F1 is set to return in about 2 months, and expectations are high. Teams have had a year to adjust to the new regulations, shaken up their driver pairings, and are hoping to be more competitive. As usual, it is a fresh start, but there are still questions to be asked. For the sake of us all, let's hope for answers.


1: Can anyone challenge Red Bull

If I was to say that Red Bull ran away with the Championship last season, that would be a complete and utter lie. It felt like the only thing that could stop them was a natural disaster (which Ferrari could have caused with some of their strategy calls). Mercedes fought back late on in the season, and Ferrari had a lingering threat throughout the season, however there was very little argument against Red Bull deserving their titles. Their cost cap saga at the end of the season, paired with Max Verstappen's comments at Interlagos, may have stained an exceptional season, but we could be seeing a closer season this time around. Mercedes had definitely made progress towards the end of the season, having solved their porpoising problems. Ferrari had always looked a threat, and may have made the fight a little closer had certain strategy calls gone their way. No matter what, expect a closer fight now that teams have gotten to grips with the new regulations.

2: A Piastri sized problem

No, you haven't been watching Judge Judy all season. The most interesting part of the 2022 season was Oscar Piastri's contract saga. The Australian driver will be racing for Mclaren instead of Alpine this year, and despite winning back to back F3 and F2 titles, there may be question around how he handles a team aiming to fight at the top. Only two other drivers have won the lower formulas back to back, Charles Leclerc and George Russell, and both drove for lower teams (Alfa Romeo and Williams) before making the step up. Piastri has minimal time to get used to a tricky car to drive, and in Lando Norris has a teammate who is already a top level driver, who could prove a challenge for a driver used to destroying his partners. A knock in confidence or a chance to find that next step? We will have to wait.

3: Rookie shake up

Joining Piastri on the grid in different colours are fellow rookies Nyck De Vries for AlphaTauri, and Logan Sargent for Williams. De Vries has already proved himself in F1 at 27, finishing 9th in his maiden race for Williams. The talented driver has won Formula 2 as well as the electric motor championship Formula E, but had struggled to find a drive for an F1 team. Now he has been given a chance, you would expect him to take it. As for Logan Sargent, a driver who has a few years of F2 experience, not much is expected as he gets to grips with the slower car on the grid. He's going to have a fight on his hands to beat team mate Alexander Albon, but he's been a consistent front-runner in F2 for a few years now. He can handle a fight.