F1 predictions 2024: Title winners, team-mate wars, Lewis Hamilton replacement and more

Lewis Hamilton interviewed in Bahrain as PlanetF1 make their F1 predictions for 2024.

F1 predictions: Who will replace Lewis Hamilton

Ok, there’s no more hiding from us now: it’s time to share our bold, beautiful and potentially bizarre F1 2024 predictions. Strap yourselves in…

Last year, 2021 wooden spoon holders Jamie Woodhouse and Mark Scott went from last to first as part of a thrilling three-way battle with Sam Cooper. They’ve returned the trophy to HQ and ready to battle Michelle, Thomas, Oliver and Henry for it all over again.

Without further ado…here we go!

Who will be Drivers’ World Champion? (1 point)

Michelle Foster: It’s Max, we all know it’s Max. Might as well given him the trophy now.

Mark Scott: Can you wake me up in the year this question gets interesting again? Max Verstappen.

Henry Valantine: Max Verstappen, to be different.

Sam Cooper: The most open of open goals – Max Verstappen.

Thomas Maher: Max Verstappen. An even more crushing display awaits this season, I believe.

Oliver Harden: Max Verstappen, who will break his own record of 10 straight wins along the way having ended 2023 with seven in a row.

Jamie Woodhouse: Would love to go left field but got to bag easy points. Max wins the title.

And who will finish in second and third place in the Drivers’ Championship? (1 point for each)

Michelle: Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton. And won’t that be a spicy one for 2025?

Mark: I think Sergio Perez will finish within the top three, but the harder part of the question is where specifically…*flips coin* Perez second and Leclerc P3.

Henry: The real lottery here. Last season was evidence that there is enough of a chasing pack to swallow Sergio Perez up if he does not stay close enough to Verstappen, so I’ll throw out a Hail Mary and say Charles Leclerc will finish second and Perez will take third.

Sam: I think Sergio Perez will do enough to hold onto that P2 but P3 is anyone’s guess really. I would say Charles Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris would be the lead contenders and I think Lando may just take it. Perez P2, Norris in P3.

Thomas: While I reckon the RB20 will be the class of the field, I believe Perez will have struggles again this year once it becomes evident just how far clear Verstappen really is.

As a result, I’m going to hazard a guess at Charles Leclerc coming home in second place and George Russell snaffling third place.

Oliver: Leclerc and Perez in a repeat of 2022.

Jamie: Perez will do just enough like last season to secure the runner-up spot. For P3, I’m going to say Carlos Sainz takes it and leaves Ferrari with the bragging rights and his head held high.

Who will be the Constructors’ World Champion? (1 point)

Michelle: Ferrari, because they have two strong drivers in what is looking to be a good car. And because… please, just please.

Mark: Can you also wake me up in the year this question gets interesting again? Red Bull.

Henry: Red Bull, to be different.

Sam: Another easy one, Red Bull. I think it will be closer than last year but the early signs are that the RB20 is again a step ahead so could see them wrapping it up by Mexico.

Thomas: Max Verstappen. With Red Bull consolidating his win by dint of having a second car for a few extra points alongside.

Oliver: Red Bull, with Verstappen potentially scoring enough points to win it all by himself. Again.

Jamie: Max Verstappen, or officially Red Bull.

Who will finish with the wooden spoon in the Constructors’ Championship? (1 point)

Michelle: Stake, Kick, Sauber, whatever they’re called. It won’t be Haas as I believe this year, motivation alone will get them out of that bottom spot. S-K-S, well, they should’ve started the season with a new line-up for one thing.

Mark: I don’t have enough solid reasoning to pick anyone other than Haas. Would love to be proved wrong as it would act as justification that they are properly worthy of a place in the Championship. If not, please sell to Andretti.

Henry: Whether it’s too late for Ayao Komatsu’s technical influence to be felt on the team at Haas for this year, I don’t know, but they’re my pick for now.

Sam: It’s got to be Haas for me, they seem like the team with the lowest momentum heading into the new season. They also had a car with a serious flaw last season and Kevin Magnussen’s suggestion that they had learnt “clues”, not reasons why was hardly an encouraging sign.

Thomas: Haas’ car looked surprisingly pleasant on track during testing, and I’m guessing a slightly different philosophy has been taken with the VF-24 to make it a more enjoyable race car than single-lap special.

I believe last will be a toss-up between Alpine and Stake, erring on the side of Stake due to their car appearing particularly evil to drive during the test.

Oliver: Sauber/Stake/Kick, whose driver line-up, to me, reflects a team just killing time until Audi arrive.

