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Formula 1 2024 Season Preview & Betting Tips

February 29th 2024, 9:52am, By: Ben Bridge

Formula 1 Season Preview

Pre-Season testing is in the rearview mirror, and now we have only to look forward to the weekend to get our first taste of the new Formula 1 cars. Will Red Bull once again dominate? Can Lewis Hamilton win one more title with Mercedes before he packs his bags for Ferrari next season? Can a dark horse emerge from the pack to challenge the top teams? These questions, and many more will be answered throughout the season, starting this weekend with the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Below, we will preview the 2024 Formula 1 season, looking at all the teams and drivers, and making our early predictions of where each team will sit to start the season.

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2024 Formula 1 Season Preview & Betting Tips

The Elite

Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Racing come into the 2024 season hunting their 7th Constructor’s Championship, and third in a row, after dominating the 2023 Formula 1 season. They also come into the season with the same driver pairing of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, marking the fourth season with this pairing.

Of course, Red Bull are the hot favourites coming into the season, as is Max Verstappen, who is looking to claim his fourth-straight Driver’s Championship. Last season, Verstappen was utterly dominant, winning 19 of the 22 races, on his way to completing every single lap of every race during the season. The speed, along with the bulletproof reliability, made the 2023 Red Bull the most formidable of foes, and much the same is expected this season.

Red Bull kicked off their 2024 campaign with a radically redesigned car that was unveiled at their Milton Keynes base in February. It shot out of the blocks in pre-season testing, setting the fastest lap on day 1 by over a second. Red Bull went on the complete a solid 3-day program, and the data suggests they will once again be top of the timesheets come qualifying in Bahrain.

It’s hard to predict anything other than another dominant season by Red Bull and Verstappen, let’s just hope for the season as a whole to be a little more competitive.

Best of the Rest

Mercedes

The biggest news in the Formula 1 offseason came courtesy of the Mercedes team and Lewis Hamilton, as the Brit confirmed that the 2024 season would be his last with Mercedes, as Hamilton will drive for Ferrari from 2025 onwards. Like Red Bull, Mercedes are running the same drivers as season 2023, with Hamilton entering his 12th season with the German marque, and George Russell his third season as Hamilton’s teammate. 

Mercedes come into the season as third favourites for the Constructor’s Championship, with Ferrari slightly ahead with the bookies. This translates to the Driver’s Championship, with Charles Leclerc currently slightly ahead of both Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris to win the title.

Mercedes have come out of testing extremely confident with their car, with both drivers claiming it is far easier to drive than its predecessor. Mercedes showed last season that they are great at developing their car over the season, so looking further into the season both Hamilton and Russell could be play on’s in the betting market. For now, look for the Mercedes to be battling for podiums with Ferrari and McLaren.

Given the speed out of the box of the Red Bull, it’s not worth considering Mercedes, or it’s drivers, in futures markets. If they begin to show race winning form around the midpoint of the season, they could be worth a look then at inflated prices.

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Ferrari

Ferrari come into season 2024 with lofty expectations, and now with the impending arrival of Lewis Hamilton in 2025, the team will want to build momentum this season in the hopes of challenging Red Bull for both championships in 2025.

Ferrari were the only team other than Red Bull with a Grand Prix victory last season, with Carlos Sainz winning the Singapore Grand Prix. Ferrari appeared to be the closest match to Red Bull throughout the majority of the season, particularly in qualifying, however their tyre degradation hurt them throughout many races.

In 2024, at least in early testing, Ferrari appear to have fixed this major issue, and after testing was completed in Bahrain last weekend, Ferrari appear to be the team most likely to challenge Red Bull, at least to start the season. This is supported by the betting market, which currently sees both Ferrari and Leclerc as the second favourite to win their respective titles.

It will be interesting to see, moving forward, the team orders situation at Ferrari. With Sainz heading elsewhere with the arrival of Hamilton, will Ferrari throw their support behind Leclerc? Will Sainz assist when asked to do so, when he will be thinking about getting the best results for himself? With the entire team not pulling in the same direction, I expect Ferrari to start strong, but slowly fade behind Mercedes as the season progresses.

McLaren

McLaren were the huge improvers during the 2023 season. With just 17 points after the first 8 races, McLaren were staring down the barrel of another horrific campaign. With upgrades brought along at the Austrian Grand Prix in July, suddenly McLaren were fighting for the ‘best of the rest’ with both Ferrari and Mercedes. At some races, they were easily the closest challenger to Red Bull, and finished the season extremely well.

