F1 2014 – Meet the Drivers

The 2014 Formula One Season is just around the corner. The cars look very different, and so does the rule book, but who will be driving the machines of 2014? Instead of car numbers based on Constructor placings in the previous years, drivers are now given a number for the rest of their career, and these are shown in brackets.

These are the drivers for the 2014 Formula One Season.

RED BULL – RENAULT
Their fourth year as reining champions, Red Bull will be looking to show the rest of the field how it’s done – no easy feat when you consider the playing field is to be leveled with new regulations.

2013 Position: 1st          Title Sponsor: Infiniti          Team Principal: Christian Horner

Sebastian VETTEL (1)
He’s broken pretty much all the records and is quickly forging a path through F1 as one of the most successful in history. Can the Weltmeister conquer again in 2014 and equal Fangio’s record of titles?

2013 Position: 1st          2013 Wins: 13          2013 Points: 397

Daniel RICCIARDO (3)
The ‘New Webber’ certainly has the speed and nationality to match his predecessor. After two impressive years at Toro Rosso, seeing how the super-smiley Aussie compares to Vettel will be one of the most interesting stories of the year. Excellent qualifying in Silverstone and Canada likely landed him the new drive.

2013 Position: 14th          2013 Wins: 0          2013 Points: 20

MERCEDES AMG
Losing Ross Brawn is not going to help any team, but with Toto Wolff at the helm, the team look strong. They know that converting success on Saturday to that on Sunday will be their biggest test this year. Can the Silver Arrows close the performance gap to the Red Bulls as they threatened to last year?

2013 Position: 2nd          Title Sponsor: Petronas          Team Principal: Toto Wolff/ Paddy Lowe

Lewis HAMILTON (44)
After what can only be described as a stellar first year with Mercedes, including a dominating win in Hungary and a sublime Pole lap in Silverstone, Hamilton will be hoping to solidify Mercedes’ clear speed on Saturdays with more podiums the next day.

2013 Position: 4th          2013 Wins: 1          2013 Points: 189

Nico ROSBERG (6)
Two victories for Rosberg Junior confirmed his coming of age, with a masterclass in Monaco and inheriting Vettel’s win in Silverstone. He’ll need to be fast as well as fortunate in 2014 though, as Mercedes intend to set the absolute bar in the new Turbo era.

2013 Position: 6th          2013 Wins: 2          2013 Points: 171

FERRARI
Ferrari started last season very strongly with a duo of wins in China and a sublime win at home for Alonso in Spain, but from the mid-point, their performance took a marked drop-off. After finally releasing Felipe Massa after a few years promising to do so, the Scuderia’s first double World Champion line-up since 1955 will be hoping for a consistent race car all year to enforce their credentials.

2013 Position: 3rd          Title Sponsor: Santander          Team Principal: Stefano Domenicali

Fernando ALONSO (14)
After the two aforementioned wins the Spanish charge couldn’t keep up with Vettel or the Lotuses, but he is still regarded by many as the best driver on the grid. If he’s to add to his two Championships from 2005 and 2006, a shake up of the rules might be the break he needs.

2013 Position: 2nd          2013 Wins: 2          2013 Points: 242

Kimi RAIKKONEN (7)
The Iceman took the first win of 2013 in Australia and threatened the top of the podium throughout the season, but could not build on it. After frustration with Lotus’ money woes, The New Flying Finn hopes to find fortune with his WDC winning team, Ferrari.

2013 Position: 5th          2013 Wins: 1          2013 Points: 183

LOTUS-RENAULT
After a great start to the year with a win and seemingly the only package with an answer to the Red Bulls, Lotus pretty much had a civil war towards the end of 2013, swearing at drivers, not paying them, and personnel leaving. After finally getting financial security with PDVSA, Lotus will be aiming to regroup and get back to the pace they were running at from late 2012 to mid 2013.

2013 Position: 4th          Title Sponsor: Genii Capital          Team Principal: Gérard Lopez

Romain GROSJEAN (8)
Many doubted and disliked Grosjean after a terrifying, carbon-fiber flinging series of crashes in 2012, but he blossomed beautifully into a quick and consistent driver last season, notching 6 podiums, as well as challenging for victory in Japan and the USA. He needs to keep this up as he leads Lotus for the first time, stepping out of Raikkonen’s shadow.

