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Characters: Formula One
The 2013 Formula One grid. For brevity’s sake, keep it to the current year’s drivers and those signed for next year, do not add past champions or other personnel.

2013

#1 - Sebastian Vettel

  • Team: Red Bull
  • Nationality: German
  • Year of Debut: 2007
  • Wins: 26

Sebastian Vettel is the 2010 and 2011 World Champion, and the youngest to ever to achieve that - both becoming a World Champion, and then doing it back-to-back. Vettel's career began as a test driver for BMW Sauber, where he filled in for Robert Kubica after his crash in the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix, leading Toro Rosso to sign him as a replacement. He currently also holds the record for youngest pole position and youngest grand prix winner, earning both at the 2008 Italian Grand Prix when he was 21 years old. This also gave Toro Rosso its maiden win. Vettel’s performance in this race led people to dub him “Baby Schumi”, since his skills in the rain reminded people of Michael Schumacher. In 2009 he moved to Red Bull to replace the retired David Coulthard, and gave Red Bull its first victory as well in China. He was the closest challenger to Jenson Button throughout the year, finishing second. In the 2010 season, he won the championship at the last race in Abu Dhabi, having never led the championship before in that season. In the 2011 season he dominated almost every race, winning 11 of them and setting a new world record of 15 pole positions in one season (the previous holder being Nigel Mansell, unbeaten since 1992). Won the world championship again in 2012, thanks largely to a run of four wins in four races towards the end of the season, becoming the youngest ever triple time champion. He is currently one of the directors of the Grand Prix Drivers Association. He will be staying with Red Bull for 2014.Due to his age, Vettel also holds numerous other "youngest" records. He also holds the dubious honor of being the quickest F1 driver to be slapped with a penalty by the stewards in his F1 career. It took him six seconds.


#2 - Mark Webber

  • Team: Red Bull
  • Nationality: Australian
  • Year of Debut: 2002
  • Wins: 9

Despite his years in Formula One, Mark Webber did not hit his stride until joining Red Bull after driving for Jaguar and Williams. Until his first win, he had been known as “the unluckiest man in F1”, reinforced in people’s minds after the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix, where he raced while still ill with food poisoning before Sebastian Vettel ran into the back of his car. He raced in 2009 with steel rods in one of his legs after breaking it in an accident during a charity event. He scored his first win in Germany of that year, where he also got his first pole position. In Valencia of this year, his car flipped when he ran into Heikki Kovalainen, but sustained no injuries. Many favoured him for becoming world champion in 2010 due to allegations that Red Bull favoured Vettel (not helped by incidents in Turkey and Silverstone), but his performances dropped off at the end of the season. Did quite well in 2011, where despite winning only one race, he managed to be on the podium most of the time, including a very good comeback from 18th to 3rd place in the Chinese Grand Prix. Won two races in 2012, but fell back towards the end of the season and finished in 6th. Retiring from Formula One at the end of this season, and heading to drive for Porsche's World Endurance Championship team.


#3 - Fernando Alonso

  • Team: Ferrari
  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Year of Debut: 2001
  • Wins: 30

Fernando Alonso is the 2005 and 2006 World Champion, making him the then-youngest person to win two championships (the record has now been broken by Sebastian Vettel). He earned both those wins with Renault, beating seven time champion Michael Schumacher in the process. In 2007, he signed with McLaren, but clashes with his teammate Lewis Hamilton led Alonso to break his contract with McLaren and go back to Renault, getting caught up in the Spygate controversy in the process. (He was acquitted from sanction for turning over evidence that led to McLaren’s disqualification from the constructor’s championship.) He was also caught up in the Crashgate controversy, where his teammate Nelson Piquet Jr. conspired with then team principal Flavio Briatore to deliberately crash in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix after Alonso pitted, to give him a win, but he was cleared of all charges of involvement. Alonso signed up with Ferrari after they gave Kimi Raikkonen financial incentive to terminate his contract early. He was involved with the 2010 German Grand Prix scandal, where under team orders Felipe Massa was forced to let Alonso by. Alonso became the first person since Schumacher in 2006 to achieve the Grand Chelem, achieving the pole and win at Singapore, leading the entire race from start to finish, and having the fastest lap - another feat that Sebastian Vettel repeated, albeit at a different track. He won 3 races in the 2012 season, and led the championship for most of the season, but a failure to win any races in the second half of the season resulted in him losing the championship to Vettel. Will remain with Ferrari for the 2014 season, in a curious partnership with Kimi Raikkonen.


