Year 2014 is just around the corner, and it brings us substantial changes in several motorsport activities, including Formula 1, where new 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 engines are being introduced, and the World Endurance Championship with new regulations for the LMP1 class. We look back at the 2013 season, which hasn’t been the most exciting, with domination in almost all activities, most notably Formula 1 and WRC.
The 2013 Formula 1 season looked quite interesting in its first half, with Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Rosberg sharing victories. However, a stark improvement by Red Bull Racing during the second half, helped by Pirelli’s tyre change after a series of blow-ups, saw the team obliterate its competition. Vettel won nine consecutive races from the Belgian Grand Prix in late August till the Brazilian Grand Prix in late November; equalling Alberto Ascari’s record from 1953; the German clinched his fourth world title in the process, making him the youngest four-time world champion. The 2013 Brazilian GP signaled the end of V8 engines in Formula 1.
It was a similar story in the World Rally Championship, with Sebastien Ogier and Volkswagen Motorsport clinching both drivers’ and constructors’ titles. In its debut season, Volkswagen won 10 out of 13 rallies, nine of which went to Ogier, and only one to teammate Jari-Matti Latvala. Citroen had a disappointing season, two of its three victories came from a retired Sebastien Loeb who contested just 4 rallies, while Sordo, who’s moved to Hyundai for 2014, scored his first ever WRC victory in Germany. M-Sport Ford was consistently on the podium thanks to a string of great performances by Thierry Neuville who finished second in the drivers’ championship; the Belgian has joined Sordo in Hyundai.
Audi’s reign on the World Endurance Championship continued; the team won the manufacturers’ championship in the 6 Hours of Fuji, while the #1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Allan McNish, Tom Kristensen and Loic Duval clinched the drivers’ title a round later in Shanghai. Audi won six of eight races, including the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans, leaving Toyota with just two victories in Japan and Bahrain. Both teams face a new challenge next season in the form of 16-time Le Mans 24H victors Porsche who rejoined the championship after a 16-year hiatus.
In MotoGP, Marc Marquez made a shocking start to his debut season, defeating Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa to the championship title. The young rider climbed on the podium in 16 out of 18 rounds, finishing first and second 6 times, and third 4 times. Marquez became the youngest ever MotoGP world champion and the first rookie in 35 years to accomplish the title in his first season.
2013 wasn’t the best of seasons in terms of excitement, but it crowned new champions and it paved the way for new regulations in 2014, which should hopefully provide us with a lot of surprises and thrills.