Jamie: I’ll stick my neck out and pick Alpine. There seems a lot more uncertainty than excitement about their all-new car for 2024. Of course it is where you finish, not where you start, but with all the senior people they have lost…they don’t fill me with confidence.

Now for your full 2024 Constructors’ pecking order from first to last… (1 point for each correct place)

Michelle: Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren, Aston Martin, RB, Williams, Alpine, Haas, Sauber-whatever.

Mark: Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, RB, Aston Martin, Williams, Alpine, Stake, Haas.

Henry: Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Aston Martin, Alpine, RB, Williams, Stake, Haas.

Sam: Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes, Aston Martin, RB, Alpine, Williams, Stake, Haas.

Thomas: Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, RB, Aston Martin, Williams, Haas, Alpine, Stake.

Oliver: Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Aston Martin, RB, Alpine, Williams, Haas, Sauber.

Jamie: Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Aston Martin, RB, Williams, Sauber, Haas, Alpine.

Onto some of the big driver battles…who will score more points: Hamilton or Russell? (1 point)

Michelle: Hamilton. I think he has a point to prove and unless Toto Wolff goes back on his word of “fair” racing, Hamilton has the measure of Russell.

Mark: I think the upcoming move to Ferrari will ensure that Hamilton is razor sharp throughout this year. George Russell still has his hands full.

Henry: The qualifying battle between these two was the closest in the field last year, but Hamilton just about kept Russell at arm’s length over the course of the year in races, and I reckon it’ll be the same again. Hamilton for me.

Sam: Lewis Hamilton had the beating fairly easily of George Russell in 2023 and I think he will want to end on a high so I will go with the seven-time World Champion. But of course, if Mercedes decides to favour the driver that is staying then who knows?

Thomas: Russell. Not really based on anything but gut feeling and a sense of mischief – I reckon Lewis will find Mercedes to be an increasingly uncomfortable and isolating environment as this year unfolds.

Oliver: Hamilton. They’re too close to call on raw pace, but Hamilton’s greater touch and maturity will see him score more points.

Jamie: While he won’t be getting many favours from Mercedes this season, I still think Hamilton has enough to edge out Russell in this head-to-head in race trim.

Sainz or Leclerc? (1 point) 

Michelle: Leclerc. And Ferrari better hope so otherwise that’s a smelly case of egg on the face. But I do believe overall Leclerc is the stronger of the two, he just needs to calm down and take ownership of his own Sundays.

Mark: Speaking of eggs, mine are already in Charles Leclerc’s basket in an earlier question – so don’t let me down, Charles!

Henry: Now Ferrari have made their definitive choice of Leclerc over Sainz for the future, any marginal team orders will likely go his way this year too. As close as Sainz has been to him in their time together, Leclerc pips it for me.

Sam: I think this will be a big year for Charles Leclerc and even though I said Lando for P3 in the standings, I could see the Monegasque being the driver with the most wins away from Red Bull. Leclerc over Sainz for me.

Thomas: I’ve argued on behalf of Sainz in the past, and been a harsher critic of Leclerc than his average performances merit, but I don’t see the Spaniard having the measure of Leclerc this year.

With Hamilton incoming, Leclerc has to ensure he has Ferrari fully on his side before the seven-time World Champion arrives – I think we’ll see Leclerc at his absolute best this year.

Oliver: Leclerc, whose new contract will empower him and only increase his inherent advantage over the outgoing Sainz.

Jamie: Leclerc will definitely have the number one status at Ferrari this season, but yet to really show he can keep his nerve when the pressure ramps up, I think Sainz will remain consistent and outscore Leclerc. Rather embarrassing.

Norris or Piastri? (1 point)

Michelle: Norris. And he’ll win a grand prix. Piastri though, won’t be far behind.

Mark: What Michelle said. I’ll blame her if this prediction is wrong.

Henry: I truly think McLaren have hired two alpha drivers, but whether or not fireworks will happen this year or next is another matter. Norris has to raise his level this year, and I think he’ll beat Piastri – but I reckon there will be under 20 points in it.

Sam: Like Leclerc, I think is a big year also for Norris and also though Oscar Piastri is a tough competitor, I think Norris will get the job done this year.

Thomas: I believe Piastri will have higher highs and lower lows, with Norris having a more consistent level of performance throughout.

In terms of final standings? This is the toughest one yet! The threat of the ‘difficult second album’ looms, but Piastri’s increasing confidence and comfort within F1 and McLaren means he should be an even more potent threat than he was as a rookie.

I’m going to say Piastri finishes ahead on points, but with absolutely no clear winner in terms of singling out who has had the better season.

