F1 Predictions: Bahrain Grand Prix Roundtable

F1 Predictions - ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 20: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing poses in his room following the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 20, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202211202924 // Usage for editorial use only //

The LWOS staff returns for their year-long roundtable predictions as the season kicks off with the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Formula One is back and fans around the world could not be happier! The 2023 season kicks off this Sunday for the Bahrain Grand Prix. This new season will provide teams with a clean canvas in preparation for a long grueling campaign. The double-champion Red Bull is the team to beat, as their sights lie solely on repeating their success for 2023. Will Max Verstappen continue his historic run of dominance on Sunday? Or will another challenger step up and come face-to-face and challenge the champion?

With all that talk in position to be settled come Sunday, it is that time once again. LWOS begins the new year with their race predictions: Race winner, podium, driver of the day, and surprise result.

Bahrain Grand Prix Race Winner

  • Arturo – Charles Leclerc
  • Cameron – Max Verstappen
  • Fatima – Carlos Sainz
  • Gabe – Max Verstappen
  • Jack – Max Verstappen
  • Justin – Max Verstappen
  • Nathan – Max Verstappen
  • Nelson – Max Verstappen
  • Patricia – Max Verstappen
  • Thomas – Sergio Perez
  • Vincent – Max Verstappen
  • Yara – Fernando Alonso

For the first set of predictions, the overall selection is for the reigning champion Max Verstappen with eight picks. Could this be a continuation of Verstappen becoming the obvious choice as the favorite like last season? Verstappen did not finish last year’s race, so he will clearly be looking to depart Bahrain with the win. Leclerc, Sainz, Perez, and a surprising pick in Alonso all received one choice. Leclerc heads into the weekend looking to replicate success to make it back-to-back wins in Bahrain. Sainz and Perez can cause some havoc and force themselves into the mix to outperform their teams’ number-one driver. Fernando Alonso comes as a surprise to win the race. The hype surrounding Aston Martin has been tremendous since testing, and this could all be part of “El Plan” to shock everyone for a surprise victory.

Podium (2nd & 3rd)

  • Arturo – Max Verstappen & George Russell
  • Cameron – George Russell & Charles Leclerc
  • Fatima – Lewis Hamilton & Charles Leclerc
  • Gabe – Charles Leclerc & George Russell
  • Jack – Fernando Alonso & Sergio Perez
  • Justin – Charles Leclerc & Sergio Perez
  • Nathan – Charles Leclerc & Sergio Perez
  • Nelson – Lewis Hamilton & Charles Leclerc
  • Patricia – Charles Leclerc & Sergio Perez
  • Thomas – Sir Lewis Hamilton & Fernando Alonso
  • Vincent – Charles Leclerc & Lewis Hamilton
  • Yara – Lewis Hamilton & Charles Leclerc

The majority of the staff continue the trend from last season as the top three teams Red Bull, Ferrari, and Mercedes lead the charge to round out the podium. Everyone has predicted that either a Ferrari or Red Bull will be in the top three. Some elected that Mercedes will be on the podium, but the uncertainty of whether their car could compete with the top team says otherwise. Thomas and Jack both start the year with a bold take as they believe Fernando Alonso is making the podium to keep the hype train going.

The Driver of the Day

  • Arturo – Logan Sargeant
  • Cameron – Fernando Alonso
  • Fatima – Zhou Ghanyu
  • Gabe – Valterri Bottas
  • Jack – Fernando Alonso
  • Justin – Fernando Alonso
  • Nathan – Fernando Alonso
  • Nelson – Oscar Piastri
  • Patricia – Carlos Sainz
  • Thomas – Fernando Alonso
  • Vincent – Lewis Hamilton
  • Yara – Fernando Alonso

The newest section of our roundtable for this season consists of our staff selecting which driver will be awarded Driver of the Day. Fernando Alonso once again has his name in the mix. This time, leading the way with six picks. The hype for Aston Martin has caught the eye and fans will tune in to see if the hype will lead to success. Rookie drivers Piastri and Sargeant both received one pick as they look to make an instant impact. Both Alfa Romeo drivers made the list too as they look to bounce back from a difficult second half last season and start strong. Could this happen for Alfa? Can the rookies pull off a point finish? We will find out come Sunday.

Surprise Result

  • Arturo – Logan Sargeant scores points
  • Cameron – Both Aston Martin’s in the points
  • Fatima – Verstappen DNF
  • Gabe – Bottas top 5
  • Jack – Both Ferrari DNF
  • Justin – Alex Albon in the points
  • Nathan – Both Alfa Romeo’s in the points
  • Nelson –  Sainz out of the top 5
  • Patricia – McLaren DNF
  • Thomas – Aston Martin in the top 5 & Money Gram Haas finish in the top 10
  • Vincent – Nyck de Vries top 6
  • Yara – Oscar Piastri in the points

The first race of the season brings excitement along as many want spontaneous moments to go down when the five lights go out. Jack believes that Ferrari’s troubles will follow from last season with a double DNF to kick off their season. Yara and I are hopeful that the rookies making their debuts this weekend both obtain points in their maiden race. Cameron and Thomas are riding high with Aston Martin. Thomas also came in with a Haas top-ten finish, and that could be a long shot for the American team, but crazier things have happened.

You’ve seen what we think will go down at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Do you agree or disagree? If so, let us know your predictions for this weekend’s race.

Formula Image Credit: Lars Baron