Your complete guide to F1 2023￼
Need to get up to speed with the new season? Our handy guide to F1 2023 should answer all of your Formula One World Championship questions.
The F1 2023 season so far
Two races into the new F1 season, and, as expected, the two Red Bulls are dominating again with Max Verstappen taking a controlled win in Bahrain. Max’s pace put him almost 12 seconds ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez, with the next driver, Fernando Alonso 38.6 seconds behind.
The shock of the season so far has to be the Aston Martin of Alonso. After a move away from Alpine, the Spaniard has shown he still has what it takes to be fighting for podium positions. Alonso picked up the final podium spot in Bahrain, and, after some questioning of the FIA’s penalty decision, also picked up P3 in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia).
A struggling McLaren can’t find their feet as both drivers sit on 0 points. Bahrain proved to be a difficult weekend for the Papaya crew, with Norris developing a pressure leak with his engine pneumatics, resulting in him having to pit every 10 laps. The race didn’t get better for Mclaren as the young Australian, Oscar Piastri picked up an electrical issue which could not be resolved, forcing him to retire from his F1 debut.
Teams such as Ferrari and Mercedes have shown they have pace. However, it’s looking as though mid-season developments will be needed if either team wants to stay in the fight with Red Bull or Alonso. The middle of the pack stands as expected, with Alfa Romeo, Alpine and Alpha Tauri battling it out for the bottom end of the points.
Next up, the teams head Down Under as the iconic Albert Park GP circuit, Melbourne hosts round three of the 2023 F1 season.
What’s new for this season?
In case you’ve missed the start of the season, here’s what you should look out for…
Given that last year’s dramatic regulation change failed to adjust the pecking order – other than plunge erstwhile serial winners Mercedes into a downward spiral and push Ferrari’s hilarious lack of composure into the spotlight – it’s tempting to think this year will be more of the same.
Although the 2023 cars have hardly taken a revolutionary step forward in aesthetics, the irony is that the order looks to have changed significantly – at least for one team.
The FIA has tweaked the rulebook to end the porpoising problems that afflicted many teams last year. Floor edges have been raised by 15mm, and there have been some minor adjustments to the diffuser.
This shouldn’t be enough to change the running order but might help chief porpoises Mercedes catch up to the front.
More sprint races
Whether you love or loathe them, sprints are becoming a more prevalent feature this season. Doubling from three to six events, occurring at Austria, Baku, Spa, Qatar, Circuit of The Americas and Interlagos.
F1 cracks America
If you need further evidence that F1 is finally hitting it big Stateside, look no further than this year’s Vegas Grand Prix. Taking place along the infamous Vegas strip, this is the final piece in the puzzle of Formula One’s commercial success in America.
Whether it will prove a better event to attend than watch on telly remains to be seen.
This has not been a year for creative livery overhauls, with most teams opting to copy and paste last season’s designs onto their latest machines.
There’ve been several high-profile driver moves over the winter, with Sebastian Vettel’s retirement last season triggering a controversial off-season.
The irrepressible Fernando Alonso has moved to Aston Martin, replacing Vettel, with Pierre Gasly replacing Alonso at Alpine to form an all-French line-up alongside Esteban Ocon.
Meanwhile, highly-rated rookie Oscar Piastri left the Alpine Academy (and the chance of driving for the team this season) for McLaren, replacing Daniel Ricciardo. Elsewhere, Nyck De Vries finally makes his F1 debut for Alpha Tauri, and Logan Sergeant joins Williams in place of Nicholas Latifi.
Who’s looking fast, and who has homework to do?
At the sharp end of the grid, it looks as if Red Bull has picked up where it left off with an ominously strong testing performance. Ferrari is nipping at its toes, convinced that it solved the reliability gremlins of last year.
However, potentially the biggest shock is that the Mercedes may be fighting off Aston Martin for the rank of third-fastest car. Given that Aston started last year with the second-worst car on the grid, that is an incredible rise in form. Has Alonso finally made the right move?
Further back, Alpine should be behind Aston Martin (despite a low-key test), followed by Haas, a struggling McLaren, Alfa Romeo, Alpha Tauri and Williams.
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