Everything you need to know about F1’s 2023 season
The new Formula 1 season kicks off with the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.
Here are some answers to the most important questions of the season so you’ll know everything you need to know for the opening race and more.
One reason to cheer for every team and driver in 2023
Bracket ranking after pre-season testing
How many races are there?
A record 24 races should have taken place this year, but due to the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix and the decision not to replace it, the number has dropped to 23, which remains a single-season record. There are only 15 non-Grand Prix weekends between the first race in Bahrain and the final race on 26 November.
The best in terms of the calendar is the penultimate round, the first Las Vegas Grand Prix on November 18th.
Race in Vegas?
Down the world famous strip, no less. The deal to put Las Vegas on the schedule is bold and one of a kind: F1 is currently building a four-story, 300-square-foot paddock in the city.
The race itself, the penultimate stage of the championship, will be unique. It will take place on Saturday night at 10:00 pm local time (1:00 am ET). This will be an early Sunday morning race in the European market.
Vegas looks set to be F1’s premier race in the future. The city has signed an initial three-year contract but has just approved a plan to race the strip over the next 10 years as it faces a “lifetime partnership” with F1.
What other races should I look out for?
F1 returns to Miami for the second race of a 10-year contract. The promoters promised to improve the entertainment for spectators off the track, and also decided to move the F1 paddock to the Hard Rock stadium field. Fans will be able to watch from the stands, which is the closest thing to a live episode of Drive To Survive.
Austin remains on the calendar in October as the de facto home of F1 in America, while classic racing at Monaco, Silverstone (UK), Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), Monza (Italy) and Suzuka (Japan) will remain firm favourites. fans.
5th of March – Bahrain Grand Prix
March 19 – Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
April 2 – Australian Grand Prix.
April 30 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix
May 7 -Miami Grand Prix
May 21st – Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix
May 28 – Monaco Grand Prix
June 4 – Spanish Grand Prix.
June 18 – Canadian Grand Prix
July 2 – Austrian Grand Prix.
July 9 – British Grand Prix
July 23 – Hungarian Grand Prix.
July 30 – Belgian Grand Prix.
August 27 – Dutch Grand Prix.
September 3 – Italian Grand Prix.
September 17 – Singapore Grand Prix
September 24 – Japanese Grand Prix.
October 8 – Qatar Grand Prix
22 of October – US Grand Prix
29th of October – Mexican Grand Prix.
November 5 – Brazilian Grand Prix.
November 18th – Las Vegas Grand Prix
November 26 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Can Max Verstappen make it through the season again?
Pre-season testing shows Red Bull has the strongest package to start the season. Verstappen was in incredible form last year; he looked as invincible as can be.
On a positive note for rivals is Red Bull’s 10 percent wind tunnel fine, a penalty for violating the cost cap in 2021. Since Red Bull has already allocated the least amount of wind tunnel time due to winning the title, their car development during the year may be undersized compared to Ferrari or Mercedes. This may well open the door for a close championship fight.
Is this Lewis Hamilton’s last season in F1?
Unlikely, except for a bad season for Mercedes. Hamilton actually has a contract offer from Mercedes on the table if he wants to sign it. His current deal runs until the end of 2023, which has sparked speculation that he may be leaving, but that doesn’t line up with what he recently told the media.
Hamilton is clearly more than ever hungry for victory and still has a strong sense of injustice over how he lost the title in 2021. Even though he didn’t win a race last year, we still saw him perform at a high level and the consensus in the paddock is that he will continue to drive for Mercedes beyond this season.
Will Ferrari be able to work together with the new team leader?
This is certainly the hope of the top executives of the company. As likable as former team principal Mattia Binotto was, a lot of things went wrong under him. His replacement is from Alfa Romeo boss Fred Wasser.has already demonstrated that he is not afraid to make changes: before the first race, Ferrari’s chief strategist was transferred to a factory position, and a replacement was found in his place in the pit wall.
But strategy was not Ferrari’s only weakness last year, and Vasser made it clear that the oldest F1 team must continue to develop and improve in all areas. Pre-season testing has cast a murky picture of the car’s actual performance and worries about how it’s using its tyres, but it’s hoped Ferrari held something back for this weekend’s season opener in Bahrain.
Aston Martin looks fast; Can Fernando Alonso win this year?
In a typical race where Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes work without problems, the answer is no. The car looked good in testing, but is it good enough to climb from the middle of the grid at the end of last year to the top of the podium this year? This is incredibly unlikely.
Having said that, shocking victories sometimes happen in F1 and you can guarantee that Alonso will be there to take advantage if other teams fall short. He hasn’t won a single F1 race since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix, so he’s no doubt fueled by a decade of mishandling and misses. Combined with a semi-sports car, this creates an explosive combination capable of taking multiple podiums.
Netflix revealed that F1 is full of behind-the-scenes drama. What political topics could make headlines this year?
Politics is already in full swing, with FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem making a series of misinformed statements over the winter, as well as restrictions on how drivers can express personal or political views at the races. The latter remains a controversial topic ahead of the first race in Bahrain, but since Ben Sulayem has announced that he will step back from day-to-day F1 work this year, it remains to be seen how tight the restrictions will be. or how draconian the penalties can be if someone chooses to speak their mind on controversial topics without prior permission.
The possibility of an 11th team in F1 is also a moot point ahead of the new season, with the Andretti family looking to join the Cadillac-backed starting grid in 2026. It appears that F1 and the existing 10 teams are unwilling to dilute their revenue streams to accommodate a new kid in the block, but if Andretti can pay a large enough non-dilutive fee, that could change the minds of some.
Who are the breakout star candidates for 2023?
American viewers will be hoping that Logan Sargent, the first US F1 driver since 2015, will make a name for himself in his rookie year at Williams. Unfortunately, the reality is that he drives a car that is unlikely to make it through the first qualifying session on most weekends and would need outstanding performance to get into the top 10. If he can put in a good performance it will only add to the growing hype around F1 in the United States, but if you’re looking for the next F1 superstar you’d better keep an eye on Oscar Piastri’s rookie season.
McLaren won a tug-of-war over the Australian’s services for 2023, which saw him named as Daniel Ricciardo’s replacement back during last year’s summer break. As Lando Norris’ team-mate, he will have to compete against a very high benchmark, which may be even more difficult due to the apparently poor performance of the new McLaren MCL60 in testing.
Last but not least on the list of new F1 drivers is 2020–21 Formula E champion Nick de Vries, who will join AlphaTauri in 2023. He made his Formula 1 debut with Williams last year) and with it comes the experience and potential to get down to business to secure his place on the grid for future seasons.