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First of all, an apology from me for my general silence over winter. That wasn't my plan at all.
I'm going to stick my reputation on the line here, and give a pre-launch prediction for each team. Obviously if I'm totally right it will be a minor miracle, but I'm going to give it a shot anyway. How hard can it be?!
World Champions. That's probably the safest bet in the world right now, I admit, but I had to start somewhere. Add to that Sebastian Vettel for a third consecutive crown, and Mark Webber again struggling comparatively, to either fourth or fifth place. I'm erring towards 5th, followed by retirement.
Runners-up in the constructors' standings once more, but only because Massa slips further down the order. Hamilton perhaps edging Button this time, but close between them for 3rd and 4th.
Once again trailing the front two teams, although with the pace to beat McLaren and occasionally Red Bull. 2 wins for Alonso and 2nd overall, while Massa drops to 7th.
Closing on the top 3 teams, but not quite there yet. Rosberg sneaks ahead of Massa to take 6th place, while Schumacher is 8th. Signs on for another year or two as the car seems to be going in the right direction.
A tight battle with Force India sees Di Resta splitting the Lotus cars, Raikkonen 9th and Grosjean 11th. The team stays 5th, although their ride height adjuster causes some early surprise results, similar to 2011.
Falling short of Lotus, largely due to Hulkenberg losing out early in the season as his racecraft has worn off a little. Di Resta rounds out the top ten, while Hulkenberg is 14th.
Seventh is the best I expect for the Swiss team, after a tight fight with Toro Rosso and Williams. Kobayashi climbs to 12th in the standings as he matures into a more careful and calculating driver, while Perez makes a few rookie errors and finishes the year 17th.
8th place, one up from 2011 and close behind Sauber. The number one car [I suspect Senna, at the time of writing] comes 15th while Maldonado slides to 19th.
Dropping back to 9th as their rookie drivers are unable to match Alguersuari and Buemi. Ricciardo applies his HRT experience to take a high finish in a high-attrition race and climbs to 13th, while Vergne finishes his rookie year 16th.
Nipping at the heels of the established teams but unable to break into the field properly, the team finishes the year 10th yet again. Kovalainen beats Maldonado to 18th, but Trulli lets the side down and finishes 20th. He is replaced for 2013, but stays in the team as a consultant.
Their highest finish in F1 so far, overtaking HRT for 11th. Glock and Pic uniformly follow the natural order of the pack to 21st and 22nd respectively.
De la Rosa's experience proves useful in developing both the 2012 and 2013 chassis', meaning he doesn't mind so much about the team finishing last, and himself only beating his teammate to 23rd. The second car, with 2 different drivers, takes 24th and 25th in the standings, with Petrov the latter [long shot, I know, but there's money there].
I expect the next you hear from me will be my technical round-ups as each car is launched.