Formula 1

What to expect from F1 2023 after the summer break? 

Rahul SahaRahul Saha

August 23 2023
Formula 1: What is F1 2023 summer break and when does it end?

Formula One is finally back and will be heading to Zandvoort for Round 14 of the 2023 season

After an excruciating month-long summer break, Formula One is finally back and will be heading to Zandvoort for Round 14 of the 2023 F1 season. With just nine more rounds left after this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix, it’s time we sit back and look at what we can expect from the last 10 rounds of this intriguing 2023 season.

Lewis Hamilton announces new deal with Mercedes

Despite rumours circulating of an exit from the sport amid a holdup in contract negotiations with current employers Mercedes, reports coming out ahead of this weekend’s Dutch GP indicate that both the financial terms and the length of the contract have been agreed upon by both the team and Lewis; however, it is just the finer details that need to be ironed out before they make any official announcement. 

Some reports even suggested that the seven-time world champion could extend his deal for up to four years, until 2027. 

Also Read: Major updates on Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes contract extension

Max Domination

While some people might be quick to claim that the current RBR19 is one of the most universal and powerful cars to date in the hybrid era, it would be unjust and biased not to appreciate and acknowledge the magnitude of work Max Verstappen has put in to be where he is right now. 

The man is on an eight-race-winning streak, and with his home GP up next, it’ll be a special occasion for the two-time World Champion to equal Sebastian Vettel’s record at Zandvoort. Moreover, given the recent upgrades introduced by Red Bull Racing in Spa last time around, it’d take some driving and a bit of luck to stop Max Verstappen. 

Fierce battle to be the best of the rest 

The battle to be the best of the rest behind Red Bull has intensified over recent grand prix. Ahead of Zandvoort and then Suzuka, the likes of Mercedes and McLaren should resume hostility, with the characteristics of the coming tracks suiting both cars. However, given Mercedes’ shift in philosophy, expect the Berkeley-based team to have the upper hand in the final ten races.

Ferrari, on the other hand, have been there or thereabouts for some time now, however, carrying on from the Binotto regime, Fred Vassuer and co. still can’t seem to have one normal weekend where either the strategists or the drivers have had a faultless race weekend. 

Among the top five constructors, they have the most potential, but also carry the baggage of making the most mistakes, resulting in another disappointing season for the Prancing Horses.

Aston Martin & Haas to bounce back?

A lot is expected from the likes of Aston Martin and Haas Racing after the summer break. Aston Martin started the season as a clear second behind Red Bull Racing but understandably fell behind in the development race against the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari, and McLaren.

Moreover, with the team admittedly taking a wrong step in their development stage early on, it has certainly pushed them back, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying to rectify those mistakes and push up the pecking order again. 

Haas Racing, for that matter, has faced a lot of tyre degradation issues in the first half of the season, partly due to getting their fundamental car philosophy wrong. Similar to Aston, Haas are expected to make some big changes ahead of the Dutch GP, with the team indicating a change in philosophy as well.

Driver transfer news to intensify 

With almost half the grid without an F1 seat by the end of the 2023 season, teams will be very busy as we embark on the final leg of the season, getting their driver line-ups sorted ahead of the 2024 campaign. 

Teams that are towards the bottom, like AlphaTauri and Haas Racing, have both their drivers’ contracts running out at the end of the 2023 season. Similarly, the second seat at both Williams and Alfa Romeo are up for grabs with both Logan Sargeant’s and Guanyu Zhou’s contracts coming to an end. 

When we look at the front runners, Ferrari have both their drivers’ contracts running out in 2024, with some reports claiming that Carlos Sainz has received offers from outside of Ferrari for his services from 2025 onwards. Moreover, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, whose contract also expires in 2024, the highly-rated Frenchman who was once a Mercedes reserve driver, will be on the books of many teams if Alpine fails to tie him down.

Thus, expect a lot of surprises in the coming months, especially in the driver transfer market, and despite Max Verstappen’s runaway lead, the rest of the paddock should put up a fair fight to keep you entertained for the rest of the season. 

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