Formula One 2024 season: Team-by-team guide

formula one 2024 season: team-by-team guide

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – NOVEMBER 26: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 26, 2023 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Clive Rose / Getty Images)

Red Bull

Team principal: Christian Horner (GB)

Drivers: Max Verstappen (NETH) and Sergio Perez (MEX)

LAST SEASON:

Constructors’ championship: – 1st, 860 points

Drivers’ championship: – Verstappen: 1st – 575 points / Perez: 2nd – 285 points

NEW SEASON IN BRIEF:

After three days of testing in Bahrain, the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc have made it clear: It looks like more of the same for Red Bull and Verstappen. “Red Bull remain in front,” said Ferrari’s Leclerc, “Red Bull clearly are out in the distance” added Mercedes’ Hamilton.

Verstappen, seeking a fourth straight title but never one for hyperbole, said “the car was responding well”. The Dutch driver and his new RB20 car look every bit as unbeatable as its record-breaking predecessor.

Mercedes

Team principal: Toto Wolff (AUT)

Drivers: Lewis Hamilton (GB) and George Russell (GB)

LAST SEASON:

Constructors’ championship: – 2nd, 409 points

Drivers’ championship: – Hamilton: 3rd – 234 points / Russell: 8th – 175 points

NEW SEASON IN BRIEF:

A momentous season for Mercedes that sees Hamilton’s spell with the team – that has seen him win six of his seven world titles – come to an end before he heads for pastures new with Ferrari.

Team boss Wolff expressed optimism over this year’s car design which he says has created a “buzz in the company that is something I have not seen for so many years”. Hamilton added: “The car felt much more enjoyable to drive [than last year]. We still have time to find.”

Ferrari

Team principal: Frederic Vasseur (FRA)

Drivers: Charles Leclerc (MON) and Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP)

LAST SEASON:

Constructors’ championship: – 3rd, 406 points

Drivers’ championship: – Leclerc: 5th – 206 points / Sainz Jr: 7th – 200 points

NEW SEASON IN BRIEF:

Sainz will be looking to make a point before Hamilton takes over his seat next season and testing went positively for the Italian marque, who claimed the last of their 15 drivers’ world titles back in 2007.

But Leclerc wasn’t about to get carried away: “Red Bull remain in front. They have a very, very good car again this year. How far in front they are remains to be confirmed, but they seem to be in front for now, yes.”

McLaren

Team principal: Andrea Stella (ITA)

Drivers: Lando Norris (GB) and Oscar Piastri (AUS)

LAST SEASON:

Constructors’ championship: – 4th, 302 points

Drivers’ championship: – Norris: 6th – 205 points / Piastri: 9th – 97 points

NEW SEASON IN BRIEF:

The team will be looking to build on the improvement in the second half of last season when Norris was second only to Verstappen in points scored in the last dozen races.

“We are in a good position,” said Norris. “We had a decent car at the end of last season and we have definitely taken some steps in the right direction, but still a very long way behind Red Bull and a long way behind Ferrari.”

Aston Martin

Team principal: Mike Krack (LUX)

Drivers: Fernando Alonso (ESP) and Lance Stroll (CAN)

LAST SEASON:

Constructors’ championship: – 5th, 280 points

Drivers’ championship: – Alonso: 4th – 206 points / Stroll: 10th – 74 points

NEW SEASON IN BRIEF:

Alonso made a flying start to last season when the two-time world champion missed out on the podium only twice in the first eight races. He was unable to maintain that form, though, appearing in the top three only once more. The Spaniard, who is in the running to replace Hamilton at Mercedes next year, is pleased with the car’s progress ahead of the new season.

“The car is a step forward, the car feels better,” Alonso said. “Everyone made a step forward this year, we see the concepts of the car and the ideas are more of the same for everybody. So I think it’s going to be tight and very intense.”

