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Lewis Hamilton’s Record Title, Verstappen’s Strength, Ferrari Revival; Inside Look at Tricky F1 2023 Season
- The new season of Formula 1 is set to kick off with the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 5
- The season will have 23 races, with the different locations set to provide a logistical nightmare for the teams
- Races in different countries that follow each other are often the most tedious races to plan for
Now that every team has unveiled the car they will use for the upcoming season, the 2023 Formula 1 season is ready to get underway.
From Mercedes' W14 car to Red Bull's RB14, the 2023 season is promising to be an exciting prospect with a lot of storylines to look out for.
Hamilton's record-chasing season
Will Lewis Hamilton win a record eighth title, or will Max Verstappen become only the fourth driver after Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher to win three consecutive titles?
The Mercedes vs Red Bull battle will offer a thrilling spectacle, but after a too-close yet too far-disoriented campaign in 2022, Ferrari will look to push the two top teams. Frederic Vassseur replaced Mattia Binotto as team principal.
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But apart from the who's who in Formula 1, the new season set to begin in Bahrain will have other factors that the teams will have little to no control over. Sports Brief takes a look at why the 2023 season might be a tricky season.
1. 'New' circuits
Formula 1 confirmed 23 Grands Prix for the new season. The initial plan was to have a record 24, but the Chinese Grand Prix was cancelled.
Of the 23, Las Vegas will officially rejoin the circuits and become the third event in America after Miami and Austin GP's. The Qatar Grand Prix will also make a return after taking a break last year due to the FIFA World Cup.
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The layout of the Marina Bay circuit of the Singapore GP is also expected to be changed, which could see a reduced amount of lap time. This is the same circuit where Nelson Piquet Jr deliberately crashed to help his Renault teammate Fernando Alonso to win.
2. Geographical issues
The 23 races will be spread across 20 countries in five continents which will present little resting time and a huge logistical battle to move equipment.
The assembling of the team's motorhomes often takes at least 36 hours. They usually arrive a week before the races to set up and move on immediately after race day.
As Joe Pompliano reports, the hardest bit comes with back-to-back races. For example, the teams will have less than five days to pack up, rest and move in between the Imola Grand Prix in Italy, the Monaco Grand Prix in France and the Spanish Grand Prix. The three are set for consecutive weekends in late May and early June.
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There are seven back-to-back races in 2023, with the teams forced to work at least 15-hour shifts to set everything up.
The bigger nightmare is often the races not staged in Europe. Transporting the equipment most of the time begins months before the real event. Travelling outside Europe for the American or Australian races is already a hard task in itself. The most challenging bit is having two races in different parts of the world in consecutive weekends, like the Las Vegas GP and the Abu Dhabi GP.
With the constant moving and flights, the jetlag and fatigue can get to affect the drivers' performance.
Considered one of the wealthiest sports in the world, Formula 1 teams invest heavily in their trade, with wins often determined by milliseconds. The 2023 season promises to be no different, but apart from having an astute driver, a well-conditioned car and an engine, the teams will have to beat the logistical challenges facing them.
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Hamilton ready for new season
Sports Brief had earlier reported that Lewis Hamilton returned to the track for the very first time this year ahead of the 2023 Formula 1 season.
Mercedes is currently stationed at the Paul Ricard circuit in France as they continue with their tests on the Pirelli new tyres.
Hamilton was out on the track on Thursday, February 2, with his teammate George Rusell going in a day earlier. Both drivers used the W13 model, which gave them a lot of problems last season.