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Drivers braced for wide open start to 2013 Formula 1 season

Formula 1's leading teams need to brace themselves for an incredibly open battle for victory in the first races of the new campaign, reckon leading drivers.

With current testing form making it impossible to judge who is ahead right now, and the picture further confused by poor weather ruining testing, both Mark Webber and Felipe Massa think that the start of the season is not going to result in one team being dominant.

Webber, who drives for reigning champions Red Bull and was fastest on the first day of this week's test at Barcelona, said: "That hasn't happened for a long time, for a few years.

"Once the season gets going there will be a trend. Once we get going some of the stronger and organised teams, the arm wrestle might go in their favour.

"But at the start of the season there are a lot of strong cars and it is anyone's game."

Massa says it is no surprise things appear to be so close given how similar the regulations are to last year's rules.

"Sure Red Bull will be one of the top teams and top cars for the championship - this year nothing changed in the rules," explained the Ferrari driver.

"I don't believe they lose the direction as everything is similar.

"I believe it is the same for McLaren. Everyone knows more or less the direction, so we need to work and put everything together in our car to be in that direction as well."

When asked how confident he was that Ferrari was at least in the mix at the front, Massa said: "Sure I am confident. You are always very confident at the beginning of the season, and the feeling of the car is positive as well.

"This year is definitely much better for the feeling of the car, and the car behaves more in the good direction.

"Until you drive the qualifying with the same fuel and the same tyres and everything, it is difficult to say. But I trust in the team and I hope we can be there in the top level."

Webber believes that the current formbook means Red Bull cannot relax about its situation despite appearing to be in the mix at the front.

"We've seen some very quick lap times from other cars," he said. "We have got work to do, and we are working as hard as we can.

"We focus as much as we can on ourselves but we want to understand what the other guys are doing.

"We know there are some fast cars out there and we are not on our own."

Source: Jonathan Noble (

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