Everything You Need to Know About the 2023 Formula One Season - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Everything You Need to Know About the 2023 Formula One Season

Will this be Lewis Hamilton’s final year? Can Oscar Piastri make an impact? Will Daniel Ricciardo return? We’ve answered all your biggest questions and more. Here’s everything you need to know about the 2023 F1 season.

The 2023 Formula One season is just three days away. Beginning on Sunday (early Monday morning for most Aussie fans) with the Bahrain Grand prix. With Max Verstappen returning to defend his title, Lewis Hamilton on his last legs and the next generation ready to take the mantle from a cast of living legends, the 2023 F1 season promises to be one of the best yet.

Netflix’s Drive to Survive reeled in a plethora of new F1 fans and introduced the world to the drama that goes on behind the scenes both on and off the track. The show has already been renewed for a sixth season, with filming to take place throughout 2023. The blockbuster series thrives on providing an insight into F1’s biggest controversies and this year won’t be short of drama.

With the first race just days away, here’s the answers to all of your most important questions that will help get you up to speed for the opening race and beyond.

Full 2023 F1 Schedule

This year, the F1 calendar features more races than ever before, with 23. From the opening race this weekend to the grand finale in November, there’s only 15 weekends without a Grand Prix. Meaning there’ll be plenty of action all year-round. After the Miami Grand Prix was added to the schedule last year, the Las Vegas Grand Prix will make its debut as the seasons penultimate race and the third to be held in the USA. The Australian Grand Prix also returns on April 2nd and the pressure will be on Aussie young gun Oscar Piastri to claim his first F1 podium in Melbourne.

Below is the full 2023 F1 schedule, so you can mark out your favourite Grand Prix on your calendar.

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The Drivers

Despite a number of team shifts and replacements, the 2023 driver line-up is filled with familiar faces. The main contenders all return, with Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc prepared to battle it out for the top honour in motorsports. While living legends Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas have still got something left in the tank. Three rookies are also joining the roster this year, headlined by 21-year-old Australian phenom Oscar Piastri.

Logan Sargeant is set to become the first American F1 driver since 2015. And US audiences will be hoping the 22-year-old can leave a lasting impression with Williams. However, with a subpar car, Sargeant probably won’t be finishing in the points range too often this year. But if he can make his mark with some good results, expect the F1 hype to reach boiling point in the US, which has now added two races to the calendar in the last two years.

Former Formula E champion Nyck de Vries also joins the roster in 2023 as a rookie with AlphaTauri. Although, at 28 years of age, Nyck is slightly older than a typical rookie. And he actually made his F1 debut last year as a replacement driver for Williams. This is de Vries’ first year above the backup level in F1. Nevertheless, with age comes wisdom and experience. Expect de Vries to not miss a beat to start the year and be pushing for points throughout 2023.

Below is the full Formula One team list and driver line-up for 2023.

Red Bull Racing: Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez

Ferrari: Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton, George Russell

McLaren: Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri

Alpine: Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly

Alfa Romeo: Valtteri Bottas, Zhou Guanyu

Aston Martin: Lance Stroll, Fernando Alonso

Haas: Kevin Magnussen, Nico Hulkenberg

AlphaTauri: Yuki Tsunoda, Nyck de Vries

Williams: Alex Albon, Logan Sargeant

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Will Max Verstappen Claim Another Easy Driver’s Championship?

Following a hard won back and forth battle with Lewis Hamilton for the driver’s championship in 2021, Max Verstappen dominated in 2022 and essentially walked his way into back-to-back titles. Now the question is whether Verstappen can become only the fifth driver to win the championship three years running. But a threepeat won’t be without challenges and hinges on Red Bull overcoming a penalty for a past transgression.

If preseason testing is any indication, it looks like Red Bull has picked up right where they left off and will have the best cars on the circuit to start the season. But the team will need to overcome a 10% wind tunnel penalty for breaching the cost cap back in 2021. Meaning that changes and developments to Red Bull’s cars could be hampered compared to rival teams.

Speaking of rivals. Mercedes and Ferrari remain the top contenders to knock Verstappen off his pedestal. As well as his own teammate Sergio Perez. Even though both teams had less than spectacular seasons last year. Lewis Hamilton will be hungry for his eighth F1 championship. While George Russell, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will all be looking to add their first titles to their trophy cases.

Is this Lewis Hamilton’s last F1 season?

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Hamilton has been hinting at an early retirement for months and is entering the last year of his contract. The 38-year-old previously admitted he often thinks about calling it quits and is openly searching for a lucrative post-retirement role at Mercedes. But barring an all-time disaster class in 2023, in all likelihood Hamilton will return for at least another year.

Dating back to the when he controversially lost the title in 2021, Hamilton’s drive to finish on top is greater than ever. Even though he failed to win a single race last year, thanks to a revitalised Mercedes car, we can expect Hamilton to be back competing at the highest level in 2023 and beyond.

Can Oscar Piastri Make An Impact?

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21-year-old Australian Oscar Piastri has been earmarked as the next F1 superstar. You won’t want to miss a moment as Piastri debuts in 2023, in a bid to stake his claim as the next F1 legend and breathe life into a McLaren team that has struggled lately. Despite being highly touted to be the next great Australian driver, Piastri has already been painted as somewhat of a villain due to his lengthy contract dispute saga last year.

Piastri was originally set to drive for Williams in 2023 on loan from Alpine. But when Fernando Alonso announced his shock departure from Alpine, the team quickly announced Piastri as their driver for the upcoming year. They obviously didn’t run that decision by Piastri, who took to Twitter to state that since he had no contract with Alpine past 2022, he wouldn’t be racing for them.

In the ensuing tug of war, Maclaren eventually acquired Piastri’s services to replace outgoing fan favourite and fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo. McLaren isn’t quite at the same level as the top teams, but with Piastri’s and Lando Norris’s talents, they will be optimistic they can finish with a grand prix victory for the first time since 2021.

What Will Daniel Ricciardo’s New Role Entail?

The ever popular and charismatic Daniel Ricciardo has taken a step down from the main F1 line-up for the first time since his debut in 2011. The 33-year-old has returned to Red Bull Racing, his former team, as their third driver for 2023. While he’ll no longer regularly be behind the wheel on the grid, he still has an important role to fill and will be heavily involved in F1.

Ricciardo’s new role comes with a wide range of responsibilities. Including car testing, simulator work, media appearances and commercial undertakings. A misconception about Ricciardo’s new job is that he’ll take over from Red Bull’s first-choice drivers if they can’t perform. Ricciardo is the third driver, not the reserve driver. That job belongs to rising Kiwi star Liam Lawson. Ricciardo will spend the year as the commercial and marketing face of Red Bull making frequent media appearances. Then he’ll most likely be trying to land a spot on the grid at another team in 2024.

Every practice, qualifying session and Grand Prix in the 2023 Formula One season will be broadcast live on Foxtel, Foxtel Now, Telstra and Kayo Sports. The Australian Grand Prix will also be available on channel ten.

By Cayle Reid

Cayle Reid is a fan of everything sports and fitness. He spends his free time at the gym, on his surfboard or staying up late watching sports in incompatible time zones.

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