Happy New Year to you! 2024 is upon us and there is a whole bunch of F1 news to bring you from this fine Monday – so let’s have a look.
We have a new team name to get our heads around for the season ahead, as well as some periods of gardening leave ending, meaning new team personnel can now officially join their new employers.
All that and more in the first F1 news round-up of the year…
Stake F1 Team land on the Formula 1 grid
When ‘Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber’ appeared on the FIA’s official entry list for last month, the team formerly known as Alfa Romeo revealed that official confirmation would come on New Year’s Day as to what they would be really be called in 2024.
With a little help from rap superstar Drake (who is also sponsored by the same company), an announcement came that the slightly shortened Stake F1 Team will be on the grid for the next two seasons.
The betting company have become Sauber’s exclusive title partner and have bought the naming rights to the team for the next two seasons ahead of Audi’s majority takeover of Sauber Group in 2026.
McLaren technical team takes shape as gardening leave ends
Two critical cogs in the behind-the-scenes recruitment at McLaren are now eligible to join the team after their enforced periods of gardening leave.
David Sanchez will be making the move from Ferrari and Rob Marshall has left Red Bull after 17 years to join McLaren, with the pair making up two of the three-part technical directorship team.
McLaren have opted to split the role of technical director into three parts to make it more specialised and have added significant experience to their technical team.
Now, after months of waiting, Marshall and Sanchez will be able to get to work in earnest in their new roles…
Christian Horner admits Rob Marshall will be ‘asset’ to McLaren
With Marshall at the heart of Red Bull’s design team throughout the team’s glory years, Christian Horner acknowledged that his signing is a coup for McLaren.
“McLaren had a great second half of the year,” Horner told Sky Sports F1.
“There were times [when] they were very, very competitive – our closest competitor at times during the second half of the season – and they’ve strengthened their team. Rob will for sure be an asset.
“But with Lando and Oscar, who was really impressive as a debutant this year, I think they could well be a factor next year.”
Here’s who to look out for in 2024’s ‘silly season’
For the first time in F1 history, the grid will be exactly the same at the start of the season as it ended the year before, but we have a sneaky suspicion things could be different this time next year.
This is because only six seats are already contracted beyond the end of 2024, leaving 14 seats to be auditioned for up and down the grid.
Some drivers will stay put, but others are likely to be on the move. Have a read below to see who to look out for this year…
Want some early F1 2024 predictions? We couldn’t resist…
We’ve gone early and made some very early predictions for what we think might happen across the 2024 season, with it being a crucial year on multiple fronts.
Six of our writers got their heads together and contributed a bold prediction each (some even gave bonus ones, because they were feeling up for it) about what might unfold.
With a huge amount riding on this season for most of the field, take a look and see if you agree with our predictions…