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[Other Sport] F1 2024



Audax

Boing boing boing...
Aug 3, 2015
2,929
Uckfield
The 2023 Formula 1 season is done. After a season of utter dispiriting dominance by Max Verstappen and Red Bull, it's time to look forward with hope to a new season that might (please?!) bring us a bit more competition for the top step.

The pre-2024 winter looks to be a lot less interesting than last year (probably why I'm getting this thread up a little later than last year), but there's still some potential talking points to keep those of us who haven't given up on F1 going. So once again, I'm putting together an opening post full of detail about the season ahead.


2023 Recap

Max Verstappen. Right, now that's done...

OK, in a little more detail. 2023 saw the most dominant season from a single driver in Formula 1 history. What started out after 4 races looking like the competitive season might be rescued by an unlikely saviour (Perez, with 2 wins keeping Verstappen on his toes) ended up turning into an absolute walkover as Perez's challenge first stalled, then stumbled, and ultimately ended on an upward tilt once everything was settled (and even then, he couldn't stop giving Red Bull reasons to question his position with successive failures to defend position on the last lap).

Behind Verstappen, there was a lot more interest. Aston Martin started strong, with Alonso picking up podiums with ease and despite Stroll seemingly unable to keep up with his illustrious team mate, looking locked in for P2 in the WCC and potentially a race win or two if circumstances went their way. Circumstances didn't, with AM's in-season development not going in the right direction and their form faded to ultimately land P5 in the WCC (P4 for Alonso in the WDC). Going in the opposite direction was McLaren, starting the season with arguably the worst car and ending it with the second quickest (if looking at races after the summer break). Piastri pinched a sprint race win and Lando gave Max / RBR a couple of hurry ups as well. Definitely a case of "what might have been..." if McLaren started the season with a car as capable as the one they ended up with.

Ferrari had an up-and-down season, highlighted by Sainz preventing a Red Bull clean-sweep of wins taking advantage of RBR stuffing up their car setup for Singapore. Of particular note from that race was Sainz deliberately giving Norris DRS in order to prevent a much-faster pair of Mercedes being able to get past in the closing laps. Speaking of Mercedes; their season was punctuated by a massive change of direction on aero development, ditching their "zeropods" mid-season to start down the road of a Red Bull style solution.

While the top 3 in the WDC were locked in ahead of the final race of the season and RBR had run away with the WCC, that final race did carry a lot of intrigue. Ferrari vs Mercedes for P2 in the WCC culminated in Leclerc deliberately letting a penalised Perez pass in a bid to allow him to take points away from Mercedes (which failed). And in the WDC, 4th place was fought over by 4 drivers, ending with just 6 points separating Alonso, Leclerc, Norris, and Sainz. Alonso won 4th place on the back of having more 2nd place finishes than Leclerc.


Off Season 2023/24

Young Drivers Test 2023 – Abu Dhabi
It's already done - so I'll skip this section. Nothing much to talk about out of that test. Where last year it carried some intrigue due to driver moves and incomplete line ups, this season it didn't.


2024 Car launches

Expect to see evolution not revolution, with very little in the way of rules changes for 2024. With all teams converging on following the Red Bull aero concept, it's likely we'll see 10 cars that all look more-or-less the same. So unless someone arrives with a surprise, what we'll be hoping for is for the likes of Mercedes, McLaren, and Ferrari to start the season with cars that work from day 1 and can close the gap on Red Bull.

Red Bull, on the other hand, have had a bit of an advantage in being so far ahead in 2023 that they could start work on their 2024 car early. This will have reduced the impact of their budget overspend penalty.

In the immediate future, our next expected Formula 1 update will be the big reveal of the new identity for the Sauber team. Alfa Romeo depart, while Audi will not take over until 2026. So what will the team become for 2024/25? On a similar note, AlphaTauri will also disappear from the grid with the second Red Bull team taking on a new name. Not much in the way of reliable rumours as yet, but a hint was dropped that it would be "closer to the Red Bull family", leading to speculation of something like "Racing Bulls" (blech...).