McLaren have come into the 2024 season without a great deal of fanfare, with more attention rightfully placed on the invincible Red Bull, and the situation developing with Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari/Mercedes. Nevertheless, McLaren showed enough at pre-season testing to indicate they will once again be fighting at the front with these two teams. 

McLaren will again come into the season with the best young pairing in the sport, with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri looking to continue their push towards victories for the McLaren team. If Piastri can improve on his rookie campaign, and consistently match Norris on race pace, I can see McLaren finishing the season in second place in the constructors, and potentially landing a race win or two.

betr

Midfield

Aston Martin / RB / Alpine

Aston Martin comes into season 2025 with the same driver pairing as last season, with Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll teaming up for the second year together. Alonso showed again last season that he still has every bit of pace that he always has, and with a fast car to start last year, Alonso was regularly on the podium. Unfortunately, as the season progressed, Aston Martin struggled to keep up with the above mentioned ‘best of the rest’ teams, falling to 5th in the Constructors Championship. They will look to start the season scoring regular points; however, the regular podiums of last season appear a long way away.

RB, formerly known as Alpha Tauri, come into the season with Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda once again at the wheel. After a poor first ¾ of the 2023 season, Alpha Tauri decided to drop rookie Nick de Vries, in favor of Aussie Daniel Ricciardo. The decision paid off, with Alpha Tauri consistently finishing in the points towards the end of the season, scoring 20 points in the final 5 races of the season. Expect RB to be quick out of the gate, however with no updates expected until the midpoint of the season, they could go backwards quickly.

Alpine were one of the tougher teams to figure out last season, with drivers Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly looking exceptionally quick at certain races, but nowhere at others. This was obvious when looking at race results and scoring, with Alpine scoring 69 of their 120 points at five races. They will be looking for more consistency in season 2024, and they head in with the same driver pairing as last season. Early indications from testing show that Alpine will be well and truly ensconced in the midfield to start the season.

The Rest

Williams / Kick Sauber / Haas

Williams come into the season with the same driver pairing as last year, with Alexander Albon and Logan Sargeant proving the work well together last season, scoring the most points that Williams has scored as a team since the 2017 season. The Williams was particularly competitive in low downforce settings, as shown by their pace at the British, Dutch, and Italian Grand Prix. They will be looking to push on further up into the midfield more regularly this season.

Kick Sauber, formerly Alfa Romeo, heads into the 2024 season with the same driver pairing as last year, with Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu at the wheel. Whilst the new car is striking with its green livery, Kick Sauber looks likely to be driving around at the rear of the field for most of the season. However, with two talented drivers, expect them to get the most of any performance the Sauber has.

Finally, Haas come into the 2024 season with low expectations, despite the experienced pairing of Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg staying on from last season. During pre-season testing, Haas appeared to be well off the pace in qualifying and race trim, with data showing they appear to be about a quarter of a second off the pace of the second slowest team (Williams). Work to be done.

With 24 races ahead, this Formula 1 season should be a cracker, and hopefully far more competitive than last season. Keep following Before You Bet, as we will bring you several articles throughout the season to outline the state of play, and potentially where to look for betting opportunities through the season.

In terms of futures, there isn’t a lot of value this early in the season, without seeing the cars in action. There are a couple of matchup battles I like, and that will be all the futures I have for now.

 

Suggested Bets

Lewis Hamilton > Charles Leclerc - $2.32 at Unibet (1 Unit)

Zhou Guanyu > Valtteri Bottas - $3.00 at Unibet (1 Unit)

Mercedes > Ferrari - $2.75 at Bet365 (1 Unit)

Lewis Hamilton (to win title w/o Verstappen) - $7.50 at Bet365 (0.5 Units)

Based in Newcastle, Ben earns a living working for the NSW Government, but his real passion lies in sports and sports betting. Ben has spent years developing sports betting models for various sports and has been using these models for the past few years, creating articles for Before You Bet across NRL, NFL, Formula 1, and fantasy sports contests on Draftstars.

A lifelong Penrith Panthers fan, Ben has finally seen some rewards for his years of loyal support, with the Panthers chasing a fourth straight NRL Premiership in 2024.

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