Season review of HRT, Caterham, Williams, Sauber..

RedBull, McLaren, Lotus and Ferrari aren't the only ones on the grid. It's time we shed some light on the smaller teams. With Mercedes and Williams each having a win added to their portfolio, and Sauber having 4 podiums this season. All teams looked pretty good in the start of this season. Probably as Narain Karthikeyan said, it's all about tyre management. While the top teams like RedBull, McLaren and ferrari  were struggling with tyres, the smaller teams managed their podiums and wins. The moment when the big shots got the tyres working in the right window, it was the usual suspects on podium again. But if McLaren has gambled on Sergio Perez for a driving seat alongside Jenson Button next year, then there's no denying that, there is skill and talent in the new podium finishers this year..

Williams: (Pastor)  After many years, finally this year, williams sprung a surprise at the Spanish grand prix. Pastor Maldonado beat Alonso to win. Pastor wasn't quick only then, you could see a purple lit 'MAL' on top of the timing sheets more than just once this year. Apart from that, he's also one of the 2 most dangerous drivers on the grid. Popularly known as 'Crashtor', maldonado has caused many incidents this season and also has recieved many- way too many penalties! (16 out of the 90+ to be more precise). When Maldonado lines up on he grid behind a front running driver, our mind automatically generates this voice saying- "OhNo! *alert* *alert*" The Maldonado effect. Pace wise, Pastor is pretty quick in a decent paced car. But just that, he's got to be a bit more careful on track. And has to grow mentally a bit more for taking on bigger teams.

(Bruno) Bruno Senna wasn't as quick as Pastor. Qualifying within the top 10 became an event to celebrate for Senna.  As of today, he doesn't have a racing seat for 2013. But he is undeniably a well composed driver, like his legendary uncle, Ayrton Senna.

Caterham:  A good racing season for Caterham with Vitaly Petrov and Heikki Kovalinen. They managed to get back the 10th from Marussia in constructors after Brazil, which could mean an additional 10mil for the Caterham. The line-up for 2013 stands undecided for the moment, with only Charles Pic from Marussia confirmed. Updates from Caterham stopped after a couple of races after the 2nd half of the season, but the strong finish in Brazil helped them.

Sauber : Sauber was definitely a team to watch out for every race! Both drivers, Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi showed their strengths by finishing on podium a couple of times this year. Kamui has got that 'thing' needed for a good driver in a good team. But he remains sponsor-less and hence hasn't got a drive for 2013. Sergio on the other hand, showed that he's worthy enough for team as historically great as McLaren .
As much as how we remember Sebastian Vettel taking that win for Toro Rosso in 2008 at a wet Monza track, we can treasure the moment when Sergio Perez made a podium finish from P12 and was quicker than Alonso, in the same Monza track this year.  Kamui and Sergio still have a lot to learn. For example, not to overtake from the outside in a hairpin! I'm sure McLaren is the solution to this problem with Perez.

Marussia:  Charles Pic has done a good job with his car. A 12th place in Singapore and a strong finish in a wet brazil. Thats probably why, Charles has a multi-year contract with Caterham for next season. Timo Glock remains same old same old. But this can be said, that Marussia has surely grown well as a team to support their drivers.

Force India: This too was a team to watch this season. A new and renewed Force India has performed incredibly well. Both Paul DiResta and Nico Hulkenberg proved their worth in F1. Paul DiResta, after being named 'Rookie of the year ' in 2011, has done a neat job in every race. Though, Nico and Paul were never in contention of podium (except Brazil) it's evident that that team is a strong mid-field team. Nico Hulkenberg has out-qualified his teammate several times and has had very strong finishes. Their updates seemed to work every race. Nico was so strong in the wet track of Sao Paulo, that he lead from Hamilton and Jenson for most of the time. Until, a miscalculation of space between himself, hamilton and Kovalinen (Lapped) ended Hamilton's as well as his opportunity of a podium finish.

Toro Rosso: Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne finished in the points a couple of times this year, but very rarely could you see a toro rosso within Q3 of quali. It was clear that, 3 time world champion, Sebastian Vettel still remains the gem of their eyes after he got them a brilliant 2008 season. Torro Rosso has had a pretty 'okay' season, if not better.

Mercedes: A break-through season for Mercedes. A win and Podium finish from Nico Rosberg, and a pole, and podium from Michael Schumacher. Nico managed to get through Q3 most of the times. But tyre strategy and race pace is an absolute '0'. Mercedes themselves admitted that they spent too much time on getting the DDRS to work. Overall, Mercedes has been a good team this year, capable of further wins.With Michael retiring, Lewis Hamilton will be replacing him at Mercedes. So next year is going to be an exciting one for them, after having a strong line-up.

HRT: HRT has had a fairly good season. DeLa Rosa and Karthikeyan finished races together 8 times this season. The HRT is now in a lot of trouble without a buyer. There is a possibility of only 22 cars being on the grid next year! 


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