With F1 pre-season testing now over, it's time to preview the 2013 season!

The 2013 Grand Prix season is fast approaching and excitement is starting to build ahead of what is expected to be one of the closest championships in the history of the sport.

Fernando Alonso came within 3 points of pulling off a remarkable championships victory in 2012, in what was generally considered to be an inferior car. However, he was unable to stop Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel taking a third consecutive driver’s crown.

As part of its black box insurance comparison service, our friends from MoneySupermarket are again aiming to recognise outstanding driving talent and has once again approached recognised and respected online motorsport experts – including us at RichardsF1.com to predict the likely outcome of the upcoming season.

Over 50% of our survey respondents believe that Alonso will take that long awaited third title in 2013, with reigning champion Vettel next up on the list with 26.3% of the overall vote. Perhaps the most surprising championship tip came from bensweeneyf1blog.wordpress.com, who predicted that Felipe Massa would continue his resurgence in form and give his Ferrari team-mate a run for his money this season.

Red Bull is the red-hot favourites to retain the Constructors’ Championship crown for a fourth consecutive season, with two-thirds of respondents predicting they will come out on top.

Ferrari was next up on 17.9%, and McLaren third with 10.3% – despite the fact they have lost Lewis Hamilton to Mercedes over the winter. Hamilton’s presence at Mercedes did, however, ensure that Mercedes was voted the team most likely to make a big step forward in performance in 2013, with f1predictions.net believing the British driver will give the team the boost it needs.

The strong winter testing form of Lotus ensured it won over 5.1% of our survey respondents when we asked them to name the most likely winners of the 2013 constructor’s crown, with f1ezine.com stating that the strong performance of the black and gold cars in testing so far has indicated that Red Bull is no longer “superior”.

The second driver at Lotus, Romain Grosjean, was also as  the driver most likely to make a step forward in performance in 2013. The Frenchman showed remarkable speed in 2012, but all too often found himself involved in accidents with other drivers. This culminated in his receiving a driving ban for his part in the opening lap crash at last year’s Belgian GP.

However, 35.9% of our respondents have seen enough to predict a strong year for the Frenchman in 2013, with F1-viewpoint.blogspot.com predicting that Grosjean will “remind people how good he is”.

This doesn’t mean our respondents believe he will outperform his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen though. A whopping 97% of our respondents predicting the 2007 World Champion will out-perform his younger team-mate.

The real winner on the team-mate stakes, though, was Nico Hulkenberg, with 100% of the motorsport experts who took part in the survey predicting that the German will outperform his rookie team-mate Gutierrez.

However, there was nothing to choose between the Williams team-mates Maldonado and Bottas, as they remarkably received an equal split of votes.

Check out the complete summary here:

MoneySuperMarket's 2013 F1 Season Preview

Article courtesy of MoneySuperMarket.com

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.