Best- and worst-case scenario for every F1 team in 2024

The 2024 Formula 1 season is right around the corner. It’s impossible to determine how the pecking order might align itself at least until the cars take the track for preseason testing in Bahrain from Feb. 21-23.

Until then, here are the best guesses at every Formula 1 team’s best- and worst-case scenario for the 2024 season.

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Red Bull

Perfect season: After obliterating the rest of the field in what was arguably the most dominate season in Formula 1 history, it’s difficult to see room for improvement for Red Bull. That’s why, after winning 21 out of 22 races in 2023, the only goal left to aim for is a perfect season. Is it unlikely? Definitely. But Red Bull’s 2024 challenger – the RB20 – hits its goals and improves in slow-speed corners while also becoming more comfortable handling bumpy circuits. Development gains from its rivals aren’t as big as feared. And in the end, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez sweep all 24 races.

The empire crumbles: There is a rumored power struggle at Red Bull internally between consultant Helmut Marko and team leader Christian Horner. The power struggle is eventually settled but not without a substantial amount of damage caused. This forces key figures such as designer Adrian Newey and technical director Pierre Wache to leave the team, signalling the beginning of the end of Red Bull’s domination.

Diminishing returns: It’d be pretty tough for Red Bull to take a step backward considering its RB20 will be an evolution of its high-functioning RB19. That doesn’t matter, though. The Milton Keynes team doesn’t take enough of a leap forward in 2024. Christian Horner’s prediction of diminishing returns becomes true. Red Bull finds out it’s come close to its ceiling, allowing the others to challenge for wins across the season. Making matters worse, Perez is exposed again as other teams rise up the pecking order, but Red Bull has few options after Daniel Ricciardo also struggles.


The W15 makes progress: Lewis Hamilton is questioning if he made the right decision to leave for Ferrari in 2025. After two bumpy and disappointing seasons, Mercedes finally cooks up a gem in the W15. The car has sidepods and features the rumored changes to the suspension, gearbox, and other areas, which increases its performance enormously. George Russell snatches multiple victories and proves that Mercedes is in good hands with him as its top driver.

Can it get worse?: Hamilton’s pending departure signals a massive loss of confidence in the Silver Arrows’ direction. Team morale is down, while 2024 never quite generates momentum. Wait, this might actually be Mercedes’ reality. It’s hard to imagine a worse year than the one Toto Wolff and his team are currently experiencing.



All ready for Hamilton’s arrival: Hold on to your prancing horse. Ferrari is back. Perhaps we all should’ve paid more attention when Ferrari was already matching Red Bull in qualifying and was its biggest threat in some races at the end of 2023. Charles Leclerc finishes second in the drivers’ championship and scores more wins in 2024 than he entered the season with (5). The excitement is sky-high for Hamilton’s arrival in 2025 after the Scuderia end the year trading victories with Red Bull. Everything seems to be in place for a three-way battle between Verstappen, Leclerc, and Hamilton next season.

All focus on 2026: The 2024 car is a dud with McLaren and even Mercedes being stronger than Ferrari. Despite all the anticipation over Hamilton’s grand arrival in 2025, the Scuderia don’t appear to be on the trajectory to give him and Leclerc winning machinery next season. Leclerc and Hamilton will have to wait until 2026 to challenge for a championship.


Surprise tight fight: After an offseason filled with momentum, McLaren is ready to walk the walk. “Whatever it takes” wasn’t just a marketing catchphrase. Lando Norris’ extension was proof he was serious when he said he was ready to fight Max Verstappen with McLaren. It’s all gloves off in 2024 as McLaren doesn’t just stop at a handful of wins, including a first for Norris. Zak Brown and his drivers at least make Red Bull and Verstappen uncomfortable.

Anything but second-fastest car: McLaren’s sky-high expectations turn out to be too high. The confident and upbeat outfit sinks back to no-man’s land as the fourth-fastest car after gigantic development strides by Ferrari and Mercedes, who gave up on their 2023 challengers quite early.

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Aston Martin

Return to being a podium contender: Aston Martin uses its offseason to develop a promising package for the second straight season after starting strong and ending on a whimper in 2023. The only difference is, this time, the team is able to understand its concept and how to maximize it. Fernando Alonso and his team are in position to push for podiums at tracks that favor Aston Martin’s strengths.