Oliver: Piastri, the Verstappen clone. Having exposed Norris’s pressure points a few times in the second half of 2023, Piastri will press them – hard – this year.

Jamie: With his rookie year of learning banked, I think Piastri will show a marked improvement on race day, but Norris will still win this intra-team battle, yet with far less comfort than last year.

Ricciardo or Tsunoda? (1 point)

Michelle: Ricciardo. Sorry, but I don’t rate Yuki. I agree with Eddie Jordan that he’s only in F1 because of his Honda backing.

Mark: There’s a good driver in Yuki and I hope this isn’t his last year on the grid. Saying that, I still think there is life in Danny Ric and even more so with a potential Red Bull seat up for grabs.

Henry: Daniel Ricciardo for me. As much as Tsunoda has improved over time, the smile is back on the face of the Honey Badger.

Sam: This is perhaps the toughest one to call for me with both drivers being good on their day. Daniel Ricciardo will see this year as an audition for the Red Bull seat but Yuki Tsunoda I feel is a criminally underrated driver. I will just give it to the Australian but it will be close.

Thomas: Ricciardo. Tsunoda hasn’t done enough over the last three years to think otherwise.

Oliver: Ricciardo. Yuki will be faster and consistently so, but Daniel will get enough of the lucky breaks in the races to outscore him over the season.

Jamie: Last year we saw flashes of the old Ricciardo, but while admittedly it was an interrupted season for him, I was not convinced we saw the Red Bull Ricciardo return to banish the memories of the McLaren spec. I think Tsunoda wins this F1 2024 team-mate battle.

And your one word answers for the rest of the driver battles at Red Bull, Stake F1, Aston Martin, Haas, Alpine and Williams (1 point each)

Michelle: Verstappen, Bottas, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Gasly, Albon… also, why are we even asking about Williams?

Mark: Because we all want lovely points, Michelle! Verstappen, Bottas, Alonso, Hulk, Ocon, Sargeant  Albon.

Henry: Verstappen, Bottas, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Gasly, Albon.

Sam: Verstappen, Bottas, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Gasly, Albon.

Thomas: Verstappen, Zhou, Alonso, Magnussen, Ocon, Albon.

Oliver: Verstappen, Bottas, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Gasly, Albon.

Jamie: Verstappen, Bottas, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Ocon, Albon

Big question: Who will replace Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes? (3 points)

Michelle: Alex Albon, because Mercedes will pay Williams the big bucks for him.

Mark: What a decision facing Mercedes! I want it to be Fernando Alonso but I think they’ll go with Kimi…Antonelli. F1 2025 is perfect year to bed him in and Mercedes would absolutely love to have two academy products in their F1 seats.

Henry: Heart over head: Fernando Alonso. Let’s have it.

Sam: I think my process behind this is more one of elimination so let’s start with Carlos Sainz. I don’t think Mercedes will like the optics of picking up a Ferrari reject, even if that is a harsh way to describe the Spaniard. I also don’t think Fernando Alonso will move and would expect him to sign a new Aston Martin deal should it prove to be a podium contender again. And then the rest of the grid, I just don’t feel Mercedes will want to take so let’s go bold and say Kimi Antonelli. I think Mercedes would love to have a Verstappen of their own and if the Italian does at least marginally well in F2, the Silver Arrows could make the move.

Thomas: My gut says Mercedes are eager not to make the same mistake they made by passing over a generational talent out of caution when they let Max Verstappen slip into the clutches of Red Bull.

That’s why I think Kimi Antonelli will be very seriously evaluated this season in F2 – after all, if the team is as convinced by Russell being able to lead the team as their words suggest, the risk of putting Antonelli in the second seat isn’t as daunting – particularly with a regulatory clean sweep coming for 2026.

But, as daring as I think Toto Wolff might want to be, the safer short-term prospect of securing Fernando Alonso is probably a more tempting way to go.

I don’t doubt Fernando would drop Aston Martin in a flash for a factory Mercedes drive – not out of malevolence, just for the opportunity – but if Mercedes’ caution over offering Hamilton a longer contract was due to his age, then Alonso being three-and-a-half years older might not stand to him.

So… a committed answer is needed here, isn’t it? I’m going to say Antonelli – McLaren, Ferrari, and Red Bull have all gambled on youth in recent years, to their benefit, while Mercedes have been much more cautious. If Antonelli shows he’s handled the step to F2, I reckon he’ll get the nod.

