Formula 1, the world’s most well-known class of motorsport, returns in March for its biggest season ever.
Max Verstappen powered to a second world title in 2022, but Mercedes and Ferrari are confident they’ve closed the gap to the all-conquering Red Bull, setting up a potential three-way battle for honours.
Here’s a rundown of all you need to know ahead of the lights going out on the 2023 season in Bahrain next month.
|What||2023 Formula 1|
|Where||Across the world|
|When||Sunday 5th March - Sunday 26th November|
|How to watch||Sky Sports and Channel 4|
|Odds||Max Verstappen 2/7, Charles Leclerc 11/1, Fernando Alonso 11/1, Lewis Hamilton 11/1, George Russell 25/1|
The new Formula 1 season gets up and running in Bahrain with the first race of the year taking place on Sunday 5th March.
The Bahrain Grand Prix marks the start of a record-breaking 24 race-calendar - the biggest in F1 history - with races in Qatar in October and Las Vegas in November added to the schedule from last year.
As well as increasing the number of races held, F1 has also doubled the number of sprint weekends for 2023 from three to six. These sprint races, which determine the grid for Sunday’s main race, will be run in Azerbaijan, Austria, Belgium, Qatar, USA and Brazil this year.
The Formula 1 season finale will take place in Abu Dhabi on Sunday 26th November.
All ten teams from last season will be returning to the grid in 2023.
The three big teams - Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes - have kept faith with their drivers from last season, with Lewis Hamilton back for Mercedes and bidding for a record-breaking eighth world title.
There have been changes elsewhere, with McLaren turning to rookie Oscar Piastri to succeed his fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo, while Pierre Gasly takes over from Fernando Alonso at Alpine.
Alonso has jumped ship to Aston Martin to replace the now-retired Sebastian Vettel, as Nico Hulkenberg makes his return to F1 with Haas in place of Mick Schumacher.
Nyck de Vries gets his maiden drive in F1 at AlphaTauri with US racer Logan Sargeant completing the grid after taking over from Nicolas Latifi at Williams.
Nyck de Vries
After the massive overhaul of technical regulations that preceded the 2022 season, the changes to the rules for this year are relatively minor.
The main alteration involves the minimum ride heights being raised by 15mm in an effort to eliminate porpoising, while the minimum weight for a car has also dropped to 796kg.
The rules governing tyre usage in qualifying have also been altered with teams now required to run on hard compound tyres in Q1, mediums in Q2 and sifts for Q3.
Changes to rear-view mirrors and new guidelines on gearboxes and fuel temperatures have also been introduced.
Formula 1: Max Verstappen in profile
Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton in profile
Formula 1: George Russell in profile
In the UK, every race will be shown live by Sky Sports, who are the exclusive rights holder for F1.
Channel 4 will show highlights, and also share the rights with Sky Sports to the British Grand Prix, which will be broadcast on free-to-air TV as a result.
Max Verstappen produced one of the most dominant seasons in F1 history to retain his world title and become a two-time drivers’ champion.
Red Bull adapted best to the overhaul of technical regulations and as a result, Verstappen won a record 15 races to finish with an unprecedented total of 454 points.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc would finish a distant second to the Dutch driver, 146 points adrift, with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez completing the top three.
Having previously been the kings of F1’s V6 hybrid era, Mercedes endured a disappointing campaign with George Russell taking fourth in the drivers’ standings, ahead of Hamilton in sixth.
Having won the title with such ease last year, it is no surprise Verstappen is a strong 2/7 favourite to complete a drivers’ championship hat-trick.
However, Mercedes and Ferrari have been bullish about their prospects heading into the new season with both seeking to take the positives from a 2022 campaign that saw them challenge Red Bull on only a handful of occasions.
Hamilton is 11/1 to take the fight to Verstappen as he seeks an eighth world title off the back of the first winless season of his career last term.
Hamilton is expected to lead a renewed challenge from Mercedes but his team-mate George Russell proved to be more than a match for his illustrious colleague last year and is an interesting 25/1 chance.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc exhibited his ability to go toe-to-toe with Verstappen in the early stages of last year before being let down by his car’s poor reliability and some questionable tactical choices. He’s 11/1 to bring a world title to Ferrari for the first time since Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.