Five Storylines for the 2024 Formula One Season

Five Storylines for the 2024 Formula One Season

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As the fastest sport on earth gears up for a new trip around the globe, here are 5 narratives to keep your eye on.

Vincent Raitt, Staff Writer 

For the first time in Formula One history, there have been no changes in the seat lineup over the off-season. That is to say that every driver will be taking the same seat they left last November. That doesn’t mean, however, that this season will be a repeat of last year’s. Here are five things to watch out for as the lights go green for the 2024 Formula One Season. 

1: Will Red Bull continue its domination, or will the reigning champions be unseated? 

Last year saw utter domination by Oracle Red Bull Racing with the team winning every race but one, a feat not seen since McLaren’s 1988 season. However, the end of the season saw Ferrari, Mercedes, and McLaren closing the gap. Now that teams have had the off-season to return to the drawing board and completely redesign their car, we could see a breakthrough launching one of the teams squabbling for second onto the top rung. They could be aided by Red Bull’s woes in finding a second driver to back up their top driver, and the reigning world champion, Max Verstappen. While their current driver, Sergio Perez, did manage to get second place in the driver’s championship, outscoring third place Lewis Hamilton by 51 points, he was beaten by Max Verstappen by 290 points (that’s more points than Perez scored all season). Perez’s contract runs out at the end of this season, so if he doesn’t manage to impress, he may be out of a seat come next year.  

2: Will Daniel Riccardo prove his worth in his new ride, the VCARB 01? 

2023 saw a rare mid-season driver swap after Nyck de Vries was removed from his seat at Alpha Tauri for underperforming. In his place, Alpha Tauri brought back fan-favourite Daniel Riccardo, dubbed “The Honey Badger” due to his cuddly demeanour and aggressive driving style. He had sat out the first half of the season after losing his seat at McLaren to fellow Australian Oscar Piastri. Hopes were high for Riccardo, as he returned to a team he hadn’t raced for since 2013. However, after just two races back, he sustained an injury during a crash that took him out for a good chunk of the remaining races, and we never got to see him get into his groove. Now that Alpha Tauri has rebranded as Racing Bulls (not to be confused with Red Bull Racing) and bought as many parts off of last year’s winning car as they legally can, will we see a return to form for the Honey Badger, or will the issues that plagued him at McLaren return? 

3: Can Nico Hülkenberg and Lando Norris finally get rid of their unwanted records? 

Haas driver Nico Hülkenberg could perhaps be considered the unluckiest man in Formula One, currently holding the record for most Grands Prix started without getting a podium finish, at 203 starts. The only driver that could challenge his unluckiest status is McLaren driver Lando Norris, who holds the record for most podium finishes without a win. Both of their teams, however, look to be on the upswing. Haas in particular made sweeping changes during their off-season, getting rid of their old team director Guenther Steiner, and replacing him with their trackside engineering director and F1 mainstay Ayao Komatsu. Given Haas’s dead-last result in the team championship last year, they have nowhere to go but up. 

4: Who will win the Formula Two championship? 

With no new drivers moving up from Formula Two, the training ground for future F1 drivers, this year’s F2 championship is looking to be as competitive as it ever has been. Last season, Theo Pourchaire barely beat Frederik Vesti for the title. This season, I have my eyes on 17-year-old Andrea Kimi Antonelli. He has been storming up the Formula ladder, winning Italian F4 in 2022, and both the Formula Regional European and Middle East Championships in 2023. However, in bypassing Formula 3 and jumping right into F2, he lacked the experience of many drivers on the grid, like the returning 18-year-old Oliver Bearman and 24-year-old Ritomo Miyata, who won both the 2023 Super Formula Championship and 2023 Super GT Championship. The driver that impresses most this season could have a real shot at one of the most coveted prizes in Formula One: Lewis Hamilton’s soon-to-be vacant seat at Mercedes. 

5: What will come of Lewis Hamilton’s last season at Mercedes, and who will get his seat? 

With the bombshell announcement of Lewis Hamilton’s plan to leave Mercedes at the end of the upcoming 2024 season, many people are wondering how he will fare with his 2025 seat at the historically volatile Ferrari. Of more importance this season, however, is who will be chosen at the end of it to fill Hamilton’s empty seat. Twelve drivers have contracts expiring at the end of this season and no certain home for 2025. All of them will be in their top form to try to nab this seat at the best Formula One team of the past decade. Although Mercedes has fallen into hard times recently, giving up both drivers and the team championship to their rivals at Red Bull, they are poised to strike back. Getting this seat could very well mean getting the championship in the coming years, and Mercedes will not make this decision lightly.