Divebomb 2023 F1 Predictions: Caitlyn Gordon
Written by Caitlyn Gordon, Edited by Sameena Khan
Disclaimer: All predictions were made before the 2023 F1 Pre-Season Testing in Bahrain
With car launches and pre-season testing completed, the hype for the 2023 Formula One season is building and the DIVEBOMB team will release their predictions day by day until the Bahrain Grand Prix. Continuing our series is Caitlyn Gordon, who is a motorsport writer.
Driver Champion: Max Verstappen
This was a difficult choice as there is a possibility of a three-way title battle this season, and it is hard to choose who will prevail. After the championship last season was snatched away from Charles Leclerc due to many strategy mistakes, he will try to chase down his first championship. Lewis Hamilton will be fighting for this 8th. As much as I would love to see Hamilton or Leclerc hold that champion trophy in Abu Dhabi, I don’t think either of them will be able to compete with Max Verstappen. Considering how dominating Red Bull has been over the past two seasons, I believe Verstappen will be getting his third championship this season. Verstappen is an excellent driver in every circumstance and a force to be reckoned with. Last season showcased how hungry and driven he is to become one of the greats in the sport, and I don’t think any driver on the grid will come close to him in the 2023 season.
Constructor Champion: Red Bull
Red Bull has cracked the code and created not only a very dominating car in the past couple of seasons, but also the perfect team. Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen work great together (excluding Brazil), and they seem to have all the pieces put together, just like they did during the Vettel-dominating era. I do believe Red Bull will go on to dominate in future seasons as well. Even with a reduced wind tunnel time this season, I still think Red Bull will win the Constructor Championship with flying colors.
Flop of The Year: Nico Hulkenberg
I do believe that Hulkenberg is not going to perform as well as HAAS is expecting him to perform. Hulkenberg has been in 184 races in his Formula One career and has never won. Of course, he is an experienced driver that could definitely bring some needed expertise to the team, but I think his teammate Kevin Magnussen will outperform him most weekends. Hulkenberg will not be scoring as many points.
Surprise of the Year: Carlos Sainz
The 2022 season showed Sainz's potential when given the opportunity. We saw Sainz win his first race and land a podium place in 9 of the races last season, and with the countdown to the new season, there is a glimmer of hope that the Ferrari issues have been resolved. This could allow Sainz to score more podiums and some win next season. Hopefully, Sainz will show his full potential with a good car and strategy.
Most Improved Driver: Pierre Gasly
Gasly did not have the best year last season. With DNFs and several penalties issued to him throughout the season, it is reasonable to say Gasly was glad the season ended. Now starting afresh with Alpine for the 2023 season I believe Gasly will have been working extremely hard over the off-season to ensure something like last season does not happen again. After coming 4th in the constructor championship last season, I believe Alpine will have pretty high standards for Gasly to ensure Alpine is above the rest of the midfield.
Most Improved Constructor: Alpha Tauri
Last season was not the year for Alpha Tauri. With nine collective DNFS from Gasly and Tsunoda throughout the season and consistently finishing outside the top 10, Alpha Tauri finished 9th overall in the Constructors Championship. Over the offseason, Alpha Tauri has been working hard to create a car that will run more smoothly and hopefully consistently contend in the midfield battle. With a new rookie driver joining their line-up for 2023, I believe Alpha Tauri could finish 6th overall in the Constructors Championship.
Hot Take of The Year: Fernando Alonso will finish on the podium in a race.
Alonso showed everyone last season some impeccable performances and that he still has the hunger and talent for Formula One. Now heading into a new team for the season I believe that Alonso will score a podium in one race next season. I do not think Aston Martin will be at the top of the midfield teams or consistently finishing in the top 10, either. Still, I believe that a crazy race – something like the Azerbaijan 2017 race or Monza 2021 – could see the title contenders not finishing and letting way for an Alonso podium.