Alpine

Team principal: Bruno Famin (FRA)

Drivers: Pierre Gasly (FRA) and Estaban Ocon (FRA)

LAST SEASON:

Constructors’ championship: – 6th, 120 points

Drivers’ championship: – Gasly: 11th – 62 points / Ocon: 12th – 58 points

NEW SEASON IN BRIEF:

It was a miserable testing for Alpine with Ocon and Gasly were 16th and 17th of the 20 drivers participating on overall times for the three days, the latter admitting “it’s not going to be an easy first race” in Bahrain after the team changed everything “except the steering wheel” with the new A524 car.

“We need time. We need to work,” added Gasly. “We know we’re starting from the back, which I think we’ve been quite honest about from the start. We know that there is potential to develop this season and we hope that it will happen as soon as possible.”

Williams

Team principal: James Vowles (GB)

Drivers: Alexander Albon (THAI) and Logan Sargent (USA)

LAST SEASON:

Constructors’ championship: – 7th, 28 points

Drivers’ championship: – Albon: 13th – 27 points / Sargent: 21st – one point

NEW SEASON IN BRIEF:

The 2023 car displayed plenty of pace in qualifying and straight-line speed but their target this term is to build on the best race finish of seventh claimed by Albon in Montreal and Monza.

“It’s a totally different car to understand,” said Albon after testing. “I don’t think we are going to hit the ground running but we can hit the ground jogging. There’s some new things that we have to iron out so it’s part of the learning curve, but it’s going well so far.”

RB

Team principal: Laurent Mekies (FRA)

Drivers: Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) and Yuki Tsunoda (JAP)

LAST SEASON:

Constructors’ championship: – 8th, 25 points

Drivers’ championship: – Ricciardo: 17th – six points / Tsunoda: 14th – 17 points / Nyck de Vries: 22nd – zero points

NEW SEASON IN BRIEF:

The Red Bull-owned team formerly known as Minardi/Toro Rosso/AlphaTauri have now become the magnificently named Visa Cash App RB – or RB short – and will be looking to improve on last season’s finish which saw them ditch much-heralded rookie De Vries mid-campaign and replace him with Ricciardo. The Australian then saw his comeback halted by a broken hand following a practice crash at Zandvoort.

There has been talk that RB could be a dark horse for a podium place in Bahrain but Ricciardo was keen to downplay that idea during testing. “I would say we’re still in that midfield fight,” he said. “I know people are getting pretty excited about us, but I’m trying to just bring it back down.”

Sauber

Team principal: Alessandro Alunni Bravi (ITA)

Drivers: Valtteri Bottas (FIN) and Zhou Guanyu (CHI)

LAST SEASON:

Constructors’ championship: – 9th, 16 points

Drivers’ championship: – Bottas: 15th – 10 points / Guanyu: 18th – six points

NEW SEASON IN BRIEF:

Swiss team originally founded in 1993 by Peter Sauber has undergone an identity makeover for 2024 having raced in recent seasons as Alfa Romeo. Two eighth-place finishes for Bottas in Bahrain and Qatar were the team’s best result last year.

And the Finn believes that Sauber have gained significant performance with their new C44 car. “What I’m positive about, I definitely feel improvements compared to last year,” he said. “[It’s] definitely a step forward, but I think everyone has made steps forward. Then it’s the question who made the biggest one.”

Haas

Team principal: Ayao Komatsu (JAP)

Drivers: Kevin Magnussen (DEN) and Nico Hulkenberg (GER)

LAST SEASON:

Constructors’ championship: – 10th, 12 points

Drivers’ championship: – Magnussen: 19th – three points / Hulkenberg: 16th – nine points

NEW SEASON IN BRIEF:

While all bar one team struggled in various ways last year, none found the going tougher than Haas, despite a fresh and experienced driver pairing of Magnussen and Hulkenberg. The team that joined the grid in 2016 is still searching for their first podium.

“Last year’s car was inconsistent, it was quite nasty,” said new boss Komatsu. “Depending on the conditions – tyre condition, wind condition or track temperature – the car really wasn’t behaving in a predictable manner. Whereas this year’s car is behaving in a predictable manner. It’s consistent.”

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