MOTORSPORT

Finally, testing is over, and the first weekend of racing is here!

The 2024 F1 season is fast approaching, and here's what you need to know.

Jordan Schmidt
March 1, 2024
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Finally, testing is over, and the first weekend of racing is here!

 

The first race of the 2024 season is fast approaching, so what has changed heading into the new season? We saw a dominating Red Bull throughout the 2023 season, but promising improvements by McLaren and Ferrari might prove to be up for contention this season and hopefully diversify the racing results.

 

So, what has changed heading into the new season? Well, not much, actually, particularly around the drivers. The 2024 season sees no driver changes compared to the end of last season. Daniel Ricciardo has secured his seat in the VCARB for the 2024 season, and it is exciting to see such a character back on the grid, effectively replacing Nyck de Vries halfway through the 2023 season.

 

Although little has changed from last year, we can expect some heated battles to take place on-track with 13 seats up for grabs come the end of the 2024 season. Drivers will effectively be driving for their careers this year, which will surely make for some thrilling racing. There have, though, been a few name changes on the grid, which might confuse the casual viewer. Alpha Tauri will now be called VCARB, and Alfa Romeo's title sponsorship will now give way to the team's original Sauber moniker.

 

If you hate the off-season, then news of the record-breaking 24-race season will be music to your ears. It's going to be a long year of racing in Formula 1, with the Chinese GP making a return. The FIA has also shifted around the proceedings of the races to make a more efficient equipment-moving operation between racing locations. The likes of the Japanese GP will be moved from September to April to strengthen the Asia leg of the season.

 

As the weekend begins, the testing in Bahrain will purely serve as a reference of what we can expect when the season is in full swing. Nevertheless, here is the list of the fastest drivers through the testing period.

 

  1. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

  2. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

  3. George Russell, Mercedes

  4. Zhou Guanyu, Sauber

  5. Sergio Perez, Red Bull

  6. Max Verstappen, Red Bull

  7. Yuki Tsunoda, VCARB

  8. Alex Albon, Williams

  9. Oscar Piastri, McLaren

  10. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

  11. Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin

  12. Lando Norris, McLaren

  13. Daniel Ricciardo, VCARB

  14. Nico Hülkenberg, Haas

  15. Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

  16. Esteban Ocon, Alpine

  17. Pierre Gasly, Alpine

  18. Valtteri Bottas, Sauber

  19. Logan Sargeant, Williams

  20. Kevin Magnussen, Haas

 

These results sure seem to favour the Ferraris. Zhou Guanyu also set some impressive lap times for the Sauber team, with McLaren and Alpine looking a touch on the slow side. The Red Bulls placed lower than expected, but we know better than to underestimate the Dutch champ. 

 

Testing is just the beginning, and as we've seen in the past, championships aren't won during testing. So it's fantastic to see such a mix of unexpected positions, which might lead to some exciting racing this season, kicking off in Bahrain this weekend.

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