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F1 Predictions: Who will be the 2024 World Champion?

Written by Owen Bradley, Dan Jones, Jacob Awcock, Meghana Sree, Ria Ann Sam, Jasmin Low, Sophie Harvey, Edited by Ineke Lavers

Who will be the 2024 Formula One Driver’s Champion? Our writers predict the upcoming season which promises to thrill fans across the world. A multitude of storylines are set to play out: Lewis Hamilton’s final season with Mercedes, Carlos Sainz’s final season with Ferrari, and the race to the second seat at Mercedes for drivers on the grid looking for a potential upgrade.

A foregone conclusion - Dan Jones

2023 saw the greatest individual season that motorsport, let alone Formula One, has ever seen. Max Verstappen didn’t just re-write the record books, he ripped them apart and started from scratch. Whatever obstacle he faced, whatever oppression, whatever challenge the Dutchman encountered, he found a way to win flawlessly, in a way that Formula One has never seen before.

The driver at the pinnacle of his powers, hand-picked to race in quite possibly the greatest invention in Formula One’s history, all down to the genius of Adrian Newey. It’s no secret that Red Bull switched their focus toward 2024 when it became abundantly clear that there was absolutely no threat to Verstappen’s title charge.

 It would be easy for Red Bull to take a conservative approach into car development, but Newey doesn’t have that instinct to him — always striving for better, with a new radical car, even with a concept doubted by others.

It’s impossible to see anyone challenging Verstappen on a regular basis. The opponents can throw whatever punch they like, but when you take the factors of last-season and the winter break into account, is there really any circumstance where Verstappen doesn’t win the title? 

The 2024 Formula One World Drivers Championship is quite simply, a foregone conclusion.

Verstappen’s invincible season - Owen Bradley

It’s no secret that Max Verstappen is the man breaking the records in Formula One, winning 19 of the 22 races in 2023. All eyes will be on Verstappen to replicate his success in 2024, perhaps even an attempt at winning every single race and achieving something that is seemingly impossible, a Golden Season.

The design concepts we’ve seen in the Red Bull launch earlier this month look like an incredible combination of the RB19 and the W14’s engine cover design which ultimately failed for the German manufacturer. However, knowing Adrian Newey’s intellect and history, we could be about to see the single most dominant Formula One car ever created. Where even the RB19 had a flaw (during the Singapore Grand Prix where the team struggled to find themselves in the points), Newey has surely ironed things out and looks to create an invincible car.

With all this being said, Max Verstappen and Red Bull are surely in for their best season to date, and as long as Verstappen himself doesn’t become complacent during the year, there is surely no reason why he wouldn’t be able to win every single race. Therefore, I think Verstappen will be our 2024 Formula One World Champion.

Fourth time lucky? - Jacob Awcock

Sergio Perez undoubtedly enters the 2024 season knowing that this could be his last chance at winning a world championship, with multiple drivers waiting and praying for his downfall. 

While his contract is up at the end of this year, a commanding season topped off with a world championship could well see Dr Helmut Marko opt for the Mexican to partner Max Verstappen for another year rather than one of the many other drivers waiting in line.

The sad reality that faces the paddock this season is that Red Bull and Adrian Newey have come to Bahrain with a fast, reliable and dominant car that looks set to secure its seventh constructors title and provide one of its drivers with a world championship. Having notched up five victories over the course of his three year career span with Red Bull, Perez knows how to win and how to extract the maximum performance from the car. But can he keep up and beat his teammate?

Perez will need to use all of his experience from his 14 year spell in Formula One and with the pressure of performing for a 2025 drive balanced precariously on his shoulders, the Mexican will acknowledge that it is now or never if he is to win a world championship. 

With pressure and sheer determination pushing him forward, I feel that Sergio Perez will pip Max Verstappen to the 2025 world drivers championship by just a few points and from that, secure a seat with the Red Bull team for 2025. 

Il Predestinato Vince - Meghana Sree

Credit: Philippe Nanchino

By now, we’ve all already placed our bets on Max Verstappen for winning the championship, and the Dutchman looks to be in formidable form as ever. However, there’s another driver who has been biding his time, waiting to seize the opportunity and fulfil his dream of becoming a champion in red. A driver whose career has had many parallels with Verstappen’s, yet the pivotal championship remains. 

To spice up this round of predictions, I predict that Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will be a strong contender, if not the winner, of the championship this year. 

The closest the Monegasque came to winning the cup was back in 2022, but things quickly fell apart in the latter half of the season primarily due to reliability issues, and minor driver errors. Leclerc and Ferrari were eager to start the 2023 season on the same high as their 2022 start, but a slew of DNFs in the opening rounds became representative of their situation. 

However, the races post-summer break became turning points for Leclerc, and he ended his season with back-to-back second place finishes at Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi. 

Coming into 2024, it’s clear that Ferrari has the calibre to win amidst Red Bull’s domination, and their car has seemingly ironed out the weaknesses from last year. Reports suggest that the car is less wind-sensitive than the SF-23 to improve driveability, and they have evidently shifted towards a more Red Bull-esque body, without the blown up sidepods. These signs look promising, and it’s no secret that Leclerc is a talented driver capable of pushing a car to its limit. 

