end of his title run, with Vettel remaining at four titles until his retirement in 2022. Fernando Alonso finished second in the championship for Ferrari for the third time in four seasons, which would also be the last time he would win a race or end up on the championship podium for at least nine years.
Upon starting his second career in 2010, Michael Schumacher signed a three-year agreement to race for Mercedes AMG. With that deal expiring at the end of the 2012 season, Schumacher was given the option of renewing his contract with the team for 2013. However, in the face of disappointing results over the past three seasons, Schumacher became indecisive about his future, prompting Mercedes to start searching for a new driver. Following a protracted period of negotiation, 2008 World Champion Lewis Hamilton announced that he would join Mercedes for the next three years. The move ended his fourteen-year association with McLaren, and Hamilton later described his decision to change teams as being motivated by the desire to find a new challenge for himself, and that the idea of taking a struggling team and building them up to become a successful one held more appeal to him than "cruising around with a great team". Schumacher ultimately announced that he would be retiring from the sport for the second time at the end of the 2012 season.
Nico Hülkenberg left Force India after just one season, despite having originally signed a multi-year deal to race for the team starting in 2012, to fill the vacant seat at Sauber. Hülkenberg was joined by Esteban Gutiérrez, who had previously served as Sauber's testing and reserve driver in 2011 and 2012 whilst campaigning in the GP2 Series. Hülkenberg's place at Force India was taken by Adrian Sutil, who returned to the team after a season out of the sport.
With Hülkenberg and Gutiérrez joining Sauber, Kamui Kobayashi was left without a seat after three seasons with the Swiss team. In a bid to secure a seat, Kobayashi accepted donations from fans to raise as much money as possible. However, shortly after Lotus F1 announced that they would retain Romain Grosjean, Kobayashi announced that he had given up hope of securing a racing seat for the 2013 season. He later joined AF Corse for the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship. However, he returned to the Formula 1 grid in 2014 with Caterham.
Williams promoted test and reserve driver Valtteri Bottas to a full-time racing seat alongside Pastor Maldonado, replacing Bruno Senna. Bottas, the 2011 GP3 Series champion, made regular appearances for Williams during the 2012 season, in official practice sessions at fifteen Grands Prix. Faced with the loss of his seat, Bruno Senna initially sought a drive with Force India, but instead moved to the World Endurance Championship, joining Aston Martin Racing.
Charles Pic moved from Marussia to Caterham, joining former GP2 Series teammate Giedo van der Garde. Pic and van der Garde had previously raced alongside one another as teammates in 2011, racing for Barwa Addax. Where Pic joined Marussia for the 2012 season, van der Garde became Caterham's test driver and contested the 2012 GP2 Series with their GP2 team before being promoted to Formula One. As a result of this, Caterham's 2012 drivers, Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov lost their seats for 2013. Caterham team principal Cyril Abiteboul later said that the relationship between the team and Kovalainen had fallen apart towards the end of the 2012 season, leading to his dismissal from the team, whilst Petrov lost his seat due to a lack of sponsorship. Kovalainen later returned to the team to take part in free practice sessions on a temporary basis.
Timo Glock was initially signed to compete for Marussia until the end of the 2014 season, but later announced that he would be leaving the team. Marussia team principal John Booth cited "tough economic conditions" as the reason for the team being forced to let Glock go, whilst Glock referenced the loss of tenth place in the 2012 World Constructors' Championship to Caterham at the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix as the first sign that his position with the team was in danger. Glock moved to the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, driving for BMW. With Glock gone, the team elected to take two rookie drivers: Max Chilton, who spent the 2012 season competing in the GP2 Series with the Marussia-backed Carlin team; and GP2 Series runner-up Luiz Razia. However, Razia was removed from Marussia's testing line-up for the second pre-season test in Barcelona, leading to speculation that his future with the team was in jeopardy. It was later reported that his sponsors had missed payments to the team, prompting the decision to suspend his testing programme. His contract to race was terminated twenty-three days after it had been announced, and Razia was replaced by 2009 Formula 3 Euro Series champion and 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 Series runner-up Jules Bianchi.
