Predictions for F1 2024: Lewis Hamilton’s drought to continue? Next bombshell move?'s F1 writers give their predictions ahead of the 2024 season.

Lewis Hamilton pictured during pre-season F1 testing.
Lewis Hamilton pictured during pre-season F1 testing.

After three long days of testing, the 2024 F1 season kicks off this weekend at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Red Bull head into the new season on the back of their greatest year yet, winning 21 of the 22 races in 2023.

Given the paddock rumours, could they go one better and become the first constructor in history to go through an entire season invincible?

Ahead of this weekend’s season opener, F1 Editor Lewis Larkam and F1 Journalist Connor McDonagh tackle some of the most pressing questions going into 2024…

Will Lewis Hamilton’s F1 win drought continue?

Lewis Larkam: No. Mercedes seem pretty confident they have provided their drivers with a more solid baseline with the W15.

Hamilton is happier with the feel of what will be his final Mercedes car and with renewed confidence to attack medium and high-speed corners, he should be able to extract more performance from it.

Whether that is enough to challenge Red Bull’s RB20 remains to be seen, but given the seven-time world champion has come pretty close to sneaking a victory on a couple of occasions in the last two years, I’m going to back him to get that elusive 104th win this season. 

Connor McDonagh: I think most neutrals would love to see Hamilton bow out of Mercedes with a fairytale victory before his move to Ferrari. However, given how strong Red Bull look at this early stage, that final Mercedes victory might not come.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day Three.-, EMail:
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W15. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir,…

Biggest shock?

LL: A podium for Daniel Ricciardo in the RB. 

CMD: Sergio Perez is handed a Red Bull contract extension.

Key storyline?

LL: The dynamic at Mercedes following Hamilton’s decision to leave for Ferrari. Everything appears rosy for the time being, but at some point he will begin to be frozen out of key meetings and decisions at Mercedes.

It will be fascinating to see what sort of impact that has on relations between the two sides of the garage, and between Hamilton and George Russell. Can a strong working relationship be maintained, or will things sour?

And how will things unfold if Russell is out-performing Hamilton? Will Mercedes start to lean towards the driver who is staying, or continue to back their departing legend? 

CMD: McLaren's exciting driver pairing is something to keep an eye on. While Lando Norris did keep Oscar Piastri at arm’s length for much of 2023, it was the Australian who claimed McLaren’s win (in the Qatar sprint) and arguably had more standout moments. Norris will likely come under more pressure from Piastri, particularly as he improves his race day management. 

How Norris deals with that will be interesting given he had a very comfortable time alongside Ricciardo, and Piastri was often a step behind in race pace in 2023 - something which is likely to change this year.

Next bombshell F1 driver switch?

LL: Mercedes swoop to bring in Fernando Alonso as Hamilton’s replacement. 

CMD: Perhaps it’s not a bombshell switch because everyone is talking about it but Mercedes will opt for Andrea Kimi Antonelli as their Hamilton replacement.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR24. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day Two. -,
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR24. Formula 1 Testing,…

Which teammate pairing are most likely to collide?

LL: I wouldn’t be surprised to see Norris and Piastri have their first ding-dong as McLaren teammates.

They have been respectful and worked well together so far but if the MCL38 proves to be competitive and the stakes are raised, it will be harder for Norris and Piastri to keep their respective personal motivations and goals in check.

Naturally, the chances of a coming together of some form between this evenly-matched and super competitive pairing will only increase. 

CMD: Mercedes. They did last year at the start of the Qatar Grand Prix - and were close to doing so just before that at Suzuka. Hamilton is leaving the team so there’s less to lose on that front. 

F1 2024 drivers’ championship order?

LL: 1) Verstappen, 2) Leclerc, 3) Hamilton, 4) Perez, 5) Russell, 6) Alonso, 7) Sainz, 8) Norris, 9) Piastri, 10) Ricciardo 

CMD: 1) Verstappen, 2) Perez, 3) Leclerc, 4) Norris, 5) Hamilton, 6) Sainz, 7) Russell, 8) Piastri, 9) Alonso, 10) Ricciardo

F1 2024 constructors’ championship order?

LL: 1) Red Bull, 2) Mercedes, 3) Ferrari, 4) McLaren, 5) Aston Martin, 6) RB, 7) Alpine, 8) Williams, 9) Sauber, 10) Haas 

CMD: 1) Red Bull, 2) Ferrari, 3) McLaren, 4) Mercedes, 5) Aston Martin, 6) RB, 7) Sauber, 8) Alpine, 9) Williams, 10) Haas

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