One reason to root for every team and driver in 2023
Struggling with where your support should be this F1 season? This guide is for you.
Although this year is without Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Mick Schumacher, Formula 1 is full of great drivers and irresistible characters.
There are many candidates for your favorite team or driver in 2023. Here we will look at all of them.
The season kicks off with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 5 live on Sportzshala (10:55 AM ET).
Many scoffed at the idea of the energy drink company becoming a Formula One team in the mid-2000s, but Red Bull has since grown into a racing giant. He remains one of the baddest on the web, combining racing and engineering pedigree with brilliant marketing. Red Bull appears to have returned to their level of dominance in the early 2010s.
1. Max Verstappen
Race start: 163
Race wins: 35
World Championship: 2021, 2022
2022 position 1st
Dutch superstar Verstappen boy right now. Since 2015, the reigning two-time champion has been a game-changer, not only in how good he was at such a young age, but also in completely changing the rules of racing. His approach is mixed, but Verstappen can do things with a machine that few can match. Like Ayrton Senna decades earlier, his refusal to give up a turn when he’s going wheel-to-wheel with another rider has earned him a legion of support. His pace and his relentless consistency saw him reach almost unbeatable levels last year and he could be set for a similar season in 2023.
11. Sergio Perez
Race start: 239
Race wins: 4
2022 position: 3rd
The man with the toughest job in all of motor racing, measured in equal cars with the world champion, Pérez spent 10 years waiting for his first win and the career break his talent clearly deserved. He won three times for Red Bull and was a diligent and consistent teammate of Verstappen (earning himself the moniker of Mexico’s defense minister in 2021), but that loyalty and respect has not always been a two-way street. Pérez’s level of support in Mexico borders on religious worship, and his popularity at home will reach incredible heights if he can challenge Verstappen during the season.
How can you not love a Ferrari? The Italian team exudes history, tradition and prestige and has competed in every Formula 1 season since the championship started in 1950. It is currently experiencing a 14-year championship drought, but the Ferrari mystique is as strong as ever.
16. Charles Leclerc
Race start: 102
Race wins: 5
2022 position: 2nd
The poster boy for the most famous Formula One team, Leclerc has everything you could want in a modern day racing superstar: an incredibly fast, quiet voice and a good-looking movie star. Leclerc, who used to take the bus to school at the last corner of the Monte Carlo circuit of his home race, the Monaco Grand Prix, was nominated as a future world champion from a young age. He is arguably the best F1 qualifier with 18 pole positions. Leclerc is quick to take the blame for mistakes and has endured some unbearable strategic setbacks by Ferrari in recent seasons. If anyone can put an end to the Scuderia’s long wait for a title, it’s him.
55. Carlos Sainz
Race wins: 1
2022 position: 5th
Carlos Sainz is one of the many drivers who have struggled to break out of the shadows of the famous racing family, but in recent years he has established himself as one of Formula One’s top talents. Rejected by Red Bull, Sainz rebuilt his F1 career with Renault and McLaren before moving to Ferrari in 2021. The breakthrough came last year when he took his first pole position and first win at the British Grand Prix. Sainz sometimes seems like Ferrari’s prodigal son’s teammate, but he can be as good as anyone in his day and gave Leclerc a shot for his money in 2021 when he overtook the Monegasque in the points table.
After the most dominant period in F1 history, Mercedes was knocked off the top of F1 by Red Bull in 2022. The team has a wealth of racing experience and remains one of the most efficient grid operators. Last year, he went against the curve with his unique “zero lateral support” concept, which he retained until 2023, showing how willing he is to push the envelope to win.
44. Lewis Hamilton
Race start: 310
Race wins 103
Championship titles: 2008, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
2022 position: 6th
If you made Mount Rushmore for F1 it would have Hamilton’s face on it. The Briton has a record 103 wins and shares the record of seven world titles with Michael Schumacher. He would have had eight had the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix been completed under the F1 rule book. The 38-year-old, who grew up on a council estate in Stevenage, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2021. He is still an elite athlete despite not winning a race last year and is one of the best qualifying rounds F1 has ever seen. .
As a bonus, his legacy will not only be defined on the race track. Hamilton, the only black Formula One driver, has become a real force for social change around the world by investing millions of his own money in increasing diversity in Formula One.
