Monday, April 15, 2024

2024 F1 Season Update: Lewis Hamilton’s Final Season with Mercedes while Max Verstappen Aims for Third Consecutive World Title with Red Bull

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The loud V6 engine sounds at Bahrain International Circuit mean Formula One is starting.

This year’s F1 season is the longest ever, with 24 race weekends.

Max Verstappen won the World Drivers’ Championship last year. Now, let’s see what’s happening in F1 this year.

To watch the first race in Bahrain:
– The season begins with the Bahrain Grand Prix after three days of testing.
– Practice and qualifying happen on different days.
– US viewers can watch on ESPN at 11 a.m. ET for qualifying and 10 a.m. ET for the race.

Lewis Hamilton, a seven-time world champion, is leaving Mercedes after this season to join Ferrari in 2025.

Hamilton says, “I feel very lucky to have achieved so much with Mercedes. Now, I have a chance to fulfill another dream with Ferrari.”

This move is a big deal in F1 history, according to F1 broadcaster Will Buxton.

Before Hamilton goes to Ferrari, he wants to help Mercedes win again in his final year with them.

Mercedes used to be the boss in F1 for a long time, winning lots of titles. But in 2022, they couldn’t handle the new rules and Red Bull took over. Ferrari seems like the only team challenging Red Bull, and Mercedes hasn’t been doing so well.

Hamilton, the main guy for Mercedes, hasn’t won a race since 2021. Red Bull and Verstappen dominated the 2023 season, winning almost every race. Verstappen was super confident, always thinking he could win no matter where he started.

Now, Hamilton is leaving Mercedes, hoping to finish on a good note. Red Bull looks strong, but can they keep dominating in the next season? That’s the big question.

Verstappen drove the RB19, a super cool F1 car that many say is the best ever. This made him and the car an awesome team. People argue if this total control is good for F1. Now, everyone’s curious if the new RB20 can be just as good.

Verstappen told CNN, “It’s tough to have the same year, but we always learn and grow. We might not win as much, but the car can be really competitive. We just need to get the most out of it.”

Red Bull had a hiccup with their boss, Horner, facing an investigation for acting inappropriately. He said, “I’m glad it’s done. I can’t say more, but our team is stronger than ever.”

Let’s see if Mercedes and Ferrari can challenge Red Bull. Early signs say Verstappen and Red Bull will still be on top.

This F1 season is unique – no driver changes from last season. But, ‘silly season’ is coming in 2025. Only a few drivers have contracts for 2025, leaving many spots open. Exciting rumors include Alonso switching to Silver Arrows and young Antonelli joining Mercedes. Sainz might also make moves, having been part of the Hamilton drama. Things are about to get interesting!

Sergio Pérez had a tough time in 2023 with Red Bull, finishing far behind his teammate Verstappen. If Red Bull thinks they need a change, Daniel Ricciardo might come back to the team. He used to drive for them from 2014 to 2018 and is now in Red Bull’s sister team RB (used to be AlphaTauri).

Teams like Aston Martin, Alpine, RB, Sauber, and Haas have both their drivers’ contracts ending. They need to decide whether to keep the same drivers or look for new ones to improve their performance.

In F1, contracts aren’t always guaranteed. Sometimes deals get canceled, and drivers switch teams. Alex Albon did well with Williams last year, finishing seventh in the Constructors’ standings. Even though his contract goes until 2025, people might talk about him joining teams like Mercedes or Red Bull during the season.

Can a not-so-famous F1 team get in the top three? Lately, Red Bull, Mercedes, and Ferrari have been like the big shots in F1, being the top three teams in the standings for seven out of the last eight seasons. Surprisingly, only four races in the past 10 years were won by a team that’s not Red Bull, Mercedes, or Ferrari.

Now, in the new season, it looks like McLaren might shake things up for the ‘Big Three.’ They didn’t start the 2023 season too great, but then they kicked it up a notch and got nine podiums with their drivers. They ended up fourth overall, right behind Ferrari.

Aston Martin wants to do better this year after doing pretty well in 2023. Alonso, who is 41 years old, did good and got on the podium eight times. At first, it looked like they could compete with Red Bull, but their car became less competitive towards the end of the season.

How well Aston Martin does in the standings will depend a lot on Lance Stroll, who is the son of the team owner. He only got 74 points for the team out of the 280 they got in 2023.

Alpine is another team to watch out for. They got some big investments from sports stars like Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce in October. They have good drivers, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon, and want to stop being seen as a middle-of-the-pack team. They want to challenge the top three teams more often.

 

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