Launch dates will be added below as they get announced:

Williams: February 5
Stake F1 Team: February 5
Alpine: February 7
Visa Cash App RB: February 8
Haas: February 2 (livery) & February 11 (shakedown at Silverstone)
Aston Martin: February 12
Ferrari: February 13
McLaren: February 14
Mercedes: February 14
Red Bull: February 15


Pre-Season Test 2024 – Bahrain – 21-23 February 2024

3 days of testing, each day consisting of 8 hours split into 4 hour morning and afternoon sessions. This will be the first time the 2024 cars are run in anger, and will be the only test - so a lot hinges on getting the cars there ready to run and not (I'm looking at you, McLaren!) encountering terminal issues. (Yup, same text I used last year ... still looking at you, McLaren!)

Schedule of driving duties for the 3 day test:

TEAMDAY 1DAY 2DAY 3
Red BullAM - Verstappen
PM - Verstappen
AM - Perez
PM - Verstappen
AM - Perez
PM - Perez
FerrariAM - Leclerc
PM - Sainz
AM - Sainz
PM - Leclerc
AM - Leclerc
PM - Sainz
MercedesAM - Russell
PM - Russell
AM - Hamilton
PM - Hamilton
AM - Hamilton
PM - Russell
AlpineAM - Ocon
PM - Gasly
AM - Gasly
PM - Ocon
AM - Ocon
PM - Gasly
McLarenAM -
PM -
AM -
PM -
AM -
PM -
SauberAM -
PM -
AM -
PM -
AM -
PM -
Aston MartinAM -
PM -
AM -
PM -
AM -
PM -
HaasAM - Magnussen
PM - Hulkenberg
AM - Hulkenberg
PM - Magnussen
AM - Magnussen
PM - Hulkenberg
VCARBAM -
PM -
AM -
PM -
AM -
PM -
WilliamsAM -
PM -
AM -
PM -
AM -
PM -

Testing Times after each day:

DAY 1DAY 2DAY 3


Pre-season Calendar

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
January 29

-
January 30

-
January 31

-
February 1

-
February 2

Haas Livery reveal
February 3

-
February 4

-
February 5

Stake F1 Team Car Launch
Williams Car Launch
February 6


-
February 7


Alpine Car Launch
February 8


Visa Cash App RB Car Launch
February 9


-
February 10


-
February 11


Haas Car Shakedown
February 12


Aston Martin Car Launch
February 13


Ferrari Car Launch
February 14

Mercedes Car Launch
McLaren Car Launch
February 15


Red Bull Car Launch
February 16


-
February 17


-
February 18


-
February 19

-
February 20

-
February 21

Bahrain Test Day 1
February 22

Bahrain Test Day 2
February 23

Bahrain Test Day 3
February 24

-
February 25

-
February 26

-
February 27

-
February 28

-
February 29

Bahrain Practice Day
March 1

Bahrain Qualifying Day
March 2

Bahrain Race Day
March 3

-


Season 2024

Unless something unexpected happens, the recent confirmation by Williams that Logan Sargeant will continue for a second season means that 2024 has already set a new Formula 1 record. For the first time ever, the same drivers who finished 2023 will be the drivers to start 2024. How very boring. Still, there's some talking points. While the consensus is that Perez will start 2024 at Red Bull, the hot rumour to start December 2023 is that Ricciardo's contract at (AlphaTauri) for 2024 specifically covers a scenario where he replaces Perez should Perez struggle again. There's also a possibility of fun at Ferrari - Sainz wants a new 2 year contract, but Ferrari only want a 1 year. Could this prompt a sudden unexpected Sainz move?

TEAMDRIVER 1DRIVER 2RESERVE(S)
Red BullMax VerstappenSergio PerezLawson?
FerrariCharles LeclercCarlos Sainz
MercedesLewis HamiltonGeorge Russell
AlpineEsteban OconPierre GaslyDoohan?
McLarenLando NorrisOscar PiastriPato O'Ward?
Alfa RomeoValtteri BottasZhou GuanyuPourchaire?
Aston MartinLance StrollFernando AlonsoDrugovich
HaasKevin MagnussenNico HulkenbergFittipaldi
AlphaTauriYuki TsunodaDaniel RicciardoLawson?
WilliamsAlex AlbonLogan Sargeant


