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Formula One 2024: team-by-team guide to the cars and drivers
F1 Sport

Formula One 2024: team-by-team guide to the cars and drivers

Red Bull

In 2005, Red Bull’s Principal Christian Horner debuted the RB20 engine in Australia. In 369 Grand Prix races, the team has won 6 titles and finished first in last season. The car underwent a major transformation, aiming to improve its performance on slow corners in 2023. Testing showed promising results and Red Bull is seen as a top contender for the championship. However, the team has faced issues in the pre-season with a investigation into Christian Horner’s behavior, which could potentially affect their performance in the upcoming season.


Max Verstappen, a 26-year-old from the Netherlands, made his debut in Australia in 2015 and has since won 54 races, earned 32 pole positions, and achieved 3 titles. He was the reigning champion last season, dominating with a streak of 10 straight wins. Verstappen is currently at the peak of his abilities, displaying exceptional speed and consistency in a car that perfectly suits his driving style. He appears to be unbreakable when unchallenged, but it remains to be seen how his rivals will fare under pressure.

Sparks fly behind Max Verstappen during testing in Bahrain.

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Sergio Pérez, a 34-year-old driver from Mexico, made his debut in the Australian Grand Prix in 2011. He has won 6 races and achieved 3 pole positions, but has yet to win any titles. His best finish in a season was 2nd place, which he achieved last year. However, he struggled in qualifying and was outshined by his teammate. With his contract set to expire in 2025, Pérez must prove himself to retain his seat on the team. Despite managing to secure 2nd place in the previous season, he was not able to fully take advantage of the superior car he was driving. The future of his career is uncertain.


In 1954, Mercedes made their debut in Formula 1 with their W15 car and powered by their engine. The team is led by Toto Wolff and has won 8 titles in a total of 293 Grand Prix races. Last season, they placed second. However, after struggling for two years with a flawed design philosophy, the team plans to reset in 2024 with a completely new concept. During testing, the car showed promising results with a strong base and improved grip in corners, giving confidence to the drivers. However, the team also faces the challenge of adjusting to the departure of Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari in 2025 and finding a replacement, which will be a difficult task.


In 2007, Lewis Hamilton (39 years old) made his debut in Australia and has since won 103 races and secured 104 pole positions, earning him 7 titles. Despite finishing 3rd last season, he surprised his team by announcing his departure to Ferrari. However, Hamilton remains highly motivated and fast. While he has pledged to give his best for Mercedes this year, if the car is not competitive enough for winning races (especially since he hasn’t won in two years), he may already be anticipating his first race with Scuderia.

George Russell is a 26-year-old driver from Great Britain. He made his debut at the Australian Grand Prix in 2019 and has since achieved 1 win and 1 pole position. However, he has not yet won any titles and his best finish in a season was 4th place. In his most recent season, he finished 8th, but faced some difficulties after his impressive debut with Mercedes in 2022. This year, he is expected to perform even better as he will take over as team leader when Lewis Hamilton departs. With a better car and likely improved confidence and consistency, his undeniable talent should shine through.

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton in the paddockView image in fullscreen


The SF-24 car, powered by a Ferrari engine, was first introduced in 1950 at the Monaco Grand Prix under the leadership of Principal Frédéric Vasseur. Since then, it has competed in 1074 Grand Prix races and has achieved 16 titles. In the previous season, it placed third. The team has worked to improve the car’s race pace, performance in medium speed corners, and tire wear in order to better compete with Red Bull. During testing, it showed promise as the closest rival to Red Bull. Both drivers have praised the improvements made, and Vasseur has established a strong team structure with high hopes for achieving wins.


Charles Leclerc (Mnc, 26) No 16 Debut Australia 2018 Wins 5 Poles 23 Titles 0 Best season finish 2nd Last season 5th. Qualified superbly in 2023 but let down in race pace and occasionally trying too hard to extract more than there was in the car. With an improved ride Leclerc can be expected to excel and if Ferrari can match Red Bull the Monegasque will have no fear of taking on Verstappen.

