A new Formula 1 season is starting. As the new season starts, there are pilots with high expectations in the upper, middle and lower ranks and pilots who disappoint me compared to the beginning of the season, of course.
If we look at the top ranks, I think Hamilton is the biggest candidate for the championship this season. Max Verstappen will be the most challenging name for him this season. I anticipate that Verstappen, who has come to the top for a few years and constantly improves himself, will frequently take place in the first two this season. Undoubtedly, names like Bottas, Leclerc, Sainz and Perez will fight fiercely for the next podium step after Verstappen and Hamilton. Obviously, I see Bottas and Perez, who are Mercedes and Red Bull pilots, more successful because of their vehicles and experiences in this fight. Lando Norris will undoubtedly be the surprise of the top ranks. McLaren driver Norris was consistently on top of the training laps and showed that he had improved himself significantly compared to last year. Although it is difficult to predict for Formula 1, I think we will often see him in the top 4 and top 5 this season.
This season, many experienced pilots will compete with vehicles that will not be able to reach the top. If you ask who are these experienced pilots, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso will be the best example of these pilots. At the beginning of the season, Sebastian Vettel, which I think we will often see on the podiums, will not be able to climb up the middle ranks in my eyes, after the troubles of his car and the image he has drawn on training tours. Although he will see podiums sometimes, I do not think he can go higher than the middle ranks during the season. Fernando Alonso is making his comeback with Alpine. He may not be fully prepared in the first races because he missed a few teams after a minor accident before the season, but he will open himself after a few races and will often force his middle-ranked rivals.
The surprise names of the middle rows will be Alpha Tauri pilots Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda. Gasly, who even pushes the top ranks in training tours, will be challenging his rivals in the beginnings and in the race this season. In the Tsunoda, he will easily find a place in the middle ranks. Pilots who draw good graphics on training tours will do well with the effect of the vehicle this year.
When we come to the bottom, there will be pilots who will get points unlike last season. For example, I expect points from George Russell and Antonio Giovinazzi. I believe there will be a good competition among racers like Raikkonen, Nicholas Latifi, Nikita Mazepin, Mick Schumacher. The surprise name of the lower rows will be George Russell in my opinion. He has the potential to make a difference in the lower ranks this year and can use this potential in the best way.