2013 Position: 7th          2013 Wins:           2013 Points: 132

Pastor MALDONADO (13)
F1’s maiden Venezuelan had an awful final season with Williams, supplemented by one solitary point in Hungary. His three seasons at Williams bore an unthinkable pole and win in Spain 2012, but his reputation for crashing has become more prominent. With a number like unlucky 13, he hopes not to add to this reputation, and instead get back to the podium.

2013 Position: 18th          2013 Wins: 0          2013 Points: 1

MCLAREN-MERCEDES
2013 can only be described as a bad year for Woking’s finest, with inter-team squabbling, the loss of Paddy Lowe as chief mechanic, and a car that was not fond of speed. As they prepare to say goodbye to Mercedes engines (with whom they have been partnered since 1996) for the return of Honda power next year, and with Eric Boullier taking over as team principal, and throw into the mix a highly-rated rookie, it could be a great resurgence for them.

2013 Position: 5th          Title Sponsor: TBA          Team Principal: Eric Boullier

Jenson BUTTON (22)
There was little that Button could do in 2013, as the car did not agree with his smooth driving style. The best he could muster was a 4th place finish in Brazil. He’ll be hoping for faster machinery this time round.

2013 Position: 9th          2013 Wins: 0          2013 Points: 73

Kevin MAGNUSSEN (20)
Magnussen’s McLaren credentials are clear – his father drove a race for the team in 1995. Hopefully, the younger Magnussen’s spell at the team will last a while longer. His win in the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 season got him the drive, coupled with involvement in the McLaren Young Driver Programme.

2013 Position: N/A          2013 Wins: N/A          2013 Points: N/A

FORCE INDIA-MERCEDES
Their dreams of beating McLaren to 5th place may have fallen a little short, but 2013, for the first half of the season at least, can only be regarded as an excellent step. The change in tyre rules held them back in later races, and too many crashes for outgoing Paul di Resta might have cost them 5th. With an all-new line up for this season, their aim is to rub shoulders with those on the podium.

2013 Position: 6th          Title Sponsor: Sahara          Team Principal: Vijay Mallaya

Nico HULKENBERG (27)
His choice of number has quite a legacy (Gilles Villeneuve) but the German’s excellent year with Sauber indicates that there may be one for him too. A sublime defensive drive to 4th in Korea was arguably one of the best drives for anyone of the year, punching well above the car’s weight. 2014 looks full of promise for the German, as he re-joins the team with whom he led a race in 2012.

2013 Position: 10th          2013 Wins: 0          2013 Points: 51

Sergio PEREZ (11)
Dropped by McLaren after a single year, ‘Checo’ hopes for more loyalty from Force India. Some say he got a little too big for his boots, particularly when it came to clashing with his team mate in Bahrain, and a clumsy race in Monaco, but the Mexican has plenty of positives to take from 2013, and definitely still has speed.

2013 Position: 11th          2013 Wins: 0           2013 Points: 49

SAUBER-FERRARI
The Swiss team took a step backwards last year, relative to their strong 2012 campaign. However, the Hinwil-based team ended last season strongly, so momentum is in their favour. They’ll be hoping to ride this into the new season, as the very experienced Adrian Sutil lends his name to the roster.

2013 Position: 7th          Title Sponsor: Telmex          Team Principal: Monisha Kaltenborn

Adrian SUTIL (99)
The German’s comeback in 2013 was extremely positive, leading the first race of the year. He then went on to have a brilliant attacking drive in Monaco where he nabbed both Alonso and Raikkonen in cheeky overtaking manouvres. He now moves to Sauber, the first team change of his career, so his biggest challenge will be adapting to that.

2013 Position: 13th          2013 Wins: 0           2013 Points: 29

Esteban GUTIERREZ (21)
Gutierrez’ rookie year came with an expectation. After the success of fellow Mexican Perez in 2012’s Sauber, it was thought that he could emulate the results of his compatriot. But the C32 was largely uncompetitive, and so Esteban ended the year with just 6 points. It was enough, though, to secure the seat for this season, in which he will be hoping for more.

2013 Position: 16th          2013 Wins: 0          2013 Points: 6

TORO ROSSO-RENAULT
New engines and power-trains and a new face spell a new challenge for Red Bull’s sister team. The team are a constant convellor belt, swiftly delivering young talents and dispersing them into bigger teams. As everything in the rule book changes, the team will be hoping their familiarity with adapting gives them an advantage this year.

