F1 | Verstappen goes on to win three world titles in a row – can Leclerc or Hamilton stop him, surprise Aston Martin?

Red Bull Modified Car champions show off defending Verstappen during the first day of testing

After 2021 brought a Formula 1 year like never before, with a magical battle between Hamilton and Verstappen at the end of the hybrid era – only decided in the final round of the season – 2022 marked the beginning of a new Formula 1 racing season. age. The rules have been changed to ensure that the races are more exciting than they were during the hybrid era.

Two problems: 2021 may not have been met again, and during 2022 Red Bull Racing and Verstappen in particular have proven unbeatable. With fifteen Grand Prix victories (a new record), Limburger became world champion for the second year in a row, so everyone agrees that he is also the driver to beat this year.

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Partly thanks to this overtaking at Suzuka, Verstappen has decided 2022 is finally in his favour

Photo: Getty Images

What will change in 2023?

Last year we saw all-new cars on the grid. Liberty Media – an American company – became the new owner of Formula 1 in early 2017 and a lot has changed in the premier category of motorsport since then. Everything must be more exciting, according to American customs, to attract a wider audience. The focus of this story was the Netflix series campaign to surviveThe fifth season of which debuted last week.

Mercedes was so dominant during the hybrid era that Liberty Media saw no point in continuing that way. Together with the FOM (the Formula One management) and the FIA ​​(the International Motorsports Federation), a new set of rules were set for the cars: the cars’ aerodynamics were overhauled in such a way that less dirty air stayed behind the cars and the drivers had to race closer together. The desired effect followed: in 2021 there were still 599 override procedures, compared to 785 last year.

Mercedes has been struggling since the introduction of the new rules with a bouncing car

Photo: Getty Images


In Formula 1, things change technically every year, including in 2023. In 2022, the new rules have created a new major problem: porpoises, cars that are pulled onto the asphalt in such a way that they bounce off long driveways. This caused physical problems. Thanks to a new rule – the part of the floor in front of the rear wheels should be 15 mm higher than last year.

In addition to some other smaller technical changes, safety was also addressed; Zhou Guanyu’s crash shortly after the start of the British Grand Prix was to blame. the The menu bar (the part that sticks out behind the cockpit above the drivers’ helmets) was loose, sending Zhou literally bouncing upside down across the tarmac and through the gravel trap. Due to additional enhancements and testing, this is no longer the case.

Is Red Bull as dominant as in 2022?

Last season started disastrously for Red Bull Racing. Verstappen and teammate Sergio Perez dropped out of Bahrain, after which the Dutchman got one DNF Registered in Australia. Among his victories is in Saudi Arabia, one of his 15 victories. “Checo” Pérez has also won in Monaco and Singapore, making a total of 17 races out of 22 for the energy drink team.

Winter testing in Bahrain – the first Grand Prix to be held also at the Bahrain International Circuit – does not bode well for the competition. Even Verstappen, usually a realist and often hyper critical, spoke of an excellent working car. “Everything we’ve changed in the car compared to 2022 has made it a lot faster.”

F1 | Ferrari goes old school with new cars Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz

Competition from Ferrari and Mercedes

Last year, Ferrari had a great start. The Italians started developing the 2022 car at the end of 2020 and it was noticeable. The red car was unapproachable for the first three races of the season, although it later emerged that the Scuderia had created an essentially qualifying monster; On Sunday, Red Bull made the difference in tire management, keeping the rubber as fresh as possible.

Ferrari is enjoying a renewed campaign: Team boss Mattia Binotto popped the door after countless tactical mistakes, and Alfa Romeo team boss Frédéric Vasseur has taken his place. French one no nonsenseThe number It has already been stated that neither Leclerc nor Carlos Sainz is the captain of the team. When asked by Sky Sports correspondent Ted Kravitz why he didn’t pick a captain to beat Verstappen, his answer was firm: “They can beat both of them.”

F1 | With the black W14, Hamilton, Russell and Mercedes want to compete with Verstappen

Mercedes improvement?

The other competitor that is always mentioned at the same time is Mercedes. The W13 – the car of the year 2022 – was an absolute disaster. At the start of last season, seven-time world champion Hamilton wondered what the hell he was doing. Teammate George Russell fared better and even ended 2022 with a win at the Brazilian Grand Prix. On the other hand, Hamilton experienced his worst year in Formula 1 ever, as it became the first season in his career in which he did not win a race.

For all the muscle language in the winter, the British drivers were faced with a disastrous test at the weekend. The second day of testing in particular was a disaster; Hamilton spent most of the morning in the pits box after some bodywork flew off his W14, and Russell soon had to park the side of the car with hydraulic problems. A crisis meeting followed, after which it was announced that Mercedes only expected to be able to deliver an update in Azerbaijan (the fourth race of the season) that could make the car competitive. Has the calf already drowned?

