The 2023 Formula 1 season is near its end, following a dominant campaign by Red Bull and world champions Max Verstappen. But what comes next? During the winter break, teams and drivers will take time off to recharge before the 2024 season.
How individuals decide to recharge is entirely up to them. In past years, drivers have engaged in various activities. Carlos Sainz has been spotted on the squash court, Sergio Perez has cheered on Mexico in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and Mick Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel have previously competed in the Race of Champions event in snowy Sweden.
Teams quickly resume their diligent work in the factory to prepare for the upcoming campaign shortly after. So, does the entire world of motorsport take a break during the off-season? Now is the time to remember the past F1 news about the past and future seasons.
What’s New in F1 for 2023?
Verstappen Sets a New Record
Verstappen had been waiting a long time for his triumphant Waltz to the 2023 world title. The victory was sealed in Qatar almost two months ago. Since then, he has been demolishing the record he broke last year for wins in a single season, and now stands at an impressive 19 wins. With his triumph in Abu Dhabi, Verstappen also achieved another record – he led a total of 1,003 laps, becoming the first driver to reach 1,000 laps led in one season.
This milestone matches the total number of laps led by McLaren during their dominant 1988 season, split between F1 legends Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. Not only that, Verstappen is the only driver who completed every single lap of the 2023 campaign, and he admitted that reaching the 1,000-lap milestone was on his mind as he made his final pitstop last Sunday.
Mercedes Grabs Second Place
Despite the criticism faced from within the organization, Mercedes’ W14 secured second place in the constructors’ championship with impressive performances. Ferrari posed a strong challenge in the later part of the season, but Mercedes’ unwavering reliability allowed them to consistently accumulate points throughout the year.
George Russell showcased a commendable drive, securing fourth place, later promoted to third after Sergio Perez’s penalty. Russell also acknowledged that luck played a role in aiding the team during a season that fell short of expectations.
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Mixed Feelings about Aston Martin
Fernando Alonso achieved his best driver’s championship finish since 2013, tying with Charles Leclerc in the overall standings. However, Aston Martin’s performance declined throughout the season, falling behind McLaren in the constructors’ battle and lacking the speed to challenge them in the finale.
At the beginning of the season, Alonso demonstrated strong performance with five podium finishes in the first six races, while the McLaren drivers struggled to achieve a best finish of sixth between them. However, McLaren’s strategic upgrades started to pay off in Austria, leading to an improved performance. Lando Norris secured fourth place at the Red Bull Ring, marking the start of a remarkable run for McLaren in the second half of the season.
Although Aston Martin’s presence in the top points-paying positions wavered in the second half of the year, Alonso made the most of the situation and fought for fourth place. In a late overtake on Yuki Tsunoda, Alonso secured his higher position by scoring five third places, surpassing Leclerc’s three podium finishes.
What are the Changes in Formula 1 in 2024?
Most of the changes for the 2024 season will be related to safety. At the same time, we probably need to think about security and install a free VPN extension for Firefox or Chome. This will prevent many hacker attacks and protect against most vulnerabilities.
Ride Height and Diffusers Adjusted
Last year, when F1 introduced its new-spec cars with ground-effect aerodynamics, some teams experienced porpoising issues. To address this, several floor-based flexibility and monitoring measures were implemented during the second half of the 2022 season, with additional changes planned for 2023.
In summary, four key adjustments will be made this year: raising the floor edges by 15mm, increasing the height of the diffuser throat, enhancing the diffuser edge stiffness, and mandating an additional sensor to better monitor.
A Reduction in the Minimum Car Weight
Teams across the grid fought to reach the 798kg limit (excluding fuel) for the 2022 F1 season, as it brought about significant regulatory changes. As F1 embraces its new era, designers are striving to meet the reduced weight of 796kg for 2023, hoping to further trim the weight of their latest challengers.
To enhance driver visibility, F1’s 2024-spec cars will increase the width of their rear-view mirror reflective surface by 50mm, from 150mm to 200mm. The changes were tested by Red Bull and Mercedes in Hungary and Belgium last season. During the Dutch Grand Prix, the entire grid actively participated, and these modifications have now been incorporated into the regulations.
Paddock Working Hours Cut
F1 team members will work fewer hours during race weekends in upcoming seasons. The third restricted period (effective on Fridays) will begin an hour earlier this year, with another hour being removed in 2024. Additionally, the number of curfews allowed for the first (Wednesday) and second (Thursday) restricted periods will be halved, reducing them from eight to four and six to three respectively. Furthermore, another reduction is planned for next year.
Ahead of the 2023 season, several noteworthy changes have been implemented. Moreover, there are numerous ongoing initiatives and considerations for 2024 onwards.
To enhance safety measures, there are plans for a “significant overhaul” of roll hoop safety tests starting next year. This stems from Zhou’s severe crash incident and aims to enable future F1 cars to endure higher loads.
Discussions on grid penalties will persist, and the F1 Commission has postponed final talks on the potential elimination of tire blankets for 2024 until July 2023. Approval from the World Motor Sport Council is required for regulatory modifications.