63. George Russell
Race start: 82
Race wins: 1
2022 position 4th
Russell’s talent is told by the fact that he outclassed Hamilton in their first season together, taking their first pole position in Hungary and their first victory in Brazil. Russell is the future of the Mercedes F1 team and he looks absolutely worthy of a future world champion. After three years of patiently waiting for his chance at Williams, Russell is clearly not in the mood for F1 success, and he seems as driven and exclusively focused on winning championships as any young driver on the grid.
The Renault F1 team is now operating under one of its smaller brands but has ambitions to return to the top of the grid. Changes in the management of Renault changed the long-term plans of Alpine every year, but last year it was the strongest team in midfield. He has an all-French roster for 2023 and ambitions to close the gap on the Big Three even further.
31. Esteban Ocon
Race start: 111
Race wins: 1
2022 position: 8th
A man with one of the best origin stories on the web. Okon didn’t have any of the advantages most needed today in F1: a racing father and/or loads of money. Okon’s talent and the fighting spirit he had to adopt to overtake better-equipped opponents is still visible when he races in Formula One today. The Frenchman might have been at Mercedes if time and luck had been on his side a few years ago, but at Alpine the one-time race winner has the perfect conditions to prove himself worthy of moving up the grid in the next few years. .
10. Pierre Gasly
Race start: 108
Race wins: 1
2022 position: 14th
The man Netflix hopes can replace Daniel Ricciardo’s shaped hole in future seasons of Drive to Survive, the incredibly likable Gasley is one of the greatest redemption stories on the net. Dropped from Red Bull in the summer of 2019, he returned to his secondary AlphaTauri team and won the 2020 Italian Grand Prix, which remains one of the most amazing racing victories in F1 history. He has now broken out of the Red Bull program and found himself in a car that should be competitive in midfield. Gasly is fast and races hard, making him one of the easiest drivers to root for.
An unrivaled sleeping giant, McLaren is one of Formula One’s most revered teams, yet it has only won one since the start of 2013. The iconic racing team hasn’t won a Constructors’ Championship since 2007, and their long-awaited wind tunnel is now complete. built later in the year, which may be the missing ingredient for the glory days revival. CEO Zac Brown wants McLaren back in the title race by 2025.
4. Lando Norris
Race start: 82
Race wins: 0
2022 position: 7
Lando Norris appears to be on an irresistible path to global superstardom. He is only 23 years old, but he is starting his fifth season in F1 as one of the most popular drivers. Norris is Gen Z’s perfect F1 star, with a huge following on Twitch and social media. He also does charity work and speaks candidly about his mental health issues. On top of that, he is one of Formula One’s top talents, but it looks like he’s in for another season limited to an uncompetitive car. Once that changes, Norris will be a force to be reckoned with.
81. Oscar Piastri
Race start: 0
Piastri’s now-famous tweet last summer that he would not be racing for Alpine after they announced it for 2023 got the Australian rookie in the headlines globally, but his name has long resonated in race car circles. Dubbed “the next Max Verstappen” by Red Bull boss Christian Horner, few drivers have arrived in F1 with the hype that currently surrounds this newcomer. Two consecutive titles in Formula 3 and Formula 2 proved his talent. He arrives in F1 with the intention of proving all the controversy about how he ended up at McLaren.
Alfa Romeo has one of the longest racing histories of any car company on the planet. Enzo Ferrari started racing Alfa Romeos in the 1920s and the name is still one of the most memorable in the automotive industry. In fact, Alfa is the title sponsor of the Swiss Sauber F1 team, which still manufactures and operates the cars. Alfa has unveiled a gorgeous livery for its final year with the team before Sauber turns into an Audi F1 team in 2026.
77. Valtteri Bottas
Race start: 200
Race wins: 10
2022 position: 10th
Bottas has thrived since leaving Mercedes at the end of 2021. On the track last year, he largely contributed to the team’s best result since 2012, scoring 49 out of 55 points. It was a great reminder of just how talented Bottas is after years of fighting to match Hamilton’s championship form. Away from the track, Bottas is a sweet character: Last year, he raised $50,000 for charity by selling a photo of himself in a river with his buttocks exposed. He enters this season with a mustache and a mullet.