Australian GP Preview

Australian GP Preview

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The 2013 Grand Prix is nearly here and it could be one of the most exciting seasons in recent memory.

Sebastian Vettel has won the previous three driver's championships in a superb period of dominance for Red Bull Racing but this year he will face some fierce competition from former championship winners and new pretenders alike.

MoneySupermarket.com, as part of its black box insurance scheme, has looked ahead to the new season to find out who people are tipping for the title ahead of the Australian Grand Prix this weekend.

Despite the drivers admitting it is harder than ever to guess whose car will be fastest, the majority of people believe Ferrari will have the most pace this year.

Over 55 per cent of those asked plumped for Fernando Alonso as a potential winner because of his consistency and strong finish to the previous season.

According to silhoet.com "If (he is) as consistent as 2012 and with a car faster at the beginning of the year, (he) should win."

A little over a quarter of responses said Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull will take the title for a fourth time in succession while Brit Jenson Button is the third most-fancied driver in his McLaren.

However, pundits have warned McLaren will need to get on top of mechanical and pit lane failures last season which hounded the seasons of Button and Lewis Hamilton.

Speaking of Hamilton, his defection to Mercedes has drastically reduced his chances of taking the title this year after he did not appear in the top five most likely drivers.

Hamilton insists the move to Mercedes is a good one as he looks to spearhead the team as it undergoes drastic changes.

However, Kimi Raikkonen could challenge for the title according to those surveyed. The Lotus driver was the fourth most voted for with 5.3 per cent after a good performance last year.

Finally, Fernando Alonso's team mate Felipe Massa, who is often seen as the second choice driver at Ferrari, is the fifth most likely to win the championship after he was voted for by 2.6 per cent of people.

Despite Ferrari drivers dominating the prediction league exactly two-thirds of people believe Red Bull will take the constructors championship. According to one respondent 'Red Bull will come out on top for the same reasons as last year; gritty drivers, consistency, strong strategy, few operational errors and an excellent car'.

Ferrari was second in the predictions list with 17.9 per cent of the vote followed by McLaren with 10.3 per cent and Lotus with 5.1 per cent.

There is good news for Lewis Hamilton according to the MoneySupermarket data despite apparently falling out of the running for the top driver accolade. Nearly a quarter of people asked predicted Mercedes would be the most improved team of the year, ahead of Williams, Sauber and Toro Rosso in the list.