He could very well be the one to bring the fight to Verstappen, and I anticipate some thrilling wheel-to-wheel action between the two, eventually leading to Leclerc winning his first Formula One World Championship.

The pole sitter takes it all? - Ria Ann Sam

Credit: Steven Tee

With 17 wins last season, and the RB20 looking to be fiercer this year than last (if that’s even possible), it wouldn’t be far-fetched to see Verstappen win his fourth championship.

However, wouldn’t it be great to see someone else win the championship? Someone who has never won it before? Someone whose team hasn’t won a championship since the 2000s? Someone who has had poor luck, and never won his home race - the Monaco Grand Prix? I am, of course, talking about Charles Leclerc who does have WDC material even if many question him.

He was close to Verstappen in 2022, and without the reliability issues or bad strategy calls in the second half of the season, he truly could have challenged Verstappen until the very end. We can’t forget his brilliant qualifyings or sprint race results either; it is purely unfortunate luck, bad strategy calls and reliability issues, as well as an unbeatable RB19 that has stopped him from going the extra few laps and finishing first.

According to some in the Formula One paddock, Ferrari seems to be the fastest car, and with Perez struggling with his brakes in testing, perhaps Red Bull might have some reliability issues.

Whilst Verstappen will probably win again, wouldn’t it be great to see Leclerc prove how good he truly is by proving the naysayers wrong and winning the championship? And who knows, maybe this will be the start of Ferrari’s win streak once again. 

With Lewis Hamilton joining the team from 2025, maybe Ferrari will win more championships to come, but that might just be the delusion in me talking. Until 8th December when the season wraps up, there’s nothing to say Leclerc can’t win.

The inevitable answer to the question - Jasmin Low

Credit: Steven Tee

‘The Formula One title fight is 99% done. Max could put the trophy in his cabinet right now,’ said Jeff Dodds, CEO of Formula E, motorsports’ premier electric racing competition. 

This part of his statement doesn’t seem so far-fetched. Max Verstappen’s 2023 campaign will go down in history as one of the most (if not the most) dominant seasons in the history of the sport. Verstappen charged through a near perfect season to claim his third World Drivers’ Championship, leaving broken record after record in his wake. 

The field may have closed in on Red Bull toward the end of the 2023 season. However, with Red Bull set to take on the radical ‘zero pod’ concept in 2024, this could mean two things: Red Bull could either set themselves apart from the chasing pack as they had at the beginning of 2023, or they could face some reliability issues, which allow for a closer playing field throughout the season. 

However, even if there were to be reliability problems from Red Bull, I don’t believe that this would be enough to stop Max Verstappen from taking his fourth title in 2024. As Fernando Alonso said, ‘19 drivers in the paddock now will think that [they] will not win the championship.’ 

Verstappen is undoubtedly one of the greatest talents the sport has ever seen, and he obviously believes in Red Bull, contracted with them until 2028. Ultimately, I think that Verstappen will be champion in 2024, but maybe not by the staggering amount of points that he won by in 2023. 

A prediction based on optimism - Sophie Harvey

Credit: Alessio Morgese

Charles Leclerc enters 2024 with his sights set on one thing — dethroning Max Verstappen. Although a hard task, Scuderia Ferrari’s recent redirection could be just what the Monegasque needs to make this his championship-winning year.

With the imminent departure of teammate, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari’s efforts will no doubt focus on Leclerc. Likewise, as Frédéric Vasseur enters his second year guiding the famous Scuderia, a host of changes have already been made across the team — new employees, directors, sponsors and most notably, a new concept. 

This year’s challenger, the SF-24, intends to iron out the aerodynamic performance the SF-23 lacked, a move to more conventional, undercut side pods alongside elements mimicking last year’s Red Bull will aim to be enough — but realistically, Adrian Newey has probably came up with something ten times better.

Although Vasseur's decision to headhunt seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton is a clear indicator that the team means business, surely Hamilton wouldn’t leave the comfort of Mercedes without the belief that Ferrari would be back to their winning ways, right? Vasseur is clearly making his mark; the team is evolving into something incredible, and this is only evidenced by such a historic move.

Verstappen has been notoriously good at converting Leclerc’s poles to wins, but let’s see how this year plays out. It could just be the year of the prancing horse, more specifically, the year of ‘Il Predestinato’.

Disclaimer: if it’s not either of those two, my bets are firmly set on the leading man in green — Fernando Alonso. 

Let us know your predictions for the 2024 Formula One World Champion in the comments below!

1 comment

1 Comment

Feb 28

I think it will be Max, I hope after a strong challenge from Leclerc but given testing results it's hard to see anyone having the reliability or consistency to challenge Max over a full season. With probably both their team mates being sacrificed as tail gunners that could be interesting too. I expect the occasional glimpse of Fernando and Lewis but probably both will be thinking about 2025 and new teams to compete with. As it was last year, perhaps the best battles will be P5 through to P15. Hoping Albon can make his mark again and give the top teams with seats something to think about 🫰

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