Headline news:The upcoming F1 season of 2024 will witness Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso shaping the course of events.

February 27, 2024

Last year’s Canadian Grand Prix saw Fernando Alonso (on the left), Max Verstappen (in the center with Adrian Newey) and Lewis Hamilton (on the right) take their places as top three drivers on podium.

The 2024 Formula 1 season commencing in Bahrain this weekend appears to be largely shaped by three of its most prominent personalities: Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.

Both on-track and off it, these drivers are expected to dominate the proceedings.

As Verstappen enters the new season a clear favourite for his fourth consecutive world title, concerns about the well-being of motorsport are bound to arise if he and his Red Bull team continue their dominant performances.

Hamilton’s off-season move to Ferrari for the 2025 season has caused a stir in the business, as he joins forces with Charles Leclerc and creates an electrifying driving duo.

Although the most successful driver in history won’t be joining the sport’s most celebrated team until later this season, his arrival will initiate a far-reaching impact on dynamics.

Alonso, who is nearly 43 and gearing up for the upcoming season, finds himself in the midst of an intriguing driver market where most grid members are due to renew their contracts.

Hamilton’s decision will undoubtedly affect him directly.

Despite the potential predictability of the front runners’ actions, there will still be ample excitement to maintain interest.

Red Bull Is Under A Dark Cloud.

According to Horner, the allegations are diverting Red Bull’s team attention.

Despite the high hopes that Red Bull will continue their success from last season, there looms a potential issue with team principal Christian Horner facing allegations.

The man, who is 50 years old, is currently being investigated by his employers due to allegations of inappropriate conduct towards a female colleague. He has completely denied these accusations.

Red Bull has not provided any information regarding the conclusion of the ongoing inquiry.

The allegations, of which details cannot be disclosed publicly, have been heard by all individuals in the F1 community.

Senior figures within F1 are expressing widespread worry over how this incident is negatively impacting the sport’s reputation.

Therefore, when Mercedes F1 manager Toto Wolff commented during testing that the inquiry was “a matter concerning all of Formula 1,” it carried weight.

Zak Brown, his counterpart at McLaren, is the sole prominent figure who expressed their opinion on this matter.

The American referred to it as an “exceptionally grave” scenario and supported Wolff’s request for Red Bull to disclose all details of its probe.

The ongoing situation places everyone involved in F1, including those within and outside of Red Bull, in a difficult position until it is resolved.

Red Bull is bound to be distracted, and its handling of the situation will shape this season’s narrative regardless of any eventual conclusions about Horner.

The driver market and Hamilton
A multi-year contract with the Italian team has secured Lewis Hamilton’s partnership with Charles Leclerc at Ferrari for the 2025 season.

Barely days following the colossal news of Hamilton’s move to Ferrari for 2025, the Horner saga made headlines.

The decision took nearly everyone, including Mercedes by surprise. Hamilton disclosed his plan to Wolff during their breakfast conversation just one day prior to its media revelation.

Hamilton’s sudden departure from Mercedes came as a surprise, especially considering that he had just signed a two-year contract with the team last summer.

As it happened, the negotiations were far from satisfactory as Hamilton had a provision to leave after only one season.

Apparently, he was underwhelmed by Mercedes’ level of dedication towards him while he had been on the lookout for an extended agreement.

Hamilton was open to the offer from Ferrari due in part to strained relations that developed after his team disregarded his appeals for them to abandon their now discredited design philosophy during a challenging 2022 season.

Last week during the testing, he mentioned that Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur was instrumental in presenting him with an opportunity at year-end and stated, “If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have pursued it.”

Wolff, who has been Hamilton’s colleague for ten years and is a close friend of Vasseur, may have felt hurt by that comment.

Despite Hamilton and Mercedes being professionals who aim to perform at their best, it is inevitable that there will be moments of discomfort due to this pressure.

This indicates that a spot has opened up for the 2024 Mercedes team.

Additionally, Sergio Perez’s contract with Red Bull is up and they have informed him he needs to step it up after his underwhelming performances in 2023 or risk losing his position.

Alonso’s contract is set to expire this season, alongside Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz who is seeking a new opportunity after losing his seat due to Hamilton.

Mercedes would have dismissed the notion of Alonso joining their team a few years ago on account of his and their past affiliation, causing them to laugh it off.

During the spy-gate controversy of 2007, Mercedes was a co-owner and working engine partner with McLaren.

However, when Alonso had a falling out with the team during this time, they were held responsible for paying 40% of the $100 million fine imposed on them by governing body FIA.

