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A Brief Look Ahead At The Upcoming 2024 Season Of Formula 1

As the season is about to kick-off at the end of the month, we take a look at the new cars, the drivers and each team's timing partners.

| By Robin Nooy | 14 min read |

We’re only weeks away from the start of the 2024 Formula 1 season, as all the teams have presented their new cars (mainly liveries) over the past fortnight or so. But this time around, it wasn’t the new cars that were the talk of the town, but rather the shock announcement that Lewis Hamilton has signed with Ferrari for the 2025 season! Although that is still a year away, and he will likely want to finish strong with Mercedes-AMG, it was news that rippled through the F1 paddock like an earthquake. Despite that, we have 24 races to look forward to this year! Red Bull will attempt to achieve their fourth driver’s championship at the hands of Max Verstappen in a row, while the rest will do everything they can to prevent that from happening. But the age-old question remains: who will rise to the occasion? It’s all kicking off in Bahrein on February 21st with the pre-season testing and the first race weekend starting on the 29th of February!

The new Aston Martin AMR24 during shakedown.

This season, we will see the entire F1 paddock return to China for the first time in five years (COVID-19, remember that?), and the Emilia Romagna race is making a comeback, too. That makes for a total of 24 Grand Prix to get all excited about! For the rest, nothing has changed in the schedule. The first race will be on the 3rd of March, with the final one on December 8th, and the season will include 6 sprint-race weekends (China, Miami, Austria, Austin, São Paolo & Qatar). Be warned, though, as due to Ramadan, the first two races of the season will be on a Saturday! That said, let’s take a look at who will compete this year and what timing partner they have teamed up with (we’re a watch publication, after all!).

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Oracle Red Bull Racing – Max Verstappen & Sergio Perez – TAG Heuer

Last year was pretty much the Max Verstappen show, as the Dutchman won a record-breaking number of races, 19 out of 22 in total! The only two drives to also win races were his teammate Sergio Perez and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz. This year, though, things are not so certain, as the rest of the teams have taken a good look at the RB19 from the 2023 season and have implemented several innovations inspired by the blisteringly quick Red Bull. There’s one factor the other teams simply can’t copy though, and that’s engineering mastermind Adrian Newey. Does he have new technical tricks up his sleeve with the development of the RB20? We’ll see on the 29th of February!

Max Verstappen & Sergio Perez checking out the new RB20.

As for its timing partner, Red Bull relies on TAG Heuer again. This partnership has been going strong for quite a few years now and feels like a natural fit. The connection between racing and TAG Heuer in itself is clear to anyone with even the slightest notion of the sport. The brand has paved the way in racing timing technology through its mechanical stopwatches, chronograph watches and electronic timing systems. In recent years, we’ve seen some limited editions tied to Max Verstappen and special racing editions of the Monaco. What will be released for this year remains to be seen, though, so keep a close eye on Verstappen’s and Perez’s wrists!

Scuderia Ferrari – Charles Leclerc & Carlos Sainz Jr. – Richard Mille

Ferrari perhaps came closest to Red Bull last year, spectacularly winning the Singaporean Grand Prix. The Italian team performed pretty strongly throughout the season and was locked in a battle for second place in the Constructor’s Championship with Mercedes-AMG,  missing out by only three points after the final race of the season. The duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are both considered to be potential future world champions, so perhaps 2024 will be the Scuderia’s year again.

Despite the fact Leclerc is positioned as lead driver, it would be amazing to see Carlos Sainz in winning form in what will be his last year with the team! The SF-24 looks mighty impressive, but it’s not all about the car when it comes to Ferrari. Consistency in strategy, clean pitstops and fewer mechanical issues should also be addressed, as they have hindered performance in the past. Will they overcome those factors in this year’s championship, and will they then be able to beat Red Bull, Mercedes-AMG and the others?

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will again be wearing Richard Mille throughout the season, as has been the case for quite some years already. The highly technical and racing-inspired watches by Richard Mille are a perfect fit with Formula 1, it seems, as they regularly feature lightweight materials, ultra-resistant constructions and innovative technical solutions. Neither of the two drivers has seen their name on a special edition just yet, but maybe a driver’s title or constructor’s title will change that?

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 – Lewis Hamilton & George RusselL – IWC Schaffhausen

As said, the biggest news leading into the season opener in Bahrein is, without a doubt, Lewis Hamilton’s move from Mercedes to Ferrari. Despite the fact it’s still a year away, it will be interesting to see the dynamic this season. Will George Russell be allowed to take over the lead role, and is he able to? Will Lewis still give it his all to fight for the championship? Will the W15 they just presented be a step in the right direction after two very challenging years? Will Toto Wolff come up with a master plan to bring Mercedes back to the front of the pack? It all remains to be seen, of course, but one thing is for certain: Mercedes-AMG is always a team to consider for the championship heading into a new season.

With the departure of Lewis Hamilton at the end of the year, Mercedes-AMG’s timing partner, IWC Schaffhausen, will also lose a strong ambassador. It felt like Mr. 44 was a perfect fit for the brand, and there have been numerous special editions created with the 7-time World Champion, such as the fabulous Portugieser Tourbillon Retrograde Chronograph Lewis Hamilton for instance. Regardless, the ties to Formula 1 are very important to IWC, as Creative Direction Christian Knoop explained to us in a recent interview. So we don’t have to worry too much for the brand to step away from the sport any time soon.