More struggles lead to a huge departure: Aston Martin’s second-half struggles in 2023 run into 2024. Red Bull looks as if it’s in another league while Ferrari, Mercedes, and McLaren are also too far ahead to chase. The prospect of Alonso winning a race – let alone scoring a podium again – becomes a fairytale as Aston Martin fizzles out and is surpassed by Red Bull’s sister team RB and Alpine, Alonso’s former team, too. The results are so deflating that Alonso chooses to retire and give endurance racing another go.


Jump to fifth in championship: With a rumored deficit in engine power, Alpine quietly achieves its modest goal of taking back fifth place in the constructors’ standing after Aston Martin’s struggles continue. Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon build on their two podiums in 2023 by collecting a few more at tracks that are not as power-unit dependant.

Another sixth-place finish: Alpine keeps having more success as a marketing ploy than a race car. Nothing changes in 2024 as Alpine finishes far behind the top five but comfortably ahead of those behind them. Another season where Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon are running their own races marks another forgotten year in the history of what once was a Formula 1 giant in Renault.

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Alex Albon commits, Logan Sargeant proves himself: Williams’ ceiling is less performance-based and more team-based. Team principal James Vowles makes more strides behind the scenes in his second year on the job, while Sargeant proves to be a worthwhile No. 2 driver alongside Albon. Vowles’ biggest home run, though, is convincing Albon to re-sign and believe in his project long term.

A fresh start needed: Williams falls to the back of the constructors’ standings after another solo effort from Albon isn’t enough in an ultra-competitive grid. With Sargeant struggling again, the team decides to move on from the youngster. The only problem is Albon also decides to move on for greener pastures, leaving Williams with two empty seats and a lack of enticing options to fill them after another lowly finish in the championship.


Best of the rest: RB – formerly known as AlphaTauri and Red Bull’s junior team – turns out to have a car that’s a slightly less powerful version of Red Bull’s RB20. Not only does this propel RB near the top of the field, but the outfit also finishes a surprising fourth in the championship after one of Mercedes or Ferrari slips up. Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda even score podiums after chaos breaks out in a few races.

Backlash from the grid: The paddock is up in arms after RB’s performance in 2024. While the RB is as competitive as Red Bull hoped after finishing behind only Red Bull, Mercedes, Ferrari, and McLaren in the constructors’, it draws the ire of the rest of the grid. As a result, multiple rule changes are implemented to limit the sharing of parts between constructors and their customers. Even worse, other team bosses have begun politicking to see if they can force the FIA’s hand in banning dual ownership in the sport.

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Kick Sauber

Don’t finish last: Kick Sauber finishes ahead of Haas despite being in a weird holding spot until Audi takes over in 2026. The team previously known as Alfa Romeo lures a big-name driver for 2025 during the silly season. Welcome to Kick Sauber, Sainz.

The pits of obscurity: Kick Sauber’s gamble as title sponsor doesn’t quite give it the return it desires. Fighting at the back of the grid, Guanyu Zhou gets lost in the mix while Valtteri Bottas continues his transition into an anonymous act since leaving Mercedes. The 2024 season essentially becomes an eight-team grid as Haas and the Sauber-run cars do battle in Formula 1.5, though barely anyone notices.


New team principal rights the ship: Guenther Steiner who? Despite the loss of the charismatic team principal, new boss Ayao Komatsu turns Haas around. Haas begins to finally show promise near midseason. They finish ninth but, for the first time in a very long time, appear to be on an upward trajectory.

Why is Haas on the grid: The Drive to Survive honeymoon is officially over. Without Steiner, Haas is as unmarketable as it is uncompetitive. It feels like Groundhog Day in the Haas garage as the 2024 challenger still hasn’t solved its race-pace issues. This leads to Haas’ third last-place finish over the last four seasons. Kevin Magnussen’s further decline doesn’t help the cause, while Nico Hulkenberg departs after the campaign due to dissatisfaction with the team’s direction. Formula 1 is forced to ask serious questions about team owner Gene Haas’ level of commitment, especially with Andretti pushing to be on the grid.