Carlos Sainz Jr (Sp, 29) No 55 Debut Australia 2015 Wins 2 Poles 5 Titles 0 Best season finish 5th Last season 7th. Sainz is to be replaced by Hamilton next year, and is making his case to another team in a competitive market. The only driver to deny Red Bull a win in 2023 the Spaniard deserves to be taken on, as he showed pace and composure last season in the win at Singapore and is capable of more as he matures as a driver.


Andrea Stella, the principal of Mercedes and the driving force behind their successful comeback, debuted their MCL61 engine at the 1966 Monaco Grand Prix. With a total of 946 Grand Prix races and 8 titles under their belt, Mercedes is not showing any signs of slowing down. Thanks to Stella’s leadership, last season saw an impressive turnaround for the team and they are now entering the new season with a great deal of momentum. Furthermore, with the addition of new wind tunnel and simulator facilities and impressive technical personnel, Mercedes is well on their way to achieving their long-standing goal of returning to the top three in the league.


Lando Norris (GB, 24) No 4 Debut Australia 2019 Wins 0 Best race finish 2nd Poles 1 Titles 0 Best season finish 6th Last season 6th. Excelled in no short order as soon as McLaren delivered a decent car last season, Norris is still only improving. Spurred on by a genuinely competitive teammate he secured a hatful of podiums with some outstanding drives, not least when he took the lead at Silverstone. A debut win is without doubt within his grasp.

Lando Norris View image in fullscreen

Oscar Piastri, aged 22 from Australia, made his debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2023. He did not earn any wins but achieved a second place finish at one race. He did not earn any pole positions but his best qualification was second place. In his rookie season, he did not win any titles but finished 9th overall. Despite facing challenges with a slower car, Piastri showed maturity and was able to excel when upgrades were implemented. He earned a win in a sprint race and his experience with understanding tire usage will only lead to improvement in the future. He is expected to achieve great success in his career.

Aston Martin

The AMR24 car with a Mercedes engine, led by principal Mike Krack, made its debut in the Netherlands in 1959. It has competed in 71 Grand Prix races with 0 titles, and its best finish was 7th. Last season, they finished in 5th place. However, their performance in testing did not show the same significant improvement as it did in the previous year. Despite this, the team has a fast and well-balanced car that is better than their lackluster performance at the end of the 2023 season. With the team’s new facilities now in use, Krack, who is a skilled operator, expects to be competitive in the midfield battle and strive for podium finishes.


Fernando Alonso, a 42-year-old Spanish driver, debuted in Australia in 2001. Throughout his career, he has achieved 32 wins, 22 pole positions, and 2 titles. In the previous season, he finished in 4th place, showcasing that his speed and determination are still present despite his age. In fact, he secured four podium finishes out of five races at the start of last season. Possessing the same skill and cunning, Alonso remains a pleasure to watch and continues to be driven by his ambitious spirit, already setting his sights on a potential move to Mercedes. Additionally, Aston Martin will likely be eager to retain his talents.

Lance Stroll (Can, 25) No 18 Debut Australia 2017 Best race finish 3rd Poles 1 Titles 0 Best season finish 10th Last season 10th. Where Alonso shone in a good car last year, his teammate flailed and foundered. Appeared to lack motivation and indeed interest, he qualified and scored poorly leaving the team helpless against a resurgent McLaren. Must do better to justify his place, even in a team owned by his father who cannot afford to carry a driver.


Car A524, featuring a Renault engine and led by team principal Bruno Famin, made its debut in Bahrain in 2021. It has participated in 66 Grand Prix races, but has yet to secure any titles. Its best finish so far was 4th place, but last season it ended in 6th place. The team has faced significant internal challenges in 2023, resulting in multiple changes in management, including the dismissal of team principal Otmar Szafnauer. The team’s goal of returning to a winning position within five years currently seems unattainable, as their testing performance has been disappointing. The car is overweight and lacks speed and maneuverability, which could hinder their ability to compete with the front-runners. Instead, they may find themselves in a battle for positions in the lower third of the pack.