The FIA announced a record 24-race calendar for 2023, however the Chinese GP was cancelled due to Covid policies in the country and the Imola round was washed away. So for 2024, they're trying again. As a result, the schedule runs from the first weekend of March all the way through the second week of December in order to minimise the number of triple-headers (just the one, Austin-Mexico-Brazil). While there's no new races (China returns, Imola isn't flooded) they have tweaked the order a little. Here's the schedule:

March 2 - Bahrain
March 9 - Saudi Arabia
March 24 - Australia
April 7 - Japan
April 21 - China (Sprint)
May 5 - Miami (Sprint)
May 19 - Imola
May 26 - Monaco
June 9 - Canada
June 23 - Spain
June 30 - Austria (Sprint)
July 7 - Britain
July 21 - Hungary
July 28 - Belgium
August 25 - Netherlands
September 1 - Italy
September 15 - Azerbaijan
September 22 - Singapore
October 20 - Austin (Sprint)
October 27 - Mexico
November 3 - Brazil (Sprint)
November 23 - Las Vegas
December 1 - Qatar (Sprint)
December 8 - Abu Dhabi


My Pre-Season Predictions

I'll add this after pre-season testing is done. For 2023 I managed 4/10...
 
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Audax

Boing boing boing...
Aug 3, 2015
2,929
Uckfield
First update for the 2024 thread: Sprint race weekends have now been announced. They'll be at the following race weekends:

April 20 - China
May 4 - Miami
June 29 - Austria
October 19 - Austin
November 2 - Brazil
November 30 - Qatar

In news unrelated to 2024, lots of talk circling today about a new race in Spain from 2026. Madrid has put a bid in, deal would be for 10 years and be a semi-permanent track around a convention centre near Barajas Airport. Reddit's seen a couple of different rumoured layouts posted, both of which I expect to be wrong at this point. It's possible Spain could host 2 races in 2026, as the current Barcelona contract expires in 2026 (and they're still negotiating to try to renew).
 
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Guy Fawkes

The voice of treason
Sep 29, 2007
8,197
As there aren't really any new rules which will mean major changes to the car designs / aerodynamics for next season (as normally happens when one manufacturer becomes too dominant)

It's extremely likely to be yet another Verstappen / Red Bull dominated borefest of a season
 


Audax

Boing boing boing...
Aug 3, 2015
2,929
Uckfield
As there aren't really any new rules which will mean major changes to the car designs / aerodynamics for next season (as normally happens when one manufacturer becomes too dominant)

It's extremely likely to be yet another Verstappen / Red Bull dominated borefest of a season

Agree it's extremely likely RBR and Verstappen will be strong. Not so sure they'll be so far out front. Mercedes, McLaren, and Ferrari all should have learned a lot this season. I'd expect at least one of those teams to start 2024 much closer to RBR on pace. Probably not close enough to fight Verstappen for the title (let's face it, the kid's probably the most talented F1 driver we've seen in the last 30 years), but close enough to put them under pressure for the WCC if Perez struggles again.

I'm not expecting another "no one wins except Red Bull" season. I know I said I'd save my predictions for after testing in February, but I'll stick my neck out: I'm predicting at least 3 different teams win races next season (I'm not counting sprints). The competition will be close enough to take advantage of any Red Bull mistakes (unlike this year).
 


A1X

Well-known member
NSC Patron
Sep 1, 2017
17,743
Deepest, darkest Sussex
Said it before but the “China > Miami > Imola > Monaco > Canada > Spain” section really makes a mockery of their environmental claims. No reason why they couldn’t do a Canada / Miami double header between China and Imola, then stay in Europe.

On the Sprint weekends, they clearly need more tyres. Brazil & Qatar were a total farce.
 




Audax

Boing boing boing...
Aug 3, 2015
2,929
Uckfield
Said it before but the “China > Miami > Imola > Monaco > Canada > Spain” section really makes a mockery of their environmental claims. No reason why they couldn’t do a Canada / Miami double header between China and Imola, then stay in Europe.