2013 Position: 8th          Title Sponsor: Red Bull          Team Principal: Franz Tost

Jean-Eric VERGNE (25)
JEV actually had a better result than Ricciardo in 2013, scoring 6th in Canada, compared to 7th in Italy for Ricciardo. However the Australian’s consistency was cited as the decider, and so the Frenchman will hope to improve this aspect of his racing if he is to get a seat further up the grid.

2013 Position: 15th          2013 Wins: 0          2013 Points: 13

Daniil KVYAT (26)
Many were surprised when they announced the young Russian ahead of Antonio Felix Da Costa, but with a dominating victory in his rookie year of GP3, as well as a win in European Formula Three, it’s clear their confidence was not misplaced. By the way, his surname is pronounced “Kwee-at”.

2013 Position: N/A          2013 Wins: N/A          2013 Points: N/A

WILLIAMS-MERCEDES
Despite the win in 2012, Williams remain in the doldrums, and haven’t been anywhere near competitive since 2008. A switch to Mercedes power, and the signing of an ex-Ferrari man are two steps – hopefully – towards glory again. The team only scored 5 points last year; their worst ever. But with a strong driver line-up, things could be about to turn around.

2013 Position: 9th          Title Sponsor: Martini          Team Principal: Patrick Head

Felipe MASSA (19)
Last season was by no means a slouch for Felipe. Though finally dropped by the Ferrari family, he is still hungry for success, and bringing his race engineer Rob Smedley, with whom he is very close, will make him feel right at home. A podium and three 4th places last year show he is not past his best yet.

2013 Position: 8th          2013 Wins: 0          2013 Points: 112

Valtteri BOTTAS (77)
Bottas, or as he stylised himself with his new number, ‘BO77AS’, didn’t have much to work with last year, but a well-timed 3rd place qualifying in Canada and a handful of points in the USA show his potential if given a chance. He’ll be hoping that his second year as a Williams driver bears more fruit.

2013 Position: 17th          2013 Wins: 0          2013 Points: 4

MARUSSIA-FERRARI
Nothing changes at Marussia for the new season – in fact they’re only one of two teams to have the same two race drivers as last season; the other is Mercedes. 10th place in the Constructors for 2013 was a good achievement, and they will be looking to finally close down the gap to the likes of Toro Rosso and Williams.

2013 Position: 10th          Title Sponsor: CNET          Team Principal: John Booth

Jules BIANCHI (17)
The Frenchman was responsible for Marussia’s best result last season; 13th place in Malaysia. His good relationship with his team mate Chilton will be key in beating rivals Caterham – the Marussia boys have known each other for a year already, whilst Caterham have to get to know each other.

2013 Position: 19th          2013 Wins: 0          2013 Points: 0

Max CHILTON (4)
Racing is definitely in the Chilton bloodstream, with his brother Tom a successful driver in Touring Cars. If Marussia have made the necessary steps, he could establish himself in his field too, and make the Chilton parents doubly proud. A tough rookie season lies behind, but his second year should be more stable.

2013 Position: 23rd          2013 Wins: 0          2013 Points: 0

CATERHAM-RENAULT
Although team CEO Tony Ferndandes is getting tired of throwing money at the team and getting no results, he should remain optimistic. They joined the sport when a status quo had already been established, and so a rule book overhaul could provide the chance to step up to the midfield.

2013 Position: 11th          Title Sponsor: General Electric          Team Principal: Cyril Abiteboul

Marcus ERICSSON (9)
Swedish Rookie Ericsson has made the step up from GP2, the series in which he won a race and clinched four other podiums on his way to 6th place. He will be hoping to help Caterham’s lengthy development and bring them some points for the first time.

2013 Position: N/A          2013 Wins: N/A          2013 Points: N/A

Kamui KOBAYASHI (10)
This fan favourite last raced for Sauber, and despite an incredible podium in Suzuka 2012, he was dropped for Hulkenberg. The Japanese sensation has been at Ferari for the last twelve months testing cars and demonstrating them in Russia, but maybe it’s best not to mention that…

2013 Position: N/A          2013 Wins: N/A          2013 Points: N/A

The season kicks off in Melbourne, Australia on March 16.

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