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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 28 February 2024

Fasten the seatbelt, it's vroom time

The Telegraph takes a look at what the year on the track promises this time

Elora Sen Published 04.03.23, 05:53 AM
Max Verstappen, looking for the third title on the trot.

Max Verstappen, looking for the third title on the trot. File Picture

A record number of races and a first to be held on the famed Las Vegas Strip– the 2023 F1 season is set to make heads turn. With the Bahrain Grand Prix starting off the season on Sunday, The Telegraph takes a look at what the year on the track promises this time.

The Vegas touch

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This season was supposed to feature a record 24 races, but the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix has lowered that to 23. While F1 races have seen many iconic venues, 2023 will see the penultimate race being held in Las Vegas on November 18.

The night race will be held on the world-famous strip, with F1 building a four-story, 300-square-foot paddock in the city.

The frontrunner

Twenty-five-year-old Dutch Max Verstappen looks set to add to his 2021, 2022 titles. The Red Bull driver had clinched his second F1 title in the most dominant fashion, with four races remaining, last year.

Verstappen is the youngest points-scorer and youngest race winner in F1. And in 2022, he set two new records– most race wins in a single season (15) and most points in a single season (454).

The challengers

The first name that comes to mind is that of “home” challenge Sergio Perez. The 33-year-old teammate of Verstappen finished third in 2022. He is equipped with the same machinery as the world champion.

Then there is Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. The 25-year-old finished second to Verstappen in 2022. The poster boy of F1’s most famous team, Leclerc is perhaps Ferrari’s best bet to regain their supremacy. But no one can ever write off Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton. Though he finished sixth in 2022 and did not win a race last year, the seven-time Formula One champion remains one of the top draws.

WHAT’S NEW

  • Haas have introduced a three-seater pitwall perch, replacing the one with six or more people, which will save them $250,000. They wish to use that amount for the development of the car and team.
  • After Zhou Guanyu’s crash at the 2022 British Grand Prix, a rounded top will now be required on the roll hoop, which will reduce the chance of it digging into the ground during an accident.
  • The size of the side-mirrors will be increased to improve rear visibility.
  • With the intention of making tyre usage more sustainable, F1 will trial a reduction in allocated tyre sets from 13 to 11 at two races in 2023.
  • The FIA’s International Sporting Code (ISC) was updated to include stricter controls on drivers and teams making “political, religious and personal statements”.

RACE CALENDAR

Mar 5: Bahrain Grand Prix

Mar 19: Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Apr 2: Australian Grand Prix

Apr 30: Azerbaijan Grand Prix

May 7: Miami Grand Prix

May 21: Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

May 28: Monaco Grand Prix

Jun 4: Spanish Grand Prix

Jun 18: Canadian Grand Prix

Jul 2: Austrian Grand Prix

Jul 9: British Grand Prix

Jul 23: Hungarian Grand Prix

Jul 30: Belgian Grand Prix

Aug 27: Dutch Grand Prix

Sep 3: Italian Grand Prix

Sep 17: Singapore Grand Prix

Sep 24: Japanese Grand Prix

Oct 8: Qatar Grand Prix

Oct 22: U.S. Grand Prix

Oct 29: Mexican Grand Prix

Nov 5: Brazilian Grand Prix

Nov 18: Las Vegas Grand Prix

Nov 26: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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