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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 22: Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing RB19 during day two of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on February 22, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Michael Potts/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

Your Ultimate Formula One Season Preview: Fuelled by Gossip and Intrigue

Written by Greg ‘Rusty’ Rust

On the eve of the first round of Formula One, Greg Rust, from the Rusty’s Garage podcast, chats to respected Sky Sports F1 commentator Ted Kravitz about the sport’s biggest season ever and how off-track events in recent weeks have only added to the immense hype it currently enjoys.

Most people I know are already into the latest Drive to Survive series which dropped in the past week. The incredibly successful Netflix program has turned F1 drivers and team managers into bonafide Rock Stars in recent years! 

The TV formula has been tried on other codes but none have (as yet) ridden the same sort of wave F1 has off the back of it. The GP’s barely used to be on the radar in the USA, and now the Americans can’t get enough of it. They’ll host three races again this year and F1, just like the recent Super Bowl for the NFL and the NRL this weekend, will make another huge splash in Las Vegas. It’s all a part of the product which is picking up more pace than Lewis Hamilton around Albert Park.

This season is historic, featuring 24 races, the most in Formula One’s 75-year saga. Despite some voices of dissent over the packed schedule, the excitement is palpable as we kick off in Bahrain and traverse the globe, culminating in Abu Dhabi in early December.

In the early hours of this morning I caught up with a colleague & friend in Ted Kravitz who hosts the popular Ted’s Notebook debrief show as well as patrolling pit lane for Sky Sports F1’s live coverage. Ted shared insights fresh from the paddock, and our discussion was timely, given the swirling rumours around Red Bull F1’s Christian Horner – one of the most successful Team Manager’s in histor,y having presided over seven Driver’s World Titles and six Constructor’s Championship wins. Despite the controversies and the intense scrutiny over the past four weeks, overshadowing even the new car launches and pre-season testing, Horner emerges clear from allegations of inappropriate behaviour. Ted’s perspective on the impact of these allegations on Horner and the team provides a nuanced understanding of the current paddock atmosphere.

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The off-season has been rife with unexpected developments, none more so than Sir Lewis Hamilton’s bombshell announcement of his departure from Mercedes for Ferrari at the year’s end. Ted thinks a holiday to South America may have provided the inspiration for the move. Plus the line-up of potential replacements including a rookie and a star still driving like those on the grid who are half his age.

I also tried to get Ted (a proud Pom) to pull on some ‘Green n Gold’ for a moment to get his thought’s on Oscar Piastri and Daniel Riccardo’s chances this year. It’s better than what you may think, especially for Dan.

This 25 minute chat reminded me of what I tell my family constantly now. Don’t always believe what you read on social media, to find good sources and to deal in facts rather than get caught up in the frenzy.

It’s gonna be hard slog for those teams this year and despite the distraction of recent weeks RedBull look bloody hard to beat.