Oliver: History suggests Mercedes are too conservative to take the great Antonelli gamble without an intermediate step. And dare they dance with the devil by turning to Alonso? In the absence of any other outstanding candidates, there must be a deal to be done to take one of the McLaren drivers. Let’s go with Norris, who will comfort Mercedes’ loss of Hamilton by forming a British superteam with Russell. Contracts, what contracts?

Jamie: Antonelli has not struggled yet with a step up to a higher category, so I doubt that changes in Formula 2. However, I don’t think Mercedes are brave enough to bring him straight in and will try send him to Williams first, allowing Alonso to give it one last roll of the dice with Mercedes while Antonelli finds his feet in F1.

Predict another driver move for the F1 2025 season… (3 points)

Michelle: When Alex leaves for Mercedes, Carlos Sainz will take his Williams seat.

Mark: Liam Lawson needs to find a way back onto the grid after his very impressive cameo in 2023. I think a spot opens up for him at RB.

Henry: Oliver Bearman to Haas. (As an aside, Bearman vs Antonelli as PREMA team-mates in F2 this year looks to be a great match-up for any feeder series followers).

Sam: I think Theo Pourchaire is knocking at the F1 door and I think he could take Zhou Guanyu’s seat at the end of the year. Another F2 champion waiting for his time is Aston Martin’s Felipe Drugovich but I don’t see an obvious home for him as things stand.

Thomas: Sebastian Vettel will make a comeback – no idea where, but I reckon someone has an offer that will tempt him back.

I’d also guess Sainz to Stake in place of Valtteri Bottas, with the Finn returning to Williams to replace Albon as he moves to… Red Bull, in place of Perez.

Oliver: Gasly feels like one to watch, his reputation growing at a time Alpine’s F1 project has come off the rails. He will join Sainz at Sauber as Audi get their dream lineup in place a year in advance.

Jamie: I could play it safe with repeating Antonelli to Williams, but where’s the fun in that? Tsunoda to Aston Martin as Alonso’s replacement, in preparation of their Honda-powered era.

And finally…what’s your bold prediction for the 2024 season? (5 points)

Michelle: F1 will bid farewell to three drivers, at least, at the end of the year in Kevin Magnussen, Zhou Guanyu, and Yuki Tsunoda. And while I’m at it, Perez will stay with Red Bull but swap with Daniel Ricciardo as he mentors Liam Lawson for the ’25 season.

Mark: Here are three race winners this season not called Max Verstappen. Lando Norris, Charles Leclerc…and Lewis Hamilton.

Henry: Not going to lie, I was fuming that my prediction here last season didn’t come off (I went for 12 drivers to score a podium, and 11 did), so it doesn’t look as bold now to predict the same thing. After no rookies this year, I reckon we’ll have at least three on the grid in 2025, plus Liam Lawson.

Sam: I think a mid-season driver swap between Ricciardo and Perez is on the cards. To go one further, I think it could happen before the summer break.

Thomas: Liam Lawson will be back on the grid by mid-season, with Red Bull doing some chopping and changing between seats – I reckon Tsunoda will be the one to feel the pressure first.

I also reckon we’ll get the first public murmurings of discontent from within Aston Martin about Lance Stroll continuing to be outperformed to a one-sided extent, although I don’t believe any driver swaps will happen during the season.

I’ve also got a sneaking suspicion this year could be the one where the dominant Red Bull empire starts to weaken – it won’t affect anything this championship, but personnel changes near the top will take some of the pep out of their step.

Oliver: I refer you back to January’s ridiculously early predictions, when PF1’s 2022 predictions king proclaimed that a frustrated Nico Hulkenberg would not see out the season at Haas – and would be followed out of the door by Guenther Steiner. Too late to back out now, isn’t it? One down, one to go…

Jamie: Still gutted that Singapore stopped me cashing in on my Verstappen to appear on every podium prediction. Perez predictions have often blown up in my face, but I’m a glutton for punishment, Perez gets a Red Bull contract extension for 2025.

Tie-breaker question: How many points will Max Verstappen score in F1 2024?

Michelle: More than anyone else!

Mark: I can state with confidence that Max Verstappen will score precisely 547 points.

Henry: 599. He’ll break his own record if he has any say over it.

Sam: With a record-breaking 24 races and six sprint events, there are a total of 672 points for a single driver to earn so I think Verstappen will get 672. Just kidding, but I do foresee another dominant year but perhaps not to the extent of 2023 where he scored 575 so let’s say 503.

Thomas: 612.

Oliver: 520.

Jamie: 650.

Read next: Conclusions from F1 2024 Testing: Red Bull’s RB20 checkmate, drain cover dramas and more