#4 - Felipe Massa

  • Team: Ferrari
  • Nationality: Brazilian
  • Year of Debut: 2002
  • Wins: 11

Felipe Massa spent his early F1 years either as Sauber’s driver or Ferrari’s test driver. He became a Ferrari driver in 2006 after Rubens Barrichello broke his contract, dissatisfied with being the number two driver. He won his first pole and win in the 2006 Turkish Grand Prix, then later won the Brazilian Grand Prix, making him the first Brazilian since Ayrton Senna to do so. He was a serious contender for the 2008 World Championship, losing at the last minute when Lewis Hamilton passed Timo Glock at the final corner of the final race, giving Hamilton enough points for the championship. In 2009, he was seriously injured when an errant spring from Barrichello’s car struck him in the helmet, forcing him to miss the rest of the season. He returned at the start of the 2010 season, but struggled behind the faster Alonso. Struggled in 2011 and in the first half of the 2012 season, raising questions about his future with Ferrari. Returned to form towards the end of the season, but only came 7th. He is one of the current directors of the Grand Prix Drivers Association. Leaving Ferrari after 2013.

#5 - Jenson Button

  • Team: McLaren
  • Nationality: British
  • Year of Debut: 2000
  • Wins: 15

Jenson Button is the 2009 World Champion, and shocked everyone when he had switched from Brawn GP (now Mercedes) to McLaren, saying that now he has a championship, he is looking for a new challenge at McLaren. Since McLaren also has the 2008 champion, Lewis Hamilton, this marked the first time a team has had a double champion lineup since Prost and Senna in 1989 (incidentally, also for McLaren). His driving style has been compared to Alain Prost’s - very methodical and precise. Despite winning the championship in 2009, the 2011 seson was hailed as probably his best yet. He is the only one to outperform Lewis Hamilton as a teammate, and highlights included a brilliant drive in Canada, where he recovered from last place after a puncture and a drive-through to snatch first place from Vettel on the last lap of the longest-ever Grand Prix. Won three races in 2012, getting 5th place in the championship. He has been confirmed to be driving for McLaren in 2013.

#6 - Sergio Pérez

  • Team: McLaren
  • Nationality: Mexican
  • Year of Debut: 2011
  • Wins: 0

Sergio Pérez was the champion runner-up for 2010's GP2 championship, failing to score enough points to surpass Pastor Maldonado. He has previously won the Formula Three championship in the National Class (category for older chassis). After an average debut season, he was the surprise package of the 2012 season, taking 3 podiums. Poor performances towards the end of the season saw him finish 10th overall. He will drive for McLaren in 2013, replacing Lewis Hamilton.


#7 - Kimi Räikkönen

  • Team: Lotus
  • Nationality: Finnish
  • Year of Debut: 2001
  • Wins: 20

The 2007 World Champion, he left after the 2009 season to join the World Rally Championship, and had some good wins. He then tried NASCAR racing for two races in 2011 and decided to return to F1 once again in 2012. He had a strong comeback, finishing every race and winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, coming third in the standings.

His cool personality (and lack of smiling) earned him the nickname "Iceman" that he has on his helmet (and on his arm). He secured Lotus's first win since 1987 at the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but will be driving for Ferrari in 2014.


#8 - Romain Grosjean

  • Team: Lotus
  • Nationality: French Swiss
  • Year of Debut: 2009
  • Wins: 0

Grosjean was the 2007 Formula Three Euroseries drivers' champion and the inaugural GP2 Asia Series champion and drove in Formula One in 2009. He holds the unique achievements of being the only two-time GP2 Asia champion and the only driver to hold both the GP2 Asia series and main GP2 series titles simultaneously.

He was a test driver in the 2008 and 2009 season for Renault, driving five races in the 2009 season with average results. In 2010 he raced in the GT1 championships, Auto GP and GP2. He returned as a test driver in 2011 and drove two races and was then announced to get a full time driver spot in 2012. He caused a massive crash in the Belgian Grand Prix, taking out Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez, resulting in the stewards slapping him with a one-race ban. In summary, for the 2012 season, he has been involved in eight first-lap incidents and one second-lap incident so far. Managed to come 8th despite his problems. Remains at Lotus for 2013.


#9 - Nico Rosberg

  • Team: Mercedes GP
  • Nationality: German
  • Year of Debut: 2006
  • Wins: 1

Son of Finnish Formula One champion Keke Rosberg, Nico Rosberg currently holds the record for youngest driver to set a fastest lap at a grand prix, doing it at his debut race in the 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix. He won the GP2 championship in its inaugural year (2005), and drove for Williams for four years before signing with Mercedes. Technically, he was the first driver to sign, and should have had the number three, but the superstitious Michael Schumacher requested that they switch numbers instead, as he always drove with an odd number. Although Rosberg finished ahead of Schumacher in later seasons, they still kept the numbers the wrong way round. Finally won his first race at the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix, but struggled after that and finished the season down in 9th. Confirmed to drive for Mercedes in 2014.

#10 - Lewis Hamilton

  • Team: Mercedes
  • Nationality: British
  • Year of Debut: 2007
  • Wins: 21

Lewis Hamilton is the 2008 World Champion. He also ties the record for most wins in a debut season with Jacques Villeneuve, both earning four. After successes in other driving formulae, he became the 2006 GP2 champion. Moving to McLaren the next year, he clashed with his teammate Fernando Alonso, which ended up hurting both their and McLaren’s championship prospects, causing Kimi Raikkonen to take the championship. In 2008, he won the championship at literally the last minute, passing Timo Glock at the last corner, giving him enough points to edge out Felipe Massa. 2011 was a troubled season for him - despite three wins, he had many incidents (mostly with Felipe Massa) and crashed out of several races. He has nevertheless remained a strong driver, though. 2012 saw an improvement, with four wins and two races where car problems struck him while he was in the lead. Came 4th in the championship. He will be driving for Mercedes in 2014.


