Formula 1 is back! A three-month winter break and 27 hours of testing later, we head into the Bahrain Grand Prix for the first of 23 rounds in the World Championship.
Teams and drivers have had one year to acclimate themselves to the new aerodynamic technical directives imposed by the governing body. Before the cars had even hit the track, we were already aware of specific narratives for the season. With more knowledge of every team's competitiveness, each has started to form a unique, and in some cases unexpected, path.
Max Verstappen and Red Bull’s dominance to continue.
Do not be surprised if you see Red Bull Racing and Max Verstappen venture on a season to achieve what only the fabled and finest few in Formula 1 history have attained: Winning back-to-back World Championships.
Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin are on their ascension into the Top 3 Teams.
Aston Martin and Fernando Alonso seem to have the perfect marriage. The rumors emanating from Aston Martin about their pace appear to be true. The team have had a very tidy and impressive package during pre-season testing finishing the timing charts in the top 3 on Day 1 and Day 2. We may not see them win a championship in the short term, but they are the team to lead the midfield.
Has Ferrari combated its woes?
At the start of last year, we saw Ferrari and Charles Leclerc as THE team and driver to take the fight with Red Bull and Max Verstappen. Starting the season on a high note by securing a 1-2 finish in the Bahrain season opener, the path looked like we were to see a fight from the prancing horses. However, that proved wrong.
With reliability issues and strategy misfortunes plaguing the team, Ferrari slipped away from the championship battle. Nevertheless, they still managed to fight and take pole position. Fred Vasseur, the new team principal of Ferrari, said that they solved any engine reliability over the winter.
There still might be hope for the prancing horses with the 23-race season calendar. However, the charging bulls lead the pack, with the Aston Martin not far behind.The Mercedes camp does not look too optimistic with their car as they still do not fully comprehend its DNA. Haas' new signing of former F1 driver Niko Hulkenberg looks to solve their cost issues imparted by Mick Schumacher last season. There is a lot more to come from every team.
The season looks to be one of the most anticipated seasons of Formula 1, especially with the Las Vegas Grand Prix making its triumphant return after four decades. We will see racing under the blinding lights of the Las Vegas strip as cars exceed speeds of 200 mph. As we progress through the season, we will see narratives between teams and drivers change.
As for now, here is my pre-season bet: a parlay of Charles Leclerc to win the WDC and Red Bull to win the WCC at +800. All odds are presented by DraftKings Sportsbook.
Tune in on the F1 Betting Podcast with Technical Analyst Mikhail Miranda and Betting Expert Ben Wilson as they handicap the 2023 Formula 1 season.