2013 Korean Grand Prix: Writers’ Predictions
Chris Cassingham (@CCassingham)
Race Winner: Based on recent form, it’s almost impossible to look past Sebastian Vettel for the win. The Red Bull/Vettel combination is unstoppable.
Impressive Performance: I think Nico Hulkenberg could pull out something impressive this weekend. The weather is expected to play up on Sunday, so it could open a window of opportunity for someone who is looking to make his mark on the Formula One paddock every race weekend. We could also see some improvement from Lotus, as their long-wheelbase car is making a return to the track. The braking and aerodynamic benefits from the new design should be magnified by the Korean International Circuit‘s diverse layout.
Most on the line: Sergio Perez‘s future is in doubt. After failing to match Jenson Button‘s level of performance in a noncompetitive car, other drivers have knocked on the door of the Woking team. If Perez is to make his mark on the sport and secure a long-term future with Mclaren, he needs to up his game. It’s now or never.
Michael Guzman (@Mike486)
Race Winner: Can’t go wrong with Sebastian Vettel.
Impressive Performance: I think Mercedes‘ downforce package could succeed in Korea. Nico Rosberg has been quiet for a bit, so it’ll be interesting to see how he can compete with Lewis Hamilton, who I expect to have a good race.
Most on the line: Mclaren has a lot on the line. They’ve been close, but the team morale has to be precarious after more races with disappointing results.
Spenser Walters (@SpenserWalters)
Race Winner: I’m picking Lewis Hamilton to top the podium in Korea. The Silver Arrows have been fast all weekend and Hamilton looks locked in and focused. I like Lewis to end Vettel’s winning streak.
Impressive Performance: While a win is always impressive, it won’t make Hamilton the most impressive driver of the Grand Prix. Despite an unimpressive qualifying performance, I’m expecting another big race day from Kimi Raikkonen. He has been struggling with tire issues as well as a bad back in Korea, but I think the Iceman will do as he did in Singapore and toughen up when it matters. Don’t be surprised to see him on the podium at the end of this one.
Most on the line: The driver with the most to lose, or perhaps the most to prove, is Raikkonen’s fellow Lotus wheel man Romain Grosjean. The Frenchman has looked impressive in practice and qualifying of late, but hasn’t fully capitalized on race day. Most people assume he will be back with Lotus in 2014 to provide some continuity for the team since Raikkonen is now off to Ferrari, but Lotus has been very hush-hush as to their 2014 driver line-up. A podium from Grosjean would go a long way in reminding Lotus of his potential.