A new year is upon us and that can only mean one thing… a brand new season of Formula 1 will soon be beginning! Besides the fact that our weekends are going to be much more exciting from March onwards, there are many fresh prospects to look forward to in the coming year. Lights out and away we go!
At the end of the previous season, an array of changes were announced concerning the current grid, team management and regulations.
In terms of technical developments, the FIA has altered its minimum weight of the car 2kg less, to an amount of 796kg! Any weight change for an F1 car is significant to its speed, so it may be safe to assume some slicker driving this season. Roll goops have additionally been strengthened for safety purposes, especially in regard to Guanyu’s scary crash at the British Grand Prix last year. If you are a fan of sprint race weekends, here is some good news – the amount of sprint races in the coming year will double! There are now 6 weekends to expect a sprint race at, including Azerbaijan, Austria, Belgium, Qatar, USA and Brazil. Although slightly controversial at its first introduction, sprint races have become an enjoyable addition to the standard F1 weekend schedule, and extends much of the exhilaration of a Grand Prix onwards.
Team dynamics are also set to be significantly different, as there are a number of new faces (and old) joining the grid this year! Oscar Piastri, a Formula 2 champion, has been desperate to find his way into the world of F1 for many years now, and has previously served as the Alpine reserve driver. He is finally being awarded his big break at McLaren next to Lando Norris – a duo very much anticipated for. Logan Sargeant, an American racing driver, is also set to join the F1 scene at his new role at Williams. Not much is known about the driver, and frankly I had personally never heard of his name before… but what’s more exciting than an underdog right?
Nyck de Vries, the resident Mercedes job-shadower, looks to be joining AlphaTauri this season (Red Bull’s second team). Hopefully this doesn’t sever his links with Toto Wolff, but we can be sure that De Vries is going to excel regardless of his given car – based on his performance at the Italian Grand Prix last year, who could think otherwise!
Last but not least, Mr Nico Hulkenberg will be returning to the sport this year, only last having a seat in 2019 at Renault. Things have certainly changed since then, new contenders are stepping up to the plate and teams are constantly upping their resources. Lets hope Hulk can earn his rightful place back in the sport, I mean K-Mag did it with ease in the Bahrain Grand Prix 2022 in a Haas car – the possibilities are endless!
If you happen to have found your passion for F1 after watching Netflix’s Drive to Survive, there’s no shame in that! The show is exhilarating, informing and gripping, and provides good insight into the hustle of the sport. I personally enjoy watching the series and am highly anticipated for the next season, which we can expect very very soon. A trailer is due to be released any day now, and the next season is expected to be released early March – so keep an eye out!
Although many factors of the sport may be adjusting this year, one can be reassured that the same spirit and beauty of Formula 1 will always continue on, and if you appreciate the sport for all that it is, this season is bound to be one of the best yet!
Image: Abed Ismail on Unsplash