The Formula One 2023 season is just around the corner and fans are eagerly awaiting what promises to be an exciting year of racing. One of the key aspects of every F1 season is the intra-team battles, as drivers from the same team compete against each other for supremacy. The dynamic between teammates can often be just as interesting as the battle for the championship itself, as drivers push each other to perform at their best. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at how the team-mate battles are shaping up for the upcoming F1 season and what we can expect from some of the top teams on the grid.
Number 1. Red Bull – Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez
Sparks flew on the track during the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2022 when Red Bull teammates Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez had a moment of disagreement. Verstappen, who had been leading the race, refused to let Perez pass on the final lap, causing a rift between the two drivers. Verstappen defended his decision, but Perez didn’t hold back, saying that it revealed Verstappen’s true nature. While both drivers later reconciled and confirmed that their relationship remained amicable, there’s no denying that the incident could have a lasting impact on their willingness to support each other in the future. With the new F1 season just around the corner, the question on everyone’s mind is how the team-mate battles will play out in 2023.
Number 2. Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One – Lewis Hamilton and George Russell
In 2022, the team’s car was simply not up to the task of challenging for the World Championship, leaving little room for any potential rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in their first season as teammates. Russell himself acknowledged that things could have been different if the W13 had been a more competitive challenger. But with the team hoping to make progress in 2023, it begs the question – could trouble be brewing between the drivers? The pre-season testing didn’t look great for Mercedes, with Hamilton admitting to some “difficult days,” but the real test will come when the campaign kicks off in Bahrain on 3-5 March.
Number 3. Alpine – Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly
Get ready for some potential fireworks on and off the track as Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly reignite their rivalry at Alpine for the 2023 Formula 1 season. The two drivers have a long-standing history of tension dating back to their karting days, which has led to much speculation over how their relationship will play out on the team. Despite Gasly suggesting that the topic has been talked about too much, the question remains as to whether past conflicts will surface once again. Ocon has a reputation for sparring with his teammates both on and off the track, as seen in his criticism of Fernando Alonso following the Spaniard’s departure from the team. As the 2023 season approaches, all eyes will be on Alpine to see how the Ocon-Gasly dynamic unfolds.
Number 4. McLaren – Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri
Get ready for some juicy team dynamics in the upcoming F1 season, including the rise of Lando Norris as McLaren’s established team leader. Known for his friendly rapport with teammates, the Briton has formed close bonds with the likes of Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo in the past, leading to the famous “Carlando” content loved by fans. However, with Ricciardo now gone and rising star Oscar Piastri stepping up, Norris finds himself in a new role as the team’s leading man. As McLaren CEO Zak Brown predicts a potential challenge from Piastri, could this shake up the off-track relationship between the two drivers? Only time will tell as the season kicks off soon.
Number 5. Ferrari – Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz
The bond between Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz has been a bright spot for Ferrari during their two-year stint as teammates. However, the team’s new boss Frederic Vasseur has made it clear that no driver will be favored at the beginning of the 2023 season.
While Leclerc supports the team’s approach, he conceded that if either he or Sainz found themselves fighting for the championship later on, he would anticipate the team to provide maximum support to that driver.
This is a familiar situation for teams aiming to win the championship. Nevertheless, as with Mercedes, it’s worth considering how the dynamics between teammates can shift when the team’s stakes unexpectedly increase.