Formula 1 Season Preview

A Look at the Biggest Storylines of the Upcoming Formula 1 Season


Nick DeHaven '24

The first race of the Formula 1 calendar is only a month out, and with it comes the most shaken-up F1 grid in recent history. The 2023 starting grid has six new driving pairs, including three rookies. Furthermore, four teams have had a change in their team principal. This grid shake-up will produce an entertaining season, but how will the teams stack up in the Constructor’s Championship, and will one of the big three (Mercedes, Red Bull, and Ferrari) come out on top? Here are my predictions:

Williams- 10th Place

Williams has been struggling since their success in the early 2000s. They found success in ex-Red Bull driver Alex Albon last season, and this year they are bringing on Logan Sargeant as the new rookie. Their main setback is a lack of funding and, in turn, a slower car, despite hopeful talent the machinery will cost them.

Ferrari- Third Place

Ferrari had a promising start to the last season, winning the opening race in Bahrain. After that, everything seemed to go wrong for them. Every weekend it seemed that drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were battling in each race. If they weren’t dealing with a mechanical failure with the car, they were being given a bad strategy by the team principal. This year they brought on former Alfa Romeo team principal Frédéric Vasseur. If he can fix the problems with their strategy, Ferrari should have a successful year. 

Alfa Romeo- Seventh Place

Alfa Romeo was quick last year with the addition of Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas and built up a consistently good team. They remained steady all year, competing with the middle of the pack. Although Bottas started the year battling against former teammate Lewis Hamilton in the top five, he fell back toward the middle of the pack where the team will remain this year. 

Red Bull- Second Place

Red Bull had the fastest driver on the grid last year in Max Verstappen, and the quickest car, giving them a decisive win in the 2022 Constructor’s Championship. Despite disputes between Verstappen and his teammate Sergio Perez towards the end of last season about the Driver’s Championship, Red Bull will continue their dominance on the grid. 

Aston Martin- Fifth Place

Aston Martin struggled last year due to the new car regulations. But with the added experience of Fernando Alonso and the infinite pockets of Lance Stroll’s father, they should have a successful season this year. Since Lance’s father, Lawrence Stroll, took over Aston Martin, their engineers have failed to produce a fast car. Their speed in the past only came from designs they copied from other teams. Luckily, the most experienced driver, who just finished racing in the fastest, mid-pack car, joined their team this year. Aston Martin should produce a fast car with help from Alonso, leading to a good outcome this year.

Hass- Ninth Place

Last year Hass came out swinging with a powerful car that only seemed to slow down as the year went on. They did find success late in the year when Kevin Magnussen earned Hass their first pole position in team history. Their car would vary weekly on competitiveness, with a consistent downward trend. I don’t think they will be able to bounce back with a fast car, especially as the teams with more money begin to learn with newer cars. Their lack of money will keep them from being too competitive.

McLaren- Fourth Place

The new car regulations introduced in 2023 are projected to be McLaren’s big break since Lewis Hamilton is driving for them. Their young driver Lando Norris was able to find great success in 2022, earning multiple podium spots and the most points of any driver not in the big three. Their experienced eight-time race winner Daniel Riccardo struggled to collect just over a quarter of Norris’ points. This year they are bringing on a rookie driver, former F2 and F3 winner Oscar Piastri, to replace Riccardo. Piastri was the most sought-after rookie for the 2023 grid, and I believe he can do what Riccardo could not. 

Alpine- Sixth Place

Alpine had a great year last with veteran Fernando Alonso at the helm and Estaban Ocon racing a great season. But after Alonso’s departure to Aston Martin, Alpine looked for a replacement in Pierre Gasly. Alpine seemed to be in top form last year, barely beating out McLaren due to Riccardo’s issues with the car in the Constructor’s Championship. Though I would love to see the French team with two French drivers do well, I don’t believe they will improve from last year. 

Mercedes- First Place

It might seem strange that I didn’t put the two powerhouses from last year in first place, but Mercedes is the reason why. Mercedes had a rocky start last year compared to their Constructor’s Championship win the year before. But as the season progressed, Mercedes became more dominant, and they competed in the final weeks of the season. I believe that the driver pairing of Lewis Hamilton and George Russel is the best on the grid. The additional benefit of the most reliable car on the grid, which had only one failure last season, should grant them the number one spot in the Constructor’s Championship. 

Alphatauri- Eight Place

Alphatauri is bringing on the final rookie on the grid this year, Nick De Vries, a former FE and F2 winner. Alphatauri is just a driver testing ground for Red Bull, and nothing too impressive will come from the team other than a possible race win. However, it will be interesting to see how De Vries performs in proficient machinery. They will remain in the middle pack in 2023.