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Esteban Ocon (Fr, 27) No 31 Debut Belgium 2016 Wins 1 Poles 0 Best qualifying 3rd Titles 0 Best season finish 8th Last season 12th. Already enjoying a feisty relationship with his France countryman and teammate Pierre Gasly, Ocon will be looking to come back from being beaten by him by four points last season. An outstanding third at Monaco last season proved he can still deliver and he is another driver who would want to make his case for a shot at Mercedes.

Esteban Ocon celebrates with the trophy at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2021

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French driver Pierre Gasly, aged 28, made his debut at the Malaysian Grand Prix in 2017. He has achieved 1 win and 0 pole positions, with his best qualifying result being 2nd place. He has not won any titles and his best overall season finish was 7th place, while last season he placed 11th. Despite being determined to compete against his teammate, Gasly is more comfortable with the Alpine team compared to his time with Red Bull. He is still capable of delivering impressive performances, but may face challenges with a difficult car and a tense atmosphere. There is potential for fireworks at Alpine in the near future.


“James Vowles debuted as team principal for Mercedes’ FW46 engine in the 1977 Spanish Grand Prix. He has led the team to 9 titles and has competed in 810 races, with their last season resulting in a 7th place finish. Vowles showed great performance in his first year as team principal in 2023, despite limited and outdated resources, and managed to elevate the team from the back of the pack. The goal is to continue slowly rebuilding and improving infrastructure, and their car shows promise of being a strong competitor among the back runners.”


Alexander Albon, a 27-year-old driver from Thailand, made his debut in Australia in 2019 as number 23. He has yet to win a race, with his best finish being 3rd. He has also not earned any poles and his best qualifying position was 4th. He has never won a title and his best season finish was 7th. In the previous season, he finished 13th. Albon was the sole driver who carried Williams last year and his contribution was crucial to the team. He has left behind the troubles from his time at Red Bull and now displays confidence, friendliness, and sharp driving skills. Albon’s attitude and talent make him an ideal fit for Williams, but they also make him a possible target for Mercedes.

In 2023, American driver Logan Sargeant (23 years old) made his debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix, finishing in 21st place. He did not win any races and his best qualifying position was 6th. He has not won any titles and his best overall season finish was also 21st, which was also his position in his previous season. Despite his dedication and effort, Sargeant’s first season was challenging and he will need to demonstrate more than just financial support to justify his spot on the team. He had numerous crashes and mistakes that cost the team potential points and money. In his second year, the team will expect Sargeant to race cleanly and consistently.

Visa Cash App RB

The car VCARB01, with its Red Bull engine, first debuted in Bahrain in 2006. In its 329 Grand Prix races, it has yet to win a title and its best finish was 6th place. Last season, it finished 8th. This team was previously known as Toro Rosso and AlphaTauri, but has now changed its name to RB, which many consider to be the worst name in F1 history. This change is purely cosmetic, as the team has formed closer ties with Red Bull in hopes of breaking away from being a mid-field team. During testing, the team showed promising results, consistently scoring points.


Daniel Ricciardo, an Australian driver who is now 34 years old, made his debut in Britain in 2011. He has achieved 8 wins, 3 poles, and 0 titles in his career so far, with his best season finish being 3rd place. In the previous season, he finished 17th. In 2023, he joined a team mid-season and this reinvigorated him. After struggling at McLaren, he was determined to prove his talent, but unfortunately sustained a broken bone in his hand. Despite this setback, he was able to remind everyone of his skills and will surely want to impress as the top candidate to replace Pérez if he underperforms at Red Bull.

