The 2023 Formula One season so far24 August 2023
Already more than half of the 2023 Formula One World Championship has passed and we've seen everything from record-breaking domination to driver drama, all before the much-anticipated summer break. With the second half of the season fast approaching, we reflect on all that's gone down in the season so far, while looking at what to watch out for when racing gets back up and running at the end of August. Here's all you need to know about the 2023 Formula One season so far.
McLaren's miraculous turnaround
Upgrades rarely work out quite as well as they have done for the Papaya squad, with new tweaks to the car after Azerbaijan and Austria carrying frontman Lando Norris to his first podium of the season at Silverstone in front of a home crowd. Another second followed suit immediately after in Hungary while his teammate Piastri has pulled in three points finishes since Azerbaijan, including a career-best of fourth at Silverstone. All that work has been enough to put Norris eighth (69 points) in the current standings, while Piastri slots into 11th, with 34 points. As for the McLaren squad as a whole, the legendary Formula One outfit is still hoping to better its current position of fifth in the Team's standings, despite being 88 points off its closest rival Ferrari and a full 400 points adrift of standings leaders Red Bull. Can McLaren's upgraded MCL60 continue to take the fight to the frontrunners?
Drivers seldom manage to recover their careers once out of a top team but the ever-enthusiastic and up-beat Ricciardo appears to be on the rise once again. Stepping in for former AlphaTauri driver Nyck de Vries after he was unceremoniously sacked just 10 races into his rookie season, Ricciardo found himself back on the grid. He returns after parting ways with the McLaren squad last year and ending up back at Red Bull in a support role for the majority of the 2023 season. While it’s still early days and maybe not the top-tier team Ricciardo was looking for, it’s a seat nonetheless. In Hungary, the Aussie managed a 13th-place finish despite a first-lap incident that dropped him into last, before pulling in 16th at Spa before the break. Ricciardo will be desperate to pull off a few points finishes with his new team before the end of the season and prove he's still got what it takes to be a winner.
Red Bull (still) reigns supreme, new records set
If you count the win in Abu Dhabi at the end of last season, then Red Bull's currently riding a record, unbroken wave of 13 race wins - the most of any team in F1 history. Domination is the only word to describe the team's grip on the championship, with frontman Verstappen claiming all but two of the team's wins before the summer break - the other two have deservedly gone to Checo. With such domination, the team could be vulnerable to complacency but team boss Horner has refuted any concerns over the Milton Keynes squad resting on its laurels. "We're very much taking it one race at a time, one session at a time," said Horner in an interview with Autosport. "Nobody's allowing their mind to drift and I think that it's a long, long championship." With the Dutch Grand Prix - Vertsappen's home race - fast approaching, the team will be looking for another victory to extend their record streak and 759 points total. No teams have been able to halt Red Bull's campaign so far but the summer break might have worked wonders for hunters Ferrari in second with 554 points and Mercedes in third with 515 points. Time will tell.
Aston Martin brings the fight
Before the start of the season, few - if any - would have predicted that Aston Martin would be sitting third in the constructors' championship standings with 196 points come the summer break. But, largely thanks to its two-time world champion frontman, Alonso, the team is fighting hard to maintain its spot. The promising start to the season saw the team rocket off the startline with three consecutive podiums brought home by the Spaniard. After that, the streak was broken by a fourth in Azebijan before Alonso climbed back onto the podium in Miami, Monaco and Canada – securing second on the latter two occasions. Now all that's missing is a crucial first place for the plucky British racing squad. Can Alonso stretch the AMR23 far enough in the second half of the season to bring the fight to Red Bull? Or can the team's very first win come from Stroll? Either way, the Silverstone-based team is betting big with a shiny new campus to prepare it for a long future in Formula One.
We can't wait to get back to racing this weekend with the Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix, will we see Verstappen make it a hat-trick of wins at Zandvoort circuit, matching Sebastian Vettel's 2013 9 consecutive win record?