The calendar is better than it used to be. I'm pretty sure they're still having to work around contracts that were put in place when Ecclestone was in charge that have stipulations about when in the season a race will be held that prevents them fully rationalising the calendar based on reducing environmental impact. Looking at the '24 calendar, that Canada race is the only one that really sticks out like a sore thumb now, although there's other obvious-looking improvements that could be made (eg Singapore moved to sit between Australia and Japan, although I don't know how that works out in terms of feasibility of running the race).

I believe Bahrain has a contract that stipulates they will be at the start of the season (mostly first race, but if not first within the first few - Australia also has a contract that stipulates a certain number of first-race appearances), while Abu Dhabi has the opposite (contract says last race). So bookending the season with middle-east races makes sense, hence moving Qatar for this year. If, as I suspect, there's specific reasons for Singapore being where it is then moving Baku to be between the final European rounds and Singapore also makes sense.

So all up ... the 2024 calendar is better than the 2023 one was (for green credentials), but the issue of where to put Canada remains (which I suspect might be a climate issue around when in the season it can be run). I believe Monaco is another one with a set contractual date (which is also baked in by tradition), so the only improvement available might be swapping Imola and Canada. But Montreal is quite a bit colder in May than June, which might present challenges (although Vegas showed you can run F1 on a cold circuit!).
 


Audax

Boing boing boing...
Aug 3, 2015
2,929
Uckfield
It's all kicked off...

It started a few days ago with an article being published by BusinessF1 magazine claiming that Toto Wolff (Mercedes team principal) may have received confidential information from his wife, Susie Wolff (head of F1 Academy, for women drivers). The article claimed to have received this information from "multiple team principals", and it later emerged that this may be related to some information Wolff mentioned during a Team Principals meeting that he should not have had. Horner challenged him on where he'd got the information and it apparently went no further.

On Tuesday evening, the FIA released a statement that it had opened an investigation into an "alleged conflict of interest regarding transfer of confidential information" citing media speculation. Unnamed sources at the FIA were then reported to have said the investigation was triggered by complaints from "multiple team principals". The statement did not name either Wolff, but it didn't take long for FOM, Mercedes (on behalf of Toto), and Susie Wolff to all issue their own statements strongly denying any wrongdoing. All 3 went even further - indicating that they had had no contact from the FIA in relation to the matter before the FIA issued their statement, and Mercedes demanding the FIA provide them with further detail and transparency.

This was followed on Wednesday by all 9 other teams issuing near-identical statements via Twitter. This statements categorically denied making any complaints to the FIA and indicated their strong support for the FIA Academy (without naming Susie Wolff, they clearly intended this as support for her).

FIA is yet to respond publicly to all of this since their statement on Tuesday.
 


JJ McClure

Go Jags
Jul 7, 2003
10,836
Hassocks
I wonder if FOM and the teams are going to use this as another attempt to break away from the FIA. There seems to be little love lost with Ben Sulayem.
 




Audax

Boing boing boing...
Aug 3, 2015
2,929
Uckfield
I wonder if FOM and the teams are going to use this as another attempt to break away from the FIA. There seems to be little love lost with Ben Sulayem.
Some speculation along those lines has already been mentioned. Largely because Liberty/FOM had already done a lot of legwork on how a breakaway from FIA might be achieved last year, before issues with FIA / Ben Sulayem were smoothed over.
 








Audax

Boing boing boing...
Aug 3, 2015
2,929
Uckfield
Sauber - Alfa out Audi in?
Yes, but there's a 2 year window where the team will be known as neither. While Audi are already a partial owner, they will not take over naming rights until 2026 when their power unit is in the car.

2023 = Alfa Romeo
2024 = ? ? ? (might they revert to Sauber?)
2025 = ? ? ?
2026 = Audi
 


Audax

Boing boing boing...
Aug 3, 2015
2,929
Uckfield
FIA have today confirmed that the rules for 2023 / 2024 have been amended to ban any car (chassis / aero) development for the 2026 rules change taking place before Jan 1st 2025.
 


Flounce

Well-known member
Nov 15, 2006
1,011
Yes, but there's a 2 year window where the team will be known as neither. While Audi are already a partial owner, they will not take over naming rights until 2026 when their power unit is in the car.

