The New Formula 1 Season


Jasmine Machmouchi, Contributor '25



November 20th, 2022 marked the end of the Formula 1 season, where the last Grand Prix of the year was held in Abu Dhabi, as it usually is. Since then Formula 1 fans have been impatiently waiting for the start of the brand new season where we will be introduced to new liveries, rookies, and new teammates.


No Longer on the Grid


Of course, when there are rookie drivers (rookie – a beginner/ a new starter), there are drivers who will have to say goodbye to the F1 grid. In my opinion, which seems to be a very common opinion, at the end of the 2022 season, we lost the most loved drivers since Kimi Raikkonen retired. Four drivers have had to part ways with the grid this season and that includes: Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Riccardo, Mick Schumacher, and Nicholas Latifi

Sebastian Vettel


In the December issue of the scroll, I wrote an article that went into a lot of detail about Vettel’s career, specifically his F1 career that began in 2007. He was and continues to be a legend of the sport, close to the levels of Michael Schumacher and Aryton Senna. His career came to a bitter-sweet end

when he announced his retirement around half-way through the 2022 Formula 1 season; so although no one wanted to see him go, at least it was on his own accounts.


Daniel Riccardo


Even if you are not one to keep up with Formula 1, you have most likely heard the name Daniel Riccardo at some point in time. Riccardo is a phenomenal driver who unfortunately was not treated well by the industry, cutting a career that could have led to success like Vettel’s, short. Everyone can agree that Riccardo’s prime was when he was at Red Bull Racing; However, Formula 1 was incredibly competitive, even between teammates, so when Red Bull signed Max Verstappen (who was both incredibly young and talented) in 2016, he quickly became Red Bulls ‘Number 1 driver’. Many teams have number one drivers, who are essentially the drivers they prefer and push towards winning the Driver’s Championship more so than their other driver. This is not uncommon nor is it something teams are ashamed of, even though many fans of Formula 1 are not big fans of the concept. Once Max became their number one, they were quick to begin comparing both Verstappen and Riccardo, which led to many problems and then him leaving Red Bull Racing in 2018. Ever since Verstappen remains to be Red Bull’s priority (which evidently worked well as in 2022 he won his second Championship title in a row). He then moved to Renault, which was the beginning of the end for his career as his was put in a slower car and he stopped making many appearances higher up in the grid. Then he moved to McLaren, which was essentially the decision that led to the early end of his career. Zak Brown is the team principal of McLaren and like Red Bull Racing, he had a number one driver, Lando Norris. Brown was constantly blaming Daniel Riccardo for the failures of the team and insisted that they themselves as a team did not have any flaws but Daniel. Daniel drove for McLaren for two seasons before Brown decided Riccardo’s

time at McLaren was over. At that point in time, no other team that Daniel wanted to join would take him in, and left him without a spot on the grid for 2023. However, Christian Horner (Red Bull Racing’s team principal) reached out to Riccardo and decided to make him their third/reserve driver. Teams in F1 do only have two drivers but just in case one was injured or was just unable to race, Riccardo would step in and take their place for that Grand Prix. So although Riccardo is not an official driver, he still has a place in F1. Knowing Red Bull, the moment Perez (their current second driver) messes up, they will most likely replace him with Riccardo, due the fact Verstappen and Riccardo actually have really good chemistry, while Perez and Verstappen do not.


Mick Schumacher


Now Schumacher is a name that has been brought up several times already, and is probably the most well known name in Formula 1 ,if not motorsports as a whole. Mick’s father is Michael Schumacher, debated to be and is considered by the majority to be the greatest Formula 1 driver of all time; this leaves a very big name for Mick to fill in for and peoples expectations from him were incredibly high. Unfortunately, he did not have a car that would assist him in demonstrating him skills. For the last couple seasons Mick has been driving with Haas, which in general do not produce great cars, or at least not a car that would allow Mick to even get close to Verstappen, Leclerc, or Hamilton which are incredibly talented drivers. The majority of the time Haas could not even get in points and to get in points you have to finish in top 10 out of 20 of the drivers. Haas’s team principal Gunther Steiner constantly blamed Mick for a lot of money loss due to accidents he had been involved in and decided to let go of Mick. It is pretty ironic because he ended up replacing Mick with Nico Hulkenberg who was a previous Formula 1 driver who took a step away from F1 for a while, who was known for causing and

being in more accidents than the average driver. Due to Michael Schumacher’s legacy to Formula 1, Toto Wolff (team principal of Mercedes) offered Mick the role of third/reserve driver for the team. Once again, like Riccardo, he may not be directly on the grid, but he is now with a much better team who respects him and has been able to provide a car that allows Mick to truly demonstrate his skills