Verstappen and Perez were both incredibly fast and solid on the road during the winter testing

Photo: AFP

Where two dogs fight over one bone… does Aston Martin go with it?

Ferrari seems to hold back during testing, particularly in the qualifying rounds. In long sessions on the track, in which the racing speed was tested, Verstappen always turned out to be a few tenths faster per lap after calculations. That being said, we shouldn’t expect much opposition from Mercedes at the outset, but there is another British team that has been surprisingly good: Aston Martin.

It seems that green cars go on rails, as it turned out during winter tests. The whole circuit was admired by some in particular Good age Fernando Alonso does; The 41-year-old Spaniard was usually Lance Stroll’s teammate, but the Canadian son of team owner Lawrence Stroll suffered a wrist injury during a cycling trip in Malaga, Spain. He was operated on by Dr. Xavier Mir, who has also assisted Marc Marquez on several occasions. Formula 2 champion Filip Drugovic was expected to join Aston Martin, and the Brazilian also finished winter testing, but Stroll passed the FIA ​​medical at the last minute.

Thanks to De Vries not one, but two Dutch

Is that a luxury issue: For the first time since the end of 2006, when Christian Albers and Robert Doornbos attempted to steer a real F1 wreck across the line, there are two Dutch drivers on the grid.

Nyck de Vries achieved a breakthrough last year when he had to replace Williams driver Alexander Albon at the Italian Grand Prix after the Thai-British driver developed appendicitis. He got in during the third free practice session, and qualified so well that after all the grid penalties from the other drivers he was allowed to start eighth – along with compatriot and friend Verstappen – and then finish ninth in the race.

At one of the races in Monza, he scored as many points as his “colleague” Nicholas Latifi earned in a whole season. The Frisian’s first dream resulted in a contract with AlphaTauri, Red Bull’s sister team. It will be very interesting to see if the 28-year-old driver can beat his talented and energetic Japanese teammate Yuki Tsunoda.

De Vries managed to snag a Formula 1 seat via a big detour

Photo: Getty Images

Beginners and veterans

De Vries isn’t the only new kid on the block, though, as Australian mega-talent Oscar Piastri – he became both Formula 3 and Formula 2 champion in his first year – and American Logan Sargeant also made his Formula 1 debut, at McLaren and Williams. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas) returns after several years of absence.

F1 | Aston Martin unveils the new AMR23 from newcomer Alonso and Stroll

Six sprint races for more excitement

In 2021, Formula 1 has introduced a new way to add more excitement to racing weekends: sprint racing. Saturday’s race is over nearly 100 km (one-third of the distance of the main race), with Sunday’s final grid result decided. Difficult Formula 1 fans don’t like it, new Formula 1 fans generally prefer it.

Where in Formula 2 and Formula 3 the ten best qualified start a sprint race in reverse order, this is not the case in the top class. Drivers often start driving in a safe manner because of this, because A.J DNF It automatically means a pole at the back of the grid for Sunday’s race.

In 2021 and 2022 there have been three sprint races, and there will be six this year. We kick off in Azerbaijan, and then Austria and Belgium make up the last sprint races in Europe. Then we see another sprint race in Qatar, the United States and Brazil.

It is no coincidence that the sprint race takes place in the United States

Photo: Getty Images

Formula 1 teams and drivers 2023

Red Bull Racing: Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen
Ferrari: Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz
Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton and George Russell
Aston Martin: Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll
McLaren: Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri
Alpine: Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon
Alfa Romeo: Valtteri Bottas & Zhou Guanyu
MoneyGram Haas: Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen
AlphaTauri: Nick de Vries and Yuki Tsunoda
Williams: Alexander Albon and Logan Sargeant

Formula 1 calendar for the 2023 season

March 5: Bahrain Grand Prix
March 19: Saudi Arabia Grand Prix

April 2: Australian Grand Prix
April 30: Azerbaijan Grand Prix

May 7: Miami Grand Prix
May 21: Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix
May 28: Monaco Grand Prix

June 4: Spanish Grand Prix
June 18th: Canadian Grand Prix

July 2: Austrian Grand Prix
July 9: Grand Prix of Great Britain
July 23: Hungarian Grand Prix
July 30: Belgian Grand Prix

August 27: Holland Grand Prix

September 3: Italian Grand Prix
September 17th: Singapore Grand Prix
September 24th: Japanese Grand Prix

October 8: Qatar Grand Prix
October 22nd: United States Grand Prix
October 29: Grand Prix of Mexico

November 5: Brazilian Grand Prix
November 19: Las Vegas Grand Prix
November 26: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Formula 1

F1 | With the black W14, Hamilton, Russell and Mercedes want to compete with Verstappen

02/15/2023 at 09:28

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F1 | Ferrari goes old school with new cars Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz

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