With HRT withdrawing from the championship, Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan were left without full-time racing seats. De la Rosa later joined Ferrari to aid the team in developing their simulator and was confirmed as one of their test and reserve drivers before the first pre-season test in Jerez, while Karthikeyan began contesting Auto GP.
Kimi Räikkönen was forced to miss the final two races of the season in order to undergo surgery to relieve pain from a back injury he had been suffering from for a long time and which flared up during the Singapore Grand Prix. His place in the team was taken by fellow Finnish racer Heikki Kovalainen.
The following nineteen races appeared on the 2013 race schedule. Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One's commercial rights holder through his Formula One Management and Formula One Administration companies, has previously said that he believes twenty races is the maximum that is viable. The number of races on the Formula One calendar is dictated by the Concorde Agreement, the arrangement between teams, the FIA and Formula One Management. At the time of Ecclestone's comments regarding the length of the series schedule, the then-current Concorde Agreement was set to expire at the end of the 2012 season. Twenty to twenty-five races would be possible if the teams agreed to it.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso finished as the runner-up with 242 points. The Spaniard won two races, in China and Spain, and scored five second-places, in Australia, Canada, Belgium, Italy and Singapore, to keep him in a strong championship position throughout the season. However, a retirement in Malaysia and relatively poor results in Bahrain, Monaco, Korea and India saw him fall behind Vettel in the points. The gap closed briefly after the German's gearbox failure at the British Grand Prix, but the defending world champion scored eleven consecutive podium finishes after his sole retirement of the season, including ten wins, to clinch the title. Alonso's teammate Felipe Massa finished eighth in the standings, scoring 112 points with a single podium finish in Spain. Ferrari lost second place in the Constructors' Championship to Mercedes, finishing a mere 6 points behind.
Lewis Hamilton, who scored a win in Hungary, four third places and five pole positions in 2013 with Mercedes AMG, finished fourth in the drivers' standings with 189 points. His Malaysian Grand Prix podium came with a share of controversy as team orders were employed to help him retain third place. After the race, Hamilton said that his teammate Nico Rosberg was the one who actually deserved the podium. Italy was the first time that Hamilton failed to make a Q3 appearance since the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix. As a result, the Briton's streak of consecutive Q3 appearances ended at 66. Hamilton also suffered his first retirement of the season in Japan due to damage caused by a puncture, which he got from a clash with Vettel. Rosberg, despite winning the Monaco and British Grands Prix, finished sixth, with retirements in Australia, China and Hungary, as well as a string of bad luck preventing him from having clean races, hurting his point tally. Mercedes finished as the runner-up to Red Bull in the Constructors' Championship with 360 points.
Lotus driver Kimi Räikkönen finished fifth in the Drivers' Championship with 183 points. He missed the last two races of the season due to a back surgery. The Finn won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix and placed second at the Chinese, Bahrain, Spanish, German, Hungarian and Korean Grands Prix, but a retirement in Belgium combined with a non-points finish in Italy opened the gap to the championship leader. Belgium was the first time Räikkönen failed to finish a race since returning to the sport at the 2012 Australian Grand Prix. It also ended Räikkönen's record run of consecutive points finishes at 27, which started at the 2012 Bahrain Grand Prix. Teammate Romain Grosjean finished third in Bahrain, Germany, Korea, Japan and India, finishing seventh in the points standings. He also saw a return of 2012 controversies during the first half of the season after being handed a 10-place grid penalty for the Canadian Grand Prix, which he received for crashing into Daniel Ricciardo at Monaco. He was also handed a 20-second time penalty in Hungary for a collision with Jenson Button. However, the Frenchman found great form and confidence afterwards to score three consecutive podium finishes and equalled his best ever result in the United States with second place. Poor showings in Monaco, Canada, Great Britain, Belgium, Italy and Brazil saw Lotus fall to fourth in the Constructors' Championship with 315 points, 39 adrift of Ferrari for third place. 041b061a72