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RacingNews365's most outlandish predictions for F1 2023

The interminable 105-day gap between the end of the 2022 Formula 1 season and the first race of 2023 is almost over. With a new F1 campaign almost upon us, RacingNews365's finest have donned their thinking caps to come up with a few hot takes ahead of the new season.

Testing is complete and the cars are about to hit the track for the first official F1 weekend of the season, where we'll find out the 2023 pecking order once and for all. Until then, it's up to fans all over the world to predict who will having a flying start to the season, and which teams will be left playing catch-up. With everybody predictions about the fastest/slowest teams locked in, RacingNews365 's writers got together to come up with leftfield predictions for the new season. Do you agree with any of these takes? Let us know in the comments below!

Jake Nichol

Alpine explosion and a Vegas decider "Jack Doohan is going to make his Formula 1 debut at some point for Alpine, subbing in for a suspended Esteban Ocon or Pierre Gasly after the team bench one of them. "The two Grand Prix winners insist that they can work productively together despite their animosity, but saying that in a fancy location at the launch or in the non-pressurised arena of testing is one thing; saying that after the white-hot battle of a Grand Prix is something rather different. "One of the two will be benched for a race with Doohan coming in - and it'll probably be on what will turn out to be Alpine's most successful weekend of the season. "Elsewhere, the Drivers' Championship will be settled on the streets of Las Vegas just because. If you're wondering, my money is on Red #1."

Anna Francis

Ricciardo's regret and Vegas chaos "I'm going to predict that Daniel Ricciardo will return – and leave again. The reserve driver will get an opportunity either at Red Bull or AlphaTauri to stand in for one of their drivers but, much like Jenson Button's ill-fated one-race return in 2017, the Australian will realise that the sport is no longer for him. "My other prediction is that the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix will prove to be a wild race and throw up a surprise winner!"

Luke Murphy

Stroll to steal Alonso's thunder "Aston Martin are looking rapid. I think that they'll be comfortably the fourth-best team, and occasionally challenge Mercedes. They're well-placed to take advantage of any crazy races that occur and, should they happen, I see them as outside challengers for a phantom win. "Despite many saying that this will finally be a correct team swap for Alonso, I have a feeling that he'll get a bad case of 'just my luck' and it will be Stroll who takes the win (or at least their best result) of the season. "The crazy races are often the wet-weather ones, conditions in which Stroll excels. I think Aston Martin's best result of the season will come in a slightly mad wet-weather race, and Stroll will take the accolades."

Rory Mitchell

Williams to be frequent point scorers and McLaren struggles "Although the Williams still looked tricky to drive with both Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant at the wheel, they were second in terms of mileage covered in testing. The FW45 is a much more reliable car than its predecessor, which famously caught fire while Albon was in the commentary box for F1 TV. "With McLaren getting off on the wrong foot, AlphaTauri looking shaky, and Haas underwhelming, I think we could see them breaking into the top 10 more often than you think. "After getting the worst possible start to 2023, I think McLaren will be slower than Haas over the season. The aero resource development restrictions after coming fifth in '22 could hurt them as their allowance is 15% less than Haas, and means they can't go as aggressive on car development. "With Lando Norris assuming the reigns of team leader for the first time (thereby being the main yardstick for development) and Oscar Piastri inexperienced at this level, it could be a long season for the papaya orange crew. That being said, I believe Piastri's methodical approach could save them a few times."

Michael Butterworth

Alonso back in the winner's circle and a Tsunoda farewell "I'm backing Fernando Alonso to become the first F1 driver since Nigel Mansell to win a Grand Prix in his 40s. The Spaniard is looking as relentless as ever and Aston Martin seem to have taken a big step forward and stolen a march on Mercedes with their AMR23. "Another prediction is that Red Bull/AlphaTauri drop Yuki Tsunoda mid-season. They have no compunction about pulling the trigger when drivers don't deliver what's expected of them, and Yuki had something of a difficult 2022. "Honda are no longer wedded long-term to the Red Bull/AlphaTauri project, so Tsunoda no longer has that particular safety net, and with several ambitious Red Bull juniors waiting in the wings in F2, a poor run of form in 2023 could spell 'sayonara' for Yuki."

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