RACE DEBRIEF

    It’s almost time for a new season, with plenty of new-look driver pairings. While the top three teams have opted for continuity, the same can’t be said elsewhere with a returning favourite, and a few rookies looking to mark their mark in 2023…

    Red Bull

    Max Verstappen – #1
    Sergio Perez – #11

    They didn’t quite seal a one-two in the drivers’ standings but Red Bull swept all else before them in 2022. Can they continue that form in 2023? Max Verstappen will be going all out for a hat-trick of titles, while Sergio Perez will be looking to better the two wins he managed in 2022.

    WATCH: The top three drivers in the championship plus Vettel sign off with donuts in Abu Dhabi

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    Red Bull will be chasing more trophies in 2023

    Ferrari

    Charles Leclerc – #16
    Carlos Sainz – #55

    Ferrari are continuing with the same line-up for a third straight season. They started well in 2022 before their challenge faded, but now have two proven race winners in their ranks thanks to Sainz’s 2022 triumph at Silverstone. Leclerc has made it clear that he expects to be in the hunt for the title again next year – but can Ferrari deliver another race-winning car?

    READ MORE: ‘I was at 110% from start to finish’ – Leclerc hails ‘perfect race’ as he beats Perez to P2 in the championship

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    It's more of the same at Ferrari next year

    Mercedes

    Lewis Hamilton – #44
    George Russell – #63

    It’s more of the same at Mercedes as well, as the Silver Arrows look to bounce back from a disappointing campaign in 2022. It was the first season in his career that Hamilton failed to either get a pole or a victory, but Russell managed both and is well placed to build on that experience in 2023.

    READ MORE: 'We finished with a car that we didn't want' says Hamilton as Mercedes suffer first mechanical DNF of 2022 at Yas Marina

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    Russell grabbed a maiden win in Brazil, with Hamilton on hand to congratulate his team mate

    Alpine

    Pierre Gasly – #10
    Esteban Ocon – #31

    Alonso has departed for pastures new, leaving Gasly to come into his seat at Alpine and join an all-French line-up alongside Ocon. Both drivers have won a race, and both could well be evenly matched, although Ocon will want to use his prior experience at the team to lead the charge. Alpine topped the midfield in 2022, and will expect that at the very minimum in 2023.

    READ MORE: ‘It’s a little bit sad to finish like that’ – Alonso sets sights on ‘good chapter’ with Aston Martin as time at Alpine ends in retirement

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    Boyhood buddies Ocon and Gasly join forces at Alpine

    McLaren

    Lando Norris – #4
    Oscar Piastri – TBC

    Norris begins his fifth season at McLaren alongside a rookie in Piastri. The Australian is hot property, with McLaren securing his services over Alpine. Can the team fight their way back to the front of the midfield in 2023? Norris was the only driver outside the big three teams to score a podium in 2022 – and he’ll want more of those next season.

    READ MORE: McLaren boss Seidl reveals key factors behind Piastri signing – and says CRB ruling ‘not really any surprise’

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    Norris will be pitting his talents against Piastri in 2023

    Alfa Romeo

    Zhou Guanyu – #24
    Valtteri Bottas – #77

    A strong start for Alfa Romeo in 2022 helped to net them sixth in the championship, despite running an all-new driver pairing. That duo continue for 2023, the experience of Bottas coupled with the exuberance of Zhou. Now the Chinese racer is no longer a rookie, can he kick on and start to match his team mate week in and week out?

    READ MORE: DRIVER MARKET ANALYSIS - Why Alfa Romeo retained Zhou for 2023

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    There was harmony at Alfa Romeo in 2022 – with more of the same for 2023

    Aston Martin

    Fernando Alonso – #14
    Lance Stroll – #18

    Stroll is still at Aston Martin, but has replaced one experienced team mate for another. The Canadian now has to go toe-to-toe with two-time world champion Alonso, who has swapped blue for green in 2023. Will the switch get the Spaniard back to the front of the field though, which is what he dearly craves.

    READ MORE: Vettel urges fellow drivers to continue his legacy after retiring from F1 with points finish in Abu Dhabi

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    Stroll is another with a new team mate to pit himself against in 2023

    Haas

    Kevin Magnussen – #20
    Nico Hulkenberg – #27

    It’s a pairing that had many tongues wagging when first announced, with perennial ‘super sub’ Hulkenberg making a return to a full-time F1 drive after sitting out the past three seasons. He joins Magnussen at Haas, the Dane himself a bit of a comeback king. Haas are banking on experience to get them up the order in 2023, after managing to come home a much-improved eighth in 2022, with a pole position to their name to boot.

    ANALYSIS: Why Haas split with Schumacher, how Hulkenberg got the nod – and why Steiner isn’t worried about tension with Magnussen

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    These two team mates have previous – but both insist old feuds have been put to bed

    AlphaTauri

    Yuki Tsunoda – #22
    Nyck de Vries – TBC

    It’s time for Tsunoda to step up as team leader in his third season in F1, with the experience of Gasly having left for Alpine. The Japanese racer is joined by a rookie in De Vries, who comes very highly rated from the Mercedes family. How those two get on against each other will be fascinating to watch – with AlphaTauri looking to improve on a slightly disappointing P9 championship finish.

    ANALYSIS: Why AlphaTauri retained Tsunoda for 2023

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    Tsunoda will be looking to make the step up as team leader for next season

    Williams

    Alex Albon – #23
    Logan Sargeant – TBC

    Albon remains at Williams for 2023, but he has a new team mate to guide in the form of American rookie Sargeant, who got the nod after picking up the required number of Super Licence points with a stellar rookie performance in the F2 championship. Will the American manage to make the step up to Formula 1 seamlessly? Williams need him to, as they seek to avoid propping up the table once more.

    ANALYSIS: Why Williams promoted American Sargeant to a race seat in 2023

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    Williams will hope Albon and Sargeant make a tasty pairing for 2022

    2023 Formula 1 driver line-ups

    Team 2023 Drivers
    Red Bull Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez
    Ferrari Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz
    Mercedes Lewis Hamilton, George Russell
    Alpine Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly
    McLaren Lando Norris, Oscar Piastri
    Alfa Romeo Valtteri Bottas, Zhou Guanyu
    Aston Martin Lance Stroll, Fernando Alonso
    Haas Kevin Magnussen, Nico Hulkenberg
    AlphaTauri Yuki Tsunoda, Nyck de Vries
    Williams Alex Albon, Logan Sargeant