Daniel Ricciardo during testing with Visa Cash App RB (formerly AlphaTauri) in Bahrain.

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Yuki Tsunoda, a 23-year-old driver from Japan, made his debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2021, where he achieved his best race finish of 4th place. He has never won a pole position and his best qualifying result was 6th place. He has not won any titles and his best overall finish was in 14th place. In the previous season, he also finished in 14th place. He ended the 2023 season with a strong performance at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, finishing in 8th place. The arrival of Daniel Ricciardo as his teammate has given him a boost of motivation. He is likely to have the best car he has ever had in Formula 1 and has the opportunity to make a strong impression. With each passing year, he has been improving as a driver and beating out Ricciardo would be a significant achievement, especially for a team in a tight competition.

Stake Kick Sauber

Andreas Seidl, the principal of the Ferrari C44 Engine, made his debut with the team in South Africa in 1993. With 463 Grand Prix starts, the team has yet to secure a championship title and their best finish was in second place. Last season, racing as Alfa Romeo, they finished in 8th place. However, despite their sponsor names, the team essentially remains Sauber as they await Audi’s takeover in 2026. Seidl is currently focused on preparing the team for that event, with the help of technical director James Key who joined from McLaren. Drivers have expressed positive feedback after testing, but the team is not expecting a significant improvement this season.


Valtteri Bottas, a 34-year-old from Finland, made his debut at the Australian Grand Prix in 2013. He has achieved 10 wins and 20 pole positions in his career. His best season finish was 2nd place, but in the previous season, he finished 15th. While Mercedes has had a decline in their successful days, Bottas has faced tougher challenges over the past two years. Despite this, he appears to have enjoyed his experience. As he looks towards potentially joining Audi, he is proving himself as a valuable asset to the team and is expected to continue bringing in points and improving the car.

Zhou Guanyu of China, who is 24 years old, has had a maximum ranking of 24. His best performance in a race was 8th place, and he has not had any pole positions. His best qualification result was 5th place, and he has not won any titles. His highest ranking in a season was 18th, which he achieved in the previous season. In his third season, Zhou has shown enough skill and ability to deserve his spot in the competition. He has shown bursts of speed at times, but has also made some errors under pressure which he needs to work on. Sauber needs a consistent and flawless performer, and Zhou should now be able to deliver as a driver with some experience.


In 2016, Ferrari Principal Ayao Komatsu debuted the Car VF-24 under the Haas team at the Australian Grand Prix. Since then, the team has participated in 166 races, but has yet to win a title. The best finish for the team was 5th place and last season they placed 10th. This year, there will be a transition as Komatsu takes over from the previous leader, Guenther Steiner. The team’s owner, Gene Haas, has expressed frustration with their lack of progress and is counting on Komatsu to make significant improvements. The team’s biggest challenge has been addressing the poor tyre wear on their car, which hindered their performance last season. While their long runs have shown promise, the team is expecting incremental progress rather than a complete overhaul.


Kevin Magnussen, a 31-year-old driver from Denmark, made his debut in Australian Grand Prix in 2014. His career best race finish is second place and he has secured 1 pole position. He does not have any titles and his highest season finish was 9th. In the previous season, he finished in 19th place. Magnussen, who struggled with the performance limitations of the car last year, is not someone who likes to drive cautiously and preserve his tires. If the car has improved this season, he should feel more comfortable. He is known for his tenacity when competing in a battle.

Nico Hülkenberg, who is 36 years old and from Germany, made his Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2010. His best race finish is 4th place, and he has achieved one pole position. He has not won any titles and his best overall season finish was 7th place. In his most recent season, he finished in 16th place. Hülkenberg brought a wealth of experience to the team and worked well alongside teammate Kevin Magnussen. He was able to handle the car’s limitations and showed strong performance in qualifying in Canada, where he placed second. His skills will be valuable as the team looks to improve, and he is expected to have a better season this year.

Source: theguardian.com