#11-Nico Hülkenberg

  • Team: Sauber
  • Nationality: German
  • Year of Debut: 2010
  • Wins: 0

Nico Hulkenberg is the 2009 champion of the GP2 Championship, the feeder series to F1. He had served as Williams’s test driver since 2007, and had been linked to a Ferrari seat during Felipe Massa’s injury. After both of Williams’s drivers left the team, he was ascended to a full driving position, being paired with veteran Rubens Barrichello. In Brazil he took his maiden pole position, much to the shock of everyone else.

After leaving Williams he signed as Force India's third driver for 2011, being promoted to a race seat for 2012. Came 11th in 2012, coming close to winning the Brazilian Grand Prix. He moved to Sauber for 2013, although their precarious economic situation leaves him driving unpaid for half of the season and likely without a job for next year, with Gutierrez and Sirotkin in the wings...


12 - Esteban Gutierrez

  • Team: Sauber
  • Nationality: Mexican
  • Year of Debut: 2013
  • Wins: 0

Young Mexican driver. Won the 2010 GP3 season, and came 3rd in the 2012 GP2 season. Was Sauber test driver from 2011 onwards, and will move to a race seat for 2013.


#14 - Paul di Resta

  • Team: Force India
  • Nationality: British
  • Year of Debut: 2011
  • Wins: 0

Paul Di Resta is a Scottish racing driver who was the DTM champion in 2010, as well as the Force India test driver.. His performances resulted in him being promoted to a full time race seat for 2011. Had a mediocre season in 2012, finishing 14th. Expected to remain at Force India for 2014, but unconfirmed.


#15 - Adrian Sutil

  • Team: Force India
  • Nationality: German
  • Year of Debut: 2007
  • Wins: 0

Formerly a driver in Formulae BMW and 3, Sutil raced for the defunct Midlands and Spyker before getting a seat with the stable Force India in 2008. Was dropped from the team for 2012, possibly for an incident in a Shanghai bar where he cut a man with a champagne glass. Returned to Formula 1 in 2013 for the same team.


#16 - Pastor Maldonado

  • Team: Williams
  • Nationality: Venezuelan
  • Year of Debut: 2011
  • Wins: 1

A former GP2 Champion, regarded by many as a dangerous driver who is only kept for his sponsorship. However, he did surprisingly win the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix. Finished the season in 15th, the lowest position for a race-winning driver. Will remain with Williams for the 2013 season. He has the dubious honor of being the driver with the "most penalties awarded in a season".

#17 - Valtteri Bottas

  • Team: Williams
  • Nationality: Finnish
  • Year of Debut: 2013
  • Wins: 0

2011 GP3 season winner, was Williams test driver from 2010 onwards. Spent the 2012 season driving the Williams on Fridays, preparing himself for a full race seat which he will take in 2013.

#18 - Jean-Éric Vergne

  • Team: Toro Rosso
  • Nationality: French
  • Year of Debut: 2012
  • Wins: 0

Also a former British F3 Champion and a member of the Red Bull driver academy, Vergne went straight into Toro Rosso for 2012. Narrowly beat his team-mate 16 points to 10 in 2012, but was second-from-last of the points scorers. He will also remain with Toro Rosso for the next season.


#19 - Daniel Ricciardo

  • Team: Toro Rosso
  • Nationality: Australian
  • Year of Debut: 2011
  • Wins: 0
Former British F3 Champion, Ricciardo is a member of the Red Bull driver academy. He spent half of the 2011 season at HRT, before moving to Toro Rosso, the Red Bull junior team. Last of the point-scorers in 2012. He will replace fellow Aussie Mark Webber at Red Bull for 2014.


#20 - Charles Pic

  • Team: Caterham
  • Nationality: French
  • Year of Debut: 2012
  • Wins: 0

2011 GP2 fourth placer who joined Marussia for 2013. Impressed in his first season, resulting in a move to Caterham in 2013.


#21- Giedo van der Garde

  • Team: Caterham
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Year of Debut: 2013
  • Wins: 0


#22- Jules Bianchi

  • Team: Marussia
  • Nationality: French
  • Year of Debut: 2013
  • Wins: 0

Loaned out to the team by Ferrari to gain some experience and likely join them later in his career.Timo Glock was contracted for this space, but left for "economic reasons".


#23- Max Chilton

  • Team: Marussia
  • Nationality: British
  • Year of Debut: 2013
  • Wins: 0

Came 4th in GP2 in 2012 for the Marussia GP 2 season. Promoted to F1 for 2013.

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