‘Wild’ F1 2024 prediction with struggling team tipped to surge to top three finish

Jamie Woodhouse
The F1 cars get away at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The start of the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Formula 1 broadcaster Harry Benjamin stuck his neck out by predicting Sauber will join Red Bull and Ferrari in F1 2024’s top three.

The Sauber team is very much in a period of transition, returning to this identity following the conclusion of their alliance with Alfa Romeo.

Two seasons are now ahead before a further game-changing new chapter in this team’s story, as they morph into the Audi works team, using their newly-designed power unit, as of F1 2026.

Sauber tipped to crack F1 2024 top three

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

The final season alongside Alfa Romeo did not go to plan for Sauber, the team finishing P9 in the Constructors’ Championship with only 16 points scored.

But, with a fresh identity and James Key installed as technical director, Sauber have their sights set on a far-improved showing for F1 2024, Benjamin going as far as to tip them to show as the third-fastest team behind Red Bull and Ferrari.

Asked during the On Track GP podcast to predict F1 2024’s top three, Benjamin said: “I predict that Red Bull is still going to have a bit of a gap to everybody else.

“I think that Ferrari, I’m on the hype train, so I’ll go Ferrari will be the second-best team.

“And I will go for Sauber will make a big step forward, as my wild prediction.”

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Sauber has the firepower on the driver front to deliver such results, with 10-time grand prix winner Valtteri Bottas in their ranks.

Of course, the challenger at his and Zhou Guanyu’s disposal must be a marked improvement on the C43 if they are to come even close to making the top three, Bottas fortunately having confirmed that the changes are coming for their F1 2024 machine.

“In this sport, with the margins we have, it’s everything,” Bottas responded to media including PlanetF1.com when asked where Sauber need to place their focus on car development over winter.

“There’s nothing fundamental, but the good thing is we do have a completely new car with some new ideas, with new people in the team.

“That’s exactly what we need now, so we need to make big steps over the winter. That’s the key.”

Not since 2008 and their days alongside BMW has Sauber featured in the top three in the F1 Constructors’ standings.

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