F2013: history dictates that growth will come

What point on the performance curve are the 2013 single-seaters? We’ll soon see if history has a lesson for us all

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

What point on the performance curve are the 2013 single-seaters? We’ll soon see if history has a lesson for us all

Let’s look at just one example: when we were kids, we all made paper aeroplanes. When you throw them, they start off slow and then gather speed, balance in flight, before eventually floating back to earth again.

It’s a bit like that with racing cars. They are born, go through a shakedown period, grow and develop. They stay competitive for a few years, then their performance gradually wanes and they make their exit from the scene.

Look back at the days of the 312 T, driven by Lauda and Scheckter, and you’ll see what I mean. When that car got past its early stages, it was so fast it was unbeatable. The same thing happened during the Schumacher era with Rory Byrne’s single-seaters which went all the way from ’98-’99 to Räikkönen’s world title.

Beautiful curves that gradually petered downwards. The F2012, which made its debut in late January, proved in the course of the just-finished season that it had potential but had not yet reached its peak. The big hope now is that it will develop as successfully as we are all expecting, not forgetting that our closest competitors may well find themselves at that point in the curve where it begins to slope downwards…

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