2023 = Alfa Romeo
2024 = ? ? ? (might they revert to Sauber?)
2025 = ? ? ?
2026 = Audi
Any news on the engines they’ll be using before 2026? I am guessing it won’t be a Mercedes one :wink:
 








Audax

Boing boing boing...
Aug 3, 2015
2,929
Uckfield
FIA is yet to respond publicly to all of this since their statement on Tuesday.

FIA issued a fresh statement last night. Investigation over. FIA has said after looking into FOMs processes and policies around conflict of interest and ensuring confidential information is handled properly, that they are satisfied that everything is being handled correctly and they will not be investigating the matter any further.

All a bit embarrassing for the FIA really.

Why is there such a long break between Singapore and Austin?

No idea. Potentially an effort to give the race teams a bit of a break ahead of the triple-header.
 


Garry Nelson's Left Foot

Well-known member
Jul 7, 2003
13,116
tokyo
No idea. Potentially an effort to give the race teams a bit of a break ahead of the triple-header
Strange on isn't it when they've got a four week break just four weeks after the four week summer break. You'd think they could have arranged that a bit better, the middle of the season is going to sag a bit.
 




Audax

Boing boing boing...
Aug 3, 2015
2,929
Uckfield
All a bit embarrassing for the FIA really.

There's been speculation around all this that it's been a political power play, with Ben Sulayem (on the FIA side) wanting more involvement in F1 matters and unhappy with some elements of how the sport is run (suspect he's not happy with how his predecessor handed over veto power on new teams entering to FOM). Meanwhile, Liberty and the teams (in particular Toto Wolff) wanting the FIA to butt out and leave them to run the sport.

So far today there's been a rumour emerge that Liberty are drifting closer towards being willing to look into breaking away from the FIA. There's been a statement from Mercedes that, while light on detail, has been interpreted as sending a warning to the FIA that they are prepared to take legal action. Susie Wolff has issued a strongly worded statement indicating how she feels about the whole situation and how badly it's been handled.

And most recently, it has emerged that Ben Sulayem won't be attending the end-of-season prize-giving gala in Baku tonight as he took ill "several days ago", had a fall, and suffered a concussion that required a hospital visit and is now recovering. So it's entirely possible the way the FIA has handled matters has nothing to do with Ben Sulayem at all.

Could this all end up being smoothed over with Ben Sulayem sacrificing a senior member of his team as being "at fault" for the poor handling while he was incapacitated?
 


Badger

NOT the Honey Badger
NSC Patron
May 8, 2007
12,777
Toronto
The calendar is better than it used to be. I'm pretty sure they're still having to work around contracts that were put in place when Ecclestone was in charge that have stipulations about when in the season a race will be held that prevents them fully rationalising the calendar based on reducing environmental impact. Looking at the '24 calendar, that Canada race is the only one that really sticks out like a sore thumb now, although there's other obvious-looking improvements that could be made (eg Singapore moved to sit between Australia and Japan, although I don't know how that works out in terms of feasibility of running the race).

I believe Bahrain has a contract that stipulates they will be at the start of the season (mostly first race, but if not first within the first few - Australia also has a contract that stipulates a certain number of first-race appearances), while Abu Dhabi has the opposite (contract says last race). So bookending the season with middle-east races makes sense, hence moving Qatar for this year. If, as I suspect, there's specific reasons for Singapore being where it is then moving Baku to be between the final European rounds and Singapore also makes sense.

So all up ... the 2024 calendar is better than the 2023 one was (for green credentials), but the issue of where to put Canada remains (which I suspect might be a climate issue around when in the season it can be run). I believe Monaco is another one with a set contractual date (which is also baked in by tradition), so the only improvement available might be swapping Imola and Canada. But Montreal is quite a bit colder in May than June, which might present challenges (although Vegas showed you can run F1 on a cold circuit!).

I think Canada refused to move the GP to be before/after Miami. Partly because April/May would be a crap time to be in Montreal. There would probably still be snow piles around (plus potential for it to actually snow) and barely any green on the trees. Also, why should they move to accommodate the brand now GP in Miami? If they want to add these American entertainment GPs, they should fit them in with the existing races.
 


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