The 2023 Formula 1 season kicks off this weekend with the Bahrain Grand Prix. Max Verstappen and Red Bull are looking for their third-straight championship. What should you know about the upcoming season? WagerTalk auto racing expert Andy Lang shares some of his notes about driver changes, car modifications and the 2023 Formula 1 schedule.
2023 Formula 1 Driver Lineup
Not much has changed at the top of the drivers’ table. Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes will all be returning with the same lineup, but there were plenty of moves elsewhere. The biggest team switch was made by Fernando Alonso, who moved from from Alpine to Aston Martin. Four new drivers will be introduced for the 2023 season, three rookies and one returning veteran. Nyck de Vries, Logan Sargeant and Oscar Piastri will be joining the circuit this season, while Nico Hulkenberg makes his return after serving as a reserve driver over the past few seasons.
|Team||Driver||2022 Finish||Driver||2022 Finish|
|Red Bull Racing||Max Verstappen||454 Points (1st)||Sergio Perez||305 Points (3rd)|
|Ferrari||Charles Leclerc||308 Points (2nd)||Carlos Sainz||246 Points (5th)|
|Mercedes||Lewis Hamilton||240 Points (6th)||George Russell||275 Points (4th)|
|Alpine||Esteban Ocon||92 Points (8th)||Pierre Gasly||23 Points (14th)|
|McLaren||Lando Norris||122 Points (7th)||Oscar Piastri||n/a (Rookie)|
|Alfa Romeo||Valtteri Bottas||49 Points (10th)||Zhou Guanyu||6 Points (18th)|
|Aston Martin||Lance Stroll||18 Points (15th)||Fernando Alonso||81 Points (9th)|
|Haas||Kevin Magnussen||25 Points (13th)||Nico Hulkenberg||n/a|
|AlphaTauri||Yuki Tsunoda||12 Points (17th)||Nyck de Vries||n/a (Rookie)|
|Williams||Alex Albon||4 Points (19th)||Logan Sargeant||n/a (Rookie)|
2023 Formula 1 Car Updates
Mercedes – The color scheme caught everyone by surprise as they went to all black, but there’s actually a tech reason for it. The exposed carbon fiber is black, and without paint on it they save just a bit of weight which may not sound like much, but every little bit counts this year. Most teams changed their side pods to mimic Red Bull, but for the time being Mercedes will stay with their current set up, but they have said they will change if they feel it will help them. It will be interesting to see who’s happiest with their side pods because several teams are mimicking Mercedes “0 Pod Approach” yet Mercedes seems willing to adjust away if needed.
Alpine – This is the team that has made the most changes to the car as they are swinging for the fences. Their nose wing attaches as one big piece as opposed to kind of hanging down below the nose which they say will give them lots of flexibility to use different set ups on different tracks. Their car weighs less than the limit so they can add weight depending on the circuit. They have adjusted the underfloor, the side pods and the rear wing in hopes that this new setup will move them past McLaren and into fighting range with the top three teams.
Ferrari – The biggest changes Ferrari made were to the side pods as it looks like they revamped them to improve the cooling of the car, and they made adjustments to the front wing as well as the mirror assembly and a few other thing in the middle of the car. But the big thing they are trying to do is use slot gap separator brackets on the brakes that Mercedes tried to use last year, but were told no. The rule has slightly changed, so maybe Ferrari will be able to use them which should help provide a little bit better aerodynamics. Their car keeps the same basics from last year, but has added a lot of bells and whistles inspired by other teams in hopes of becoming a threat to Red Bull.
Red Bull – The defending champs will be using their brand new RB19 this year, and it’s interesting to note that they are using some inspiration from Ferrari and Mercedes. They are using some elements of Mercedes smaller and flatter side pods as they believe they can fix the issues that plagued Mercedes last year with porpoising. They will also use some of Ferrari’s front wing design, and they hope that these changes will fix the understeer issues. Max and Sergio have been happy so far with the new car, we’ll see how testing goes, but I believe Red Bull is still the team to beat.
2023 Formula 1 Schedule
For the first time ever, the 2023 Formula 1 schedule will feature 23 races. There are two notable changes from last year’s schedule: The Qatar Grand Prix has been re-added back into the mix after missing last season because of preparations for the World Cup, and the Las Vegas Grand Prix has been added to the schedule as cars will race down the world-famous Strip on Thanksgiving weekend.
|Date||Grand Prix||2022 Winner|
|March 5||Bahrain (Sakhir)||Charles Leclerc|
|March 19||Saudi Arabia (Jeddah)||Max Verstappen|
|April 2||Australia (Melbourne)||Charles Leclerc|
|April 30||Azerbaijan (Baku)||Max Verstappen|
|May 7||Miami (Miami Gardens)||Max Verstappen|
|May 21||Emilia Romagna (Imola)||Max Verstappen|
|May 28||France (Monaco)||Max Verstappen|
|June 4||Spain (Barcelona)||Max Verstappen|
|June 18||Canada (Montreal)||Max Verstappen|
|July 2||Austria (Red Bull Ring)||Charles Leclerc|
|July 9||Great Britain (Silverstone)||Carlos Sainz|
|July 23||Hungary (Hungaroring)||Max Verstappen|
|July 30||Belgium (Spa)||Max Verstappen|
|August 27||Netherlands (Zandvoort)||Max Verstappen|
|September 3||Italy (Monza)||Max Verstappen|
|September 17||Singapore||Sergio Perez|
|September 24||Japan (Suzuka)||Max Verstappen|
|October 8||Qatar (Lusail)||n/a|
|October 22||United States (COTA in Texas)||Max Verstappen|
|October 29||Mexico (Mexico City)||Max Verstappen|
|November 5||Brazil (Interlagos)||George Russell|
|November 18||Las Vegas||n/a|
|November 26||Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina)||Max Verstappen|
2023 Formula 1 Championship Odds
At DraftKings Sports Book, Verstappen has opened as the -165 favorite to capture his third-straight drivers’ championship, followed by Leclerc (+450) and Hamilton (+500). Longer shots include George Russell at +1600, Carlos Sainz at +1800 and Sergio Perez at +2000. Red Bull has also opened as the -150 favorite to capture the constructors’ championship, followed by Mercedes (+250) and Ferrari (+330).