F1 Final Season Predictions: Verstappen, Red Bull Ready to Sweep

Ten races remain in the 2023 season and it's Verstappen's championship to lose

The 2023 Formula 1 season’s been the story of dominance by Red Bull and two-time defending champion Max Verstappen. The RB19’s near unbeatable with Verstappen behind the wheel as the tandem entered the summer break with a staggering 10 wins in 12 races.

There are just ten events left in the 2023 season. Can anyone close the gap between Red Bull and Verstappen? Who could emerge as the biggest threat? And who will have the most momentum heading into 2024? Here’s a look at our F1 final season predictions for 2023.

1. Three in a row for Red Bull and Verstappen

Verstappen’s lead in the F1 drivers standings is one of the largest in recent memory. At 314 points, he’s 115 ahead of second-place teammate Sergio Pérez. If that 115-point margin were another driver’s total points, that would be good enough for fifth in the championship standings.

Verstappen’s finished first or second in every race this year. He’s outscored every team on the grid aside from Red Bull. There’s just not enough time for a team to make up ground, especially in the current cost-cap era of Formula 1.

2. McLaren edges Mercedes for second-best

Neither of these teams should be second in the constructor’s championship on pure pace alone. Ferrari’s been the second fastest car on average throughout 2023. But the team can’t be trusted to meet its full potential week in and week out despite having two of the best current F1 drivers.

McLaren came to the Austrian Grand Prix with an upgrade package for Lando Norris and subsequently took a top-five finish. That upgrade came to teammate Oscar Piastri’s car for the British Grand Prix and McLaren nearly had a double-podium for the first time in more than a decade. The team had a drop-off in Belgium, largely due to setup. They’ll likely be back on it again in the second half of 2023.

Mercedes’ car is more consistent than last year’s problematic, bouncing package. Notably, seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton is already enjoying a much better season with four podiums.

But the overall pace is still well behind Red Bull. Team personnel acknowledged they were too cautious in redesigning the car for 2023. McLaren’s jump in pace is especially concerning, given it has the same power unit.

By the end of the season, our F1 final season predictions point to McLaren having the edge over Mercedes for the second-best team on the grid. They’re likely too far behind due to early season woes to finish that high in the standings, but they’ll be there.

3. Fernando Alonso will break his winless drought

The Aston Martin has dropped off from its early-season highs of five podiums in six races for Alonso. But the team’s expecting improvements from updates coming after the break. The 42-year-old Spainaird hasn’t won a race since 2013 with Ferrari. In the time since, he’s driven for McLaren, Alpine, and now Aston Martin.

He hasn’t lost his edge and will have a great chance to fight for wins in races on the F1 schedule 2023 that play more to Aston Martin’s strengths, like Japan and Singapore. He’ll break the longest active win drought in Formula 1 in what’s been a dream season.

4. Alpine’s nightmare season will get worse

Alpine’s grabbed headlines recently due to parting ways with team principal Otmar Szafnauer, longtime employee and sporting director Alan Permane, and engineer Pat Fry. The team’s underperforming with as many points finishes (three) as retirements in the last five races between the two drivers.

Last year’s battle with McLaren for fourth in the F1 championship came down to the last couple of rounds. This year, McLaren’s built a 78-point lead, much of that coming in the last few races since McLaren’s upgrades.

Williams’ outperformed Alpine on average finishing place in the last three F1 races before the break. Look for that to be more commonplace in the year’s second half.

5. Logan Sargeant will be one-and-done in Formula 1

Sargeant became the first full-time American driver on the Formula 1 grid since 2006, when he signed with Williams for 2023. The Florida native finished fourth in Formula 2 last year to be eligible for Formula 1 this season.

But it’s been a rough go for Sargeant. He’s the only driver who’s entered every race this year to have zero championship points. Teammate Alex Albon has been outstanding in 2023, and notched three points finishes in the first 12 races. Aside from retirements in Saudi Arabia and Australia, Albon’s average finish is ninth. Sargeant’s average is 16th.

Williams may have the only open seat on the F1 grid for 2024. Former Haas driver and current Mercedes reserve driver Mick Schumacher is rumored to be in the running for Sargeant’s seat. Formula 2 standout Frederick Vesti may also have a chance as a Mercedes junior driver. George Russell was a successful Mercedes junior driver for Williams from 2019 to 2021.

These F1 final season predictions cover a few storylines in a dominant season for Verstappen and Red Bull. These predictions could come true, or we could be in for many surprises over the last few months of the season.

For F1 odds analysis, betting news, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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