A new year is upon us, and with that comes this whole idea we will be new people too. Or at least we will try to be, and make improvements and changes here and there for the next few weeks until we forget. Formula 1 drivers are no different than us. They put on their racing boots on one at a time. Testing in Sakhir is over a month away, and each of the 20 drivers has their sights set on podiums, points, and improvements. If I had to venture a guess into a few of their goals for 2024 this is what I’m certain they are.
Logan Sargeant: Score double points
Logan only needs to score two points to make this happen. Which I think is quite doable. If we completely ignore that his first point in F1 was completely by accident and only happened because of other drivers’ penalties, he did great. He also technically did not finish last, so let’s aim for 19th this season. Now that Logan is no longer a rookie and given a new lease on life by Team Principle James Vowles, how about we also don’t cause the most damage on the grid? All of these are achievable goals, Florida boy. Would love to see him get those points in his hometown of Miami.
Lando Norris: Collaboration With Martin Garrix
Martin Garrix is the real paddock princess. Any party an F1 driver has, he is there. During his sets, Max and Lando are right behind him. He’s rolling around the garages more than Perelli. 2024 has to be the year Lando gets serious about turntablism and finally makes this happen. What’s the point of one of the best internationally known DJs hanging on your jet, mixing in Monaco, and waiting to take pics with you if there isn’t a creative project in the works? The obvious move would be some sort of reimaging of “Friday” or Lando’s famous rollercoaster radio transmission. Either way, there better be an EP this year.
Charles Leclerc: Daily affirmations
I’m imagining something like Colin from Ted Lasso. A messy-haired Charles stares in the mirror and tells himself he is a strong and capable man, and the car is not a piece of shit. He is worthy of good engineers, and Carlos doesn’t need to be a tactical wizard. He will win in Monza and bring full glory back to Ferarri and the Tifosi. Or at least these are the mantras I’m picturing him scrawling in his bathroom, then lighting a lavender-scented candle and gently rocking himself back and forth. “I am NOT stupid.”
Fernando Alsono: Major internet crossover event
I need Fernando to crossover into every inch of the internet so the entire world can experience him. I am an Alonso Appoogist, and I don’t care. He flirted with a mini-bump into new territories when an absurd rumor was dropped that he was spotted with Taylor Swift. Honestly, you’re welcome, Swifties. Fernando is magic. Watching gossip columnists scramble to understand who he is was a fun moment. And, of course, Fernando ran with it. Our dark lord and savior is perfectly poised for a breakout year in 2024 as far as the interwebs are concerned. But what will the moment be? Personally, hope it’s like Kimi Räikkönen at the 2006 Monaco GP, and he just walks onto his yacht and sails off with the El Captain hat on, spraying champagne on everyone and everything.
Yuki Tsunoda: Starts a cooking channel
Yuki has done a few teasers in this area here and there. He’s participated in cooking challenges for Alpha Tauri’s social media channels, with much success. Who doesn’t want to see Yuki in his true natural environment? I know he is a busy F1 driver, but imagine if filmed a a bunch of videos where he just teaches other drivers how to cook. Forcing Lando to make sushi but not telling him would be top-tier. Making pancakes with Carlos, how adorable would that be? And reuniting Yuki with his BFF, Pierre Gasly, would be divine. Imagine them making heart-shaped cakes for each other. The sky’s the limit with this. We would also be open to a collab with a popular brand, like Momofuku x Yuki. They could release it in Vegas at one of their locations. Yuki, call me. I’m happy to be a brand agent for you.
Lewis Hamilton: One more World Championship
Just one more Lewis, then you and Roscoe can spend all your time together. Sir Lewy Hammy deserves his eighth (or ninth, if you subscribe to that) Championship. Love him or hate him, no one has been a better ambassador for this sport than him. Pushing F1 and the FIA into a new era, forcing them to look at their failings in diversity is part of his legacy. I would love to see him have a post-F1 career as an F1 Academy mentor or jump on board in a bigger role with Susie Wolf. Whatever Lewis decides will be brilliant, thoughtful, and done with love and dedication. He knows no other way. While I love him dearly, when he decides to retire it will truly be the end of an era.
*My Roman Empire is Brocedes
Danny Ricc: More focused Enchante drops
Daniel, we beg you, ease up on the releases. Our poor wallets can’t handle several of these drops throughout the year. I wish he would focus on an actual cafe line. Mostly because I want one of the teacups so bad. What if he did a whole tea set for Silverstone and the British GP? Super on brand. He’s already dabbled in wine, why not tea next? Ric3 tea has a nice ring. As much as I enjoy his releases, they have become rather predictable.
I’m hoping he goes back to the table and thinks outside the box a bit. Like Sir, where is the Aussie collection? Miami was cute. Austin was cute. Monaco was cute. I’m just wanting a little more from a guy who is so funny and creative. Perhaps, providing a wider range of pricing for his fans who don’t feel comfortable spending $250 for a jacket or $100 for a sweatshirt would be a good move as well.
Max Verstappen: Ease up on the Red Bull
I genuinely worry about Max. His blood has to be mostly Red Bull at this point, and/or champagne. With the reports of Panaera Charged Lemonade killing people, I can’t stop thinking about this. Does he actually consume all the copious amounts of taurine he seems to in post-race interviews or on his live streams after hours of sim racing? Is it all just a ruse, and those cans are filled with water? Is he really the most hydrated driver on the planet? The jury is out on this one. But I’m thinking let’s just cut back a little Max, or switch to sugar-free.
Haas: One pole, just one
Let me be delulu in 2024. I’m a big fan of Team Dad, plus Haas is American-owned. Last year, they had such an American promo that I so hope is back. Dubbed the “We Score, You Score” program at the Miami Grand Prix, official sponsor Chiptole agreed to give away 10,000 burritos if Haas ended up in the points. I say do it for every race. Finishing dead last in the constructor standings (with twelve points), doesn’t seem like a huge risk. And if anyone deserves to be on the podium it’s Nico Hulkenberg, who scored a third of those points and drives like a madman in one of the worst cars on the grid. Not to be overshadowed, K-Mags also had moments of qualifying brilliance.
My heart just says Haas is due for huge improvements and a spot on pole. With the exit of Guenther Steiner after eight years, and engineering director Ayao Komatsu stepping in to take over, big things are on the horizon.
Valtteri Bottas: Retires in Budgy Smugglers
Valtteri is a man of many talents and ventures. He’s just an F1 driver for the heck of it. Valtteri has been thinking about a life post-F1 and planning accordingly. With ownership stakes in a gin company, a coffee company, and a wine company, he’s got his bases covered, unlike his own base. The famously bare-bottomed Formula 1 driver, who feels more Australian than Finnish, is poised for great things when he hangs up his gloves. His longtime girlfriend, Tiffany Cromwell, is a partner in those business undertakings as well. And as a road and gravel cyclist, you can certainly see her influence on him as he’s taken to the bikes quite well. Who knows, maybe we see Valtteri Bottas Cycling Champion in the future.
Before we get there, I would love nothing more than for his last race to end with him stripping off his suit to reveal a pair of custom farewell “Budgy Smugglers.” And then he and Tiffany literally cycle off together. A girl can dream for her favorite driver.
Honorable Mention: Nyck de Vries: Formula E Champion (again)
What a beautiful middle finger that would be to F1 naysayers and Helmut Marko, not that he cares but still! I have a soft spot for Nyck and don’t know if it was the right move to let him go so quickly. I’m wishing Nyck all the success in Formula E this season with Mahindra Racing. And every time he gets on the podium, I will do a little clap. There can be more than one fantastic Dutch driver in a Formula series.