The most obvious choice among the present F1 drivers is undoubtedly the two-time world champion, and Mercedes has become less vocal about their stance on Alonso since Hamilton announced his decision. Thus, he’s being seriously considered.

Mercedes is considering giving a chance to the emerging talent of Andrea Kimi Antonelli, a 17-year-old Italian who has been part of their driver development program for several years.

Starting his debut season in Formula 2, Antonelli has skipped the preceding level of competition and garnered exceptional acclamation.

According to rumors circulating in the motorsport community, he supposedly participated in a F3 car test at a damp Silverstone track this past winter with two esteemed F2/F3 drivers.

Although Antonelli had no prior experience on that particular circuit, sources claim he managed to outpace his peers by an astounding four seconds per lap – yes, you read correctly: four whole seconds!

Being talked about as the next Verstappen should come as no surprise for Antonelli.

The query remains whether Mercedes would gamble on placing him directly into their vehicle following only a solitary season in F2. Should they opt not to, Alonso could prove to be an attractive temporary solution – although it’s uncertain if the Spanish veteran sees himself in that role.

Alonso has highlighted his qualifications, stating that he is a desirable option for other teams.

He emphasized the commitment and impressive performance demonstrated last year. Additionally, he pointed out that he’s currently the only available world champion on the grid among three others.

He has expressed his dilemma of choosing between dedicating a few more years to the sport he loves or prioritizing his private life, which is equally significant at this point in time.

The Fia Regulations And Guidelines.

This year will see a lot of political activity, including some challenges for the governing body FIA who faced difficulties during the winter season.

Three top-level managers left, among them sports director Steve Nielsen who resigned before completing a year in his position. Nielsen’s primary objective was to streamline

FIA’s race operations; however, he lost faith in the organization’s readiness for reform and chose to resign instead.

Despite being replaced by Jan Monchaux, previously with Sauber, Tim Goss vacated his position as single-seater technical director to join the RB team at Red Bull.

The FIA became involved in an unusual series of events with Toto and Susie Wolff, which could potentially have consequences.

The FIA has not yet settled on the 2026 regulations, which have presented challenges.
While engine rules were completed earlier with some adjustments – such as a push to raise electric hybrid power contribution to roughly half of total power output – these changes proved enticing enough for Audi’s entry into Formula One.

The forthcoming engines, although better suited for road use, will have decreased efficiency compared to the existing ones.

This issue can be rectified by reducing drag in automobiles; thus, regulators must implement variable aerodynamics – a feature prohibited from Formula 1 racing for several years.

The FIA planned to finalize the rules by June-end, but due to their complexity and understaffing issues, they requested a deadline extension till October from all teams.

However, as an agreement on this matter could not be achieved unanimously, it remains uncertain if the rules will be finalized by the original timeline.

The foundation of the new chassis regulations remains unchanged from the existing standards, allowing for venturi-floored ground-effect vehicles to persist.

The intention behind introducing these regulations in 2022 was to enhance the competitiveness of F1.

Although it has narrowed down the field, it resulted in one team almost entirely dominating two seasons consecutively.

Given the circumstances, it appears likely that individuals within F1 will start to question both the effectiveness of these regulations – which were developed under Ross Brawn’s supervision before his departure from F1 – and whether they should serve as a basis for an entirely new set of rules.

It is not an opportune moment for there to be ongoing discord between the FIA and commercial rights holder of Formula One, given that tensions were evident in the proposed inclusion of Andretti from the United States.

F1’s approval of Andretti was spearheaded by Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the FIA president who has been embroiled in controversy since his election to office in December 2021.

However, F1 declared a negative response in January, unless General Motors – Andretti’s engine partner- creates their individual motor.

This significant corporation has confirmed they will have it ready by 2028.

While the Hamilton and Horner stories have dominated recent news coverage, it would be unexpected if this saga were not to resurface.

Similarly, some people are worried about the increasingly tighter bond between Red Bull and RB.

Brown has urged a review of the guidelines defining a customer team to uphold the notion that every team should function as an autonomous constructor.

With 24 races, this is the longest season ever. The calendar has been expanding over time due to a desire for more profits, causing long-standing worries.

The F1 season is already an extensive test of endurance for everyone involved, but it now resembles more of an ultra-marathon.

There are valid fears that the sport risks becoming oversaturated despite the presence of true competitive challenges – many believe those won’t exist at all.

“Should the front become distant, a 24-race schedule may seem overwhelming,” expressed Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in his remarks last week.