A look at what's new in F1 for 2024: Your guide to the Formula 1 season ahead
(Courtesy : F1)
As the 75th Formula 1 World Championship season gears up, the motorsport landscape is abuzz with anticipation. While the 2024 season might not usher in radical changes, it promises a unique blend of continuity and intriguing developments. Let’s delve into what makes the upcoming F1 season stand out.
Driver Line-Up Stability
Breaking tradition, the 2024 season witnesses a historic moment – every driver who concluded the 2023 campaign will return to the grid in the same seat. This means every racer who graced the last race in Abu Dhabi is making a powerful comeback for the first race in Bahrain.
The only tweak to this lineup symphony is the shift from Nyck de Vries to Daniel Ricciardo, who’s stepping into the cockpit for AlphaTauri after a mid-season switcheroo in 2023.
Sprint Formula 1 Format Evolution
Sprint weekends undergo a transformation based on the lessons learned from the 2023 season. The Sprint Shootout format faced challenges, leading to discussions about format and parc fermé changes.
Even though it’s not set in stone just yet, the discussions during the F1 Commission meeting at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix strongly hinted at significant changes coming to the Sprint weekend format.
The 2024 season is set to feature six sprint races in China, Miami, Austria, the United States, Brazil, and Qatar, promising heightened excitement.
New venues and the longest calendar ever
A record-breaking 24 Grands Prix are scheduled for the 2024 season, making it the longest calendar in F1 history.
In the end, the calendar will consist of the same 23 races initially scheduled for the previous year. The Chinese Grand Prix is making a comeback to the championship after being absent since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This means Zhou Guanyu will participate in his home grand prix in April for the first time.
The Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix cancelled in 2023 because of floods, is expected to return in May. Unlike the past three years, there won’t be a new grand prix added in 2024.
Updated Team Names
While the team lineup remains unchanged, there are significant shifts in their names. Red Bull’s second team, previously AlphaTauri, appears as ‘RB’ on the official entry list, hinting at a potential rebrand to ‘Racing Bulls.’
Yet, many think this is just a temporary name. In the recent past, Red Bull applied for a copyright for the name ‘Racing Bulls.’
The Alfa Romeo name has exited Formula 1 for the third time, with Sauber, its managing team, taking on a new identity. Previously known as Alfa Romeo since 2019, the team will now be named Stake F1 Team in preparation for Audi’s arrival in 2026.
This move follows Alfa Romeo concluding its title sponsorship of Sauber. The team had previously hinted at the change with the rebranded chassis named ‘Kick Sauber.’
Team Principal Reshuffling
There are some changes in the leadership of Formula 1 teams this season. The team formerly known as AlphaTauri has said goodbye to Franz Tost, who led Red Bull’s junior team since 2005. In his place, 46-year-old Laurent Mekies now takes charge. Mekies has a background in Ferrari and has worked in various roles in Formula 1.
Another change is at Alpine, where Bruno Famin took over as interim team principal after the previous one was relieved of duties. Famin was initially expected to be temporary, but it seems he will continue in the role for the 2024 season.
While the technical regulations remain largely static, there are small adjustments for enhanced safety and performance. The FIA responds to extreme heat conditions, as seen in the Qatar Grand Prix, by introducing a ‘driver cooling scoop’ to channel air towards the cockpit. Ongoing efforts to improve safety in wet conditions include testing and refining rear wheel covers.
A notable change in sporting regulations sees a significant increase in the maximum fine that the FIA can impose on teams and drivers. The previous €250,000 limit quadruples to €1 million (£870,000).
Additionally, in response to incidents involving pyrotechnical devices, the FIA prohibits their use at any of its events, including Formula 1, without prior permission.
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