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RacingNews365 F1 2024 predictions

With pre-season testing done and dusted, the opening race of the year is just around the corner. RacingNews365's writing team have put together their predictions for the new season.

Verstappen Piastri Bahrain
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

With pre-season testing now in the books, attention turns to the opening round of the year and the 23 races that are set to follow this year.

Red Bull enters the campaign as the heavy favourite having dominated last season, winning 21 out of the 22 events staged.

But what are the expectations of the RacingNews365 writers? We've penned our thoughts by offering predictions for the new season.

Do you agree with any of these takes? Let us know in the comments below!

Ian Parkes

Newey to Ferrari?

One thing I expect is that Max Verstappen will not be as dominant as he was last season. Yes, the early signs regarding the RB20 appear ominous but it was clear from testing that Mercedes and Ferrari are nowhere near adrift as they were coming out of the three days in Bahrain last year.

I would go so far as to suggest that both teams will win grands prix this season, and in Mercedes' case that will see Hamilton back on top of a podium for the first time in what will be more than two years, making him the oldest victor of a race for three decades!

I am also going out on a limb by saying that four teams will win a grand prix as I am adding McLaren into that mix given their form last season following the arrival of upgrades, and their ongoing capability and resources to swiftly develop.

Whilst that all points to a highly exciting season, I do, however, have no doubt Verstappen will become a four-time champion, and in relatively comfortable fashion, albeit just not as easy as last season.

Further down the pecking order, the controversy over RB's growing allegiance - or reliance depending on your point of view - on Red Bull will result in that team scoring a podium courtesy of Daniel Ricciardo who will go on to replace Sergio Perez at the team.

And speaking of high-profile moves, Adrian Newey to join Ferrari! Why not? Like Hamilton, it is the one team missing off of his legendary CV after his time with Williams, McLaren, and, of course, Red Bull.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Ewan Gale

Ferrari to give Red Bull a fight

Whilst Red Bull certainly remains the team to beat in F1, I wouldn't expect it to have everything its own way this season.

Ferrari looked highly promising across the pre-season test in Bahrain and whilst that is only a small sample size when track conditions, configuration and fuel loads are considered amongst other factors, the sounds coming out of the Maranello-based outfit are far happier than 12 months ago.

The team showed it is capable over one lap last season but, if consistency over a long run can be achieved, then there is no reason Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz cannot take the fight to Red Bull. Even if the latter does dominate the championships, at least expect a battle for them.

At the other end of the grid, warning signs are showing at Alpine and, unless there's a quick McLaren-esque turnaround, the French manufacturer could find itself in a battle to steer clear of the foot of the table.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Jake Nichol

Piastri's shock as Sainz to beat Leclerc

Given how competitive the McLaren was last season and that it does not appear to have fallen away based off testing, both Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris will win their first grand prix this year.

But the question is which one will do that first?

Piastri certainly has some rookie edges to smooth out, specifically in tyre management in races, but he is an assured, unflappable racer, the same of which could not be said for Norris in crucial qualifying moments last term - namely in Qatar and Abu Dhabi.

My money is on Piastri.

Elsewhere, Sainz has a point to prove to Ferrari that it was wrong to drop him for Lewis Hamilton and, if he has any sense about him, will try everything he can to get into the Red Bull alongside Max Verstappen for 2025.

Granted, the two have history from their Toro Rosso days, but both have matured now and as a line-up, would only be threatened by the Leclerc-Hamilton axis at Ferrari.

Sainz is an exceptionally quick, and diligent racer, who perhaps when it matters can lack that final half-a-tenth to take him into the true Hamilton, Verstappen, Leclerc elites.

But he can beat Leclerc over a few races. If he can piece together a full season, which I firmly believe he can, the ultimate soft landing from the Ferrari boot must be in his grasp.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Fergal Walsh

Hamilton's sweet farewell and transfer market let-down

Hamilton has endured a winless duo of seasons in Formula 1 during what has been a difficult period for the now-39-year-old.

The winter break saw him reveal a shock decision to join Ferrari for the 2025 campaign, bringing an end to the Mercedes partnership that sits as one of, if not the greatest driver/team collaboration in the sport's history.

As he tackles his final campaign with Mercedes, the seven-time World Champion will climb to the top step of the podium once more and bask in the glory of achieving his final victory for the Brackley-based squad.

Additionally, the transfer market saga will be a let-down despite there being much hype ahead of the year.

Although Hamilton's move to Ferrari provided a shock, there will be a few others, with the biggest being Mercedes' decision to promote Kimi Antontelli to its vacant seat.

There will be other movements, such as Sainz to Stake ahead of Audi's entry and Ricciardo's move to Red Bull - however all will follow expectations and none will provide a surprise.

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	© XPBimages

Nick Golding

RB to shake up the pecking order

There has been a lot of attention during the winter break on RB and their closer relationship with parent outfit Red Bull, to the point that the Faenza-based side has openly admitted they have taken as many parts from the Constructors' champions as legally possible.

Whilst not too much can be read into testing, RB look to have a great package at their disposal which will only improve as the season develops. If they can bridge the gap to Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and Aston Martin, then there is no reason why Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda cannot fight for podiums.

RB getting amongst the teams behind Red Bull could be the key to an exciting 2024 season, as it will make the podium places even less predictable and add another team into the picture. Because of this, you would imagine it is the last thing Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and Aston Martin want to happen!

Delving deeper, RB having a strong season could have a massive influence on the driver market, considering that Ricciardo and Tsunoda are both without contracts for 2025. If either driver can get amongst the sides behind Red Bull, then surely it would put them in the shop window for Perez's seat?

Likewise, if RB does become stronger as 2024 develops, this could make Laurent Mekies' team a more attractive option for the other drivers without a contract for next year. A lot depends on RB's 2024 competitiveness.

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	© XPBimages

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