Looking Back At Some Of Our F1 2023 Bold Predictions

Originally for WTF1 in November 2023, Dre looks back on his bold predictions from the WTF1 Podcast and reviews just how accurate he was.

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Read time: 4 mins

In his final D.R.E (Dre’s Regular Editorial) of 2023, Dre heads back to March and reviews his boldest predictions for the season, and has a look at how they held up at season’s end. How did he fare?

Hey folks, to close out the 2023 season, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at 10 bold predictions I made back on the WTF1 Podcast and Twitch account in February before the F1 season started and see how I held up! I was aiming for four out of 10, and well… I don’t think it turned out too bad!

Take #1 – Oscar Piastri scores fewer than 40 points (97)

Okay, I struck out on this one, but in my defence, I was looking good for a solid half a season here! McLaren’s had arguably the biggest in-season turnaround I can ever remember from an F1 team. From languishing in 6th in the standings on just 17 points after eight races to fourth and 300+ by year’s end. And Piastri more than held up his end of the deal with two podiums and a Sprint win to his name. McLaren’s found Lando’s partner.

Take #2 – Haas ends up finishing bottom of the standings

Officially the best, worst team in F1 history as no bottom runner in the standings has ever scored as many as 12 points. I had a feeling Haas’ lack of in-season development would come back to hurt them and I was right. Only five times did Haas score points all season and Nico Hulkenberg carried them with the 7th in Australia and the 6th in the Sprint. Speaking of…

Take #3 – Nico Hulkenberg goes scoreless on the year (9 Points)

…Whoops. Gotta give Hulk his due, for a man three years out of the game full-time, he drove like he was more than good enough to be there. A solid season for the big man.

Take #4 – Both AlphaTauri drivers released at the end of the season (Only Tsunoda?)

Can I call this one even because I was half right? It always felt like Nyck De Vries was an experimental placeholder more than a long-term bet in the white and blue, and while I was fearful for Yuki Tsunoda’s future, I think he’s done a solid job of anchoring the team. (And credit to Liam Lawson who was very impressive in a limited sample set.)

Take #5 – Alfa Romeo will finish 9th or lower in the Championship

I’ve joked on the WTF1 Wrap all season that Alfa Romeo was the “participation trophy” team of the field. They’re just there. And they’ve struggled all season long, six of their sixteen points came in the freakish Qatar race where Bottas and Zhou finished eighth and ninth. Audi can’t come soon enough.

Take #6 – Esteban Ocon beats Pierre Gasly by at least 30 points (Gasly By 4)

Okay, the reason I laid this one out was I was scared of Gasly’s “diet” after the first two years of Tsunoda and his career-altering beating at the hands of Max Verstappen. But he’s walked into a strong Alpine team and held his own against a quality driver in Esteban Ocon. Yes, Ocon’s seven DNFs in the year flatter Gasly a little bit, but overall, he’s more than held his own at Alpine this season. Again, foreshadowing…

Take #7 – Two Alpine Podium Finishes

…And a sprint podium too! Ocon’s qualifying run in Monaco was sensational given its importance within that weekend, and Gasly backed him up with a brave comeback in Zandvoort. Given I thought Alpine were stronger last season, you could argue they’ve done even better to score two podiums in 2023. 

Take #8 – Mercedes wins three races or less next season

Mercedes were the big hope to mount a comeback in 2023. In hindsight, Brackley holding onto the zero sidepod concept after Russell’s first win in 2022 was arguably the mistake that defined their season. Mercedes held on to second overall but went winless on the year. Oof.

Take #9 – Hamilton and Russell collide this season

I had a feeling that both Mercedes drivers’ impressive 2022s would lead to an eventual clash on track, and Hamilton’s ambitious lunge at Qatar around the outside led to the Mercedes hitting each other and Hamilton’s race lasting around 15 seconds. Lewis owned it and the incident was shrugged off, but it’s still good for a tick here!

Take #10 – Four total winners on the season or less

Only three drivers won a GP race this season and Carlos Sainz was the only one not in a car painted blue. I had a feeling Red Bull would dominate for most of the season and they did, but not to the point where they nearly ran the table. Yikes.

So six, maybe six and a half out of 10 if you’re generous and give me half credit for the AlphaTauri mention. Not bad to go over .500 like that! I guess it boils down more to how “bold” you thought the original takes were! But I’ll take it!

As said at the top, this was my final D.R.E of 2023, so I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who’s been reading the series for the back half of the season. Hope you’ve enjoyed reading them as much as I have writing them – Dre

About the Author:

Dre Harrison

Somehow can now call himself a Production Coordinator at the Motorsport Network, coming off the back of being part of the awkward Johto Era at WTF1. All off a University Project that went massively out of hand. Weird huh?

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