Nicholas Latifi


Nicholas Latifi unfortunately was not at the same level as the remaining three of these drivers. The car he was put in last year was horrible and this is evident now that the Williams team have put in more effort into their car and Latifi’s teammate who was usually down in p18-p17 made it to points (p10) within his first race! Latifi, like Mick and Daniel, did not leave by choice but no team wanted to take him in and Williams would not resign him, not only because he was always in p20, but because he was also always in accidents which a team like Williams simply cannot afford. Therefore, not only is he not on the grid, but he is not a reserve driver.


The Rookies


There are many new drivers that F1 fans are really excited about! Some new names include Oscar Piastri, Nyck Devries, and Logan Sargent. There is also a returning F1 driver that I previously mentioned, Nico Hulkenberg. There Is not much that we know about them as drivers yet as we have never seen them race amongst F1 drivers, but what has been seen of them so far in Formula 2 and

before that, has been incredibly impressive. Oscar Piastri is driving alongside Lando Norris in McLaren, Logan Sargent has replaced Nicholas Latifi in Williams, Nyck Devries is now racing at Alpha Tauri, and Nico Hulkenberg is at Haas taking Mick’s place. It was incredibly surprising to everyone that from all the rookies, and even previous F1 driver, the driver who performed the best in the first Grand Prix of the season was Logan Sargent. On Sunday the 5th of March, 2023, Logan Sargent came in points in what was expected to be a disappointing car, even outperforming his teammate who has been in Formula 1 for three seasons now. Piastri had DNFed due to a failed pitstop to change his tires, which backfired when his car would not take off again. Devries could not make it to points either.




There are many new pairings this season as many drivers switched teams and the only teams that seem to have kept their same drivers are the big three teams (Red Bull, Ferrari, and Mercedes) and Alpha Romeo. I will not go into too much detail but there are some off pairings due to some of these drivers having bad chemistry. Two mentions include Alpine and Haas. Alpine newly signed Pierre Gasly who used to drive with Alpha Tauri. Alpine’s team now consists of the two Frenchmen Pierre and Estaban Ocon, who have previously had some arguments and seem to not be big fans of one another. With Haas’s situation, we have seen both their drivers, Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen on the grid with one another and there is one specific interview that sums their views on one another pretty well. Hulkenberg says to Kevin while Kevin is being interviewed, ‘Once again, the most unsporting driver of the race’, and Magnussen replies by cursing at him. With such chemistry I can only imagine the outcome won’t be too great for Haas.




The cars that have been produced have shocked the majority, the cars you expect to only improve seem to have problems, and those you do not expect much of have significantly improved.

Everyone expected Ferrari to have an amazing car this year, and yes while it is fast and we also do not have most evidence to just how good the car is yet, Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari ran out of power halfway through the first race, and during pre-season testing a small part of the car had fallen off. McLaren also had a couple problems in the first race where everyone expected great things from their cars but instead they were met with a car that led Piastri to DNF and Lando Norris to have such pacing issues that he got out lapped by the majority of the drivers. However, teams like Aston Martin and Williams have significantly improved their cars. Aston Martin have only ever gotten on the podium with Sebastian Vettel once and never again in their entire time as an F1 team, yet on the first race of the season they managed to get the oldest driver on the grid, who has lost lots of his pacing and skill that he once had, onto the podium! Their other driver Lance Stroll who used to always get between p10-p20 got to p6 on his first race while also injured! This season is looking incredibly bright for Aston Martin if they were able to beat both Ferrari and Mercedes. Williams’s car is still not the perfect car, but if they were able to get a car that allowed a rookie to make points in their first race, it’s an impressive car.

This Season


Overall, it looks like this will be a pretty interesting season for many as the first Grand Prix was filled with so many surprises! Hopefully some teams such as Ferrari and McLaren perform better at the next Grand Prix and it will be incredibly exciting to see how far these teams will go this year!