Aston Martin Aramco F1 Team – Fernando Alonso & Lance Stroll – Girard-Perregaux

Being the team owner’s son has its perks, but it must be said that Lance Stroll did quite a good job last year despite coming in only 10th overall. Gone is the wild and erratic behaviour on track (that shifted to the paddock, more or less), and in came the regular points-scoring finishes for the Aston Martin Aramco F1 team. Nevertheless, he was outclassed by two-time World Driver’s Champion Fernando Alonso, who scored four third-place finishes out of the first five races. Sadly, where McLarend turned from bad to good, Aston Martin stalled a bit and saw others overtake them in the standings. For this year, the team is dead-set not to repeat that as it presented the AMR24, a car team principal Mike Krack says can beat Red Bull.

Aston Martin F1, to put it short, also just extended its partnership with Girard-Perregaux for multiple years. The partnership, which was struck between Aston Martin Lagonda and, by extension, with the Aston Martin F1 team in 2021, has so far resulted in multiple special editions based on the fabled Laureato. All watches incorporated touches of green, tying them to both the Aston Martin road cars (often dressed in British Racing Green) and the Aramco-sponsored F1 car. The most outspoken of the models made in partnership between the car and watch companies was the Laureato Absolute Chronograph Aston Martin F1 Edition, which will likely see a follow-up sometime during the coming season.

BWT Alpina F1 Team – Esteban Ocon & Pierre Gasley – H. Moser & Cie

The BWT Alpina F1 Team has had some management issues these past two years but continues with its duo of French aces, Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasley. Last season, the team had some very strong races in a tightly fought pack behind Red Bull and regularly racked up points, even scoring a 3rd place for Esteban Ocon in the Monaco Grand Prix and a 3rd place for Pierre Gasley in the Dutch Grand Prix. The new A524 car gets some extra power from its Renault engine despite the engine developments being frozen until 2026. So we might just see Alpine a bit closer to the front this year!

When it comes to its timing partners, it came as quite a surprise just a couple of weeks ago that the BWT Alpine F1 Team is breaking ways with Bell & Ross and instead has partnered with H. Moser & Cie. And it’s not even limited to F1, as Moser is set to cover all of Alpine’s activities, including endurance racing! There already is somewhat of a sporty side to the highly revered independent brand, we feel that tying knots with Formula 1 may push this to new heights. Can we foresee a titanium Streamliner, perhaps, or even a carbon fibre one? Who knows! The Moser team, headed by Edouard Meylan, is well-equipped and creative enough to make it happen!

Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber – Valtteri Bottas & Zhou Guanyu – Unknown

Even before one mile has been raced, the Sauber team (formerly Alfa Romeo) is surrounded by controversy. Not only is its main title sponsor,, an online casino and thus not allowed to advertise in some countries but there’s also a Swiss federal investigation being launched into the company’s activities and legality. This season will be a bridge year for the team, though, as the Alfa Romeo deal ended in 2023, and Audi will take over control in 2025. The ‘Kick’ part of the name refers to the live-streaming platform, which will be the team’s official title sponsor in countries where is not allowed. Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu remain on board, as the Sauber team is aiming for an improvement over last year’s performance (9th overall in the constructor’s championship) with the new C44.

There’s more news surrounding the Stake F1 team, as just recently Rebellion has stated it will cease all watchmaking activities and focus purely on motorsports instead. The Rebellion company was already active in the Dakar, and before that, it was a regular competitor in endurance racing while still producing very technical and vibrant watches. Now that has come to an end, it’s unclear if the team will present a new timing partner in the coming weeks or not. Maybe one will join midway through the season, or maybe that will happen next year. So again, keep your eyes peeled and let us know if you’ve spotted something on Valtteri’s or Zhou’s wrist!

McLaren F1 Team – Lando Norris & Oscar Piastri – Richard Mille

After a couple of seasons of struggles, the McLaren F1 Team showed immense progress throughout the 2023 season. They made a huge turnaround midway through the year after the first couple of races didn’t look promising at all. Rookie Oscar Piastri was regularly seen coming close to his far more experienced teammate Lando Norris, even scoring a 3rd place finish in the Dutch Grand Prix. Norris proved the more consistent of the two though, as he finished all but one race of the season versus three retirements for Piastri. The new MCL38 car is said to be riddled with cutting-edge innovation to improve performance over last year’s car, but Andrea Stella (team principal) also stated there’s still a lot to be done to catch Red Bull.

McLaren is the second team on the Formula 1 grid to enlist the help of Richard Mille to spruce up its drivers’ wrists with watches. The hyper-technical watch manufacturer is known for its use of advanced materials and has even produced McLaren-themed watches in the past, both linked to Formula 1 and the company’s road cars (such as the Speedtail). Whether there will be a special edition presented in collaboration with the team or its drivers for the 2024 season remains a mystery for now.

Williams Racing – Alexander Albon & Logan Sergeant – bremont (unconfirmed)

Williams is a household name in F1. It’s amazing that it’s still part of the Formula 1 line-up despite having a number of shaky seasons in a row now. Enlisting comeback kid Alexander Albon and Williams protegé Logan Sergeant, the team hopes to continue its slow rise up the ladder in the coming season. It came in seventh overall last year, and especially Albon was a surprise in several races, so things are looking good for the team. What the new W46 car looks like is unknown for now, as Williams used the 2023 car to reveal its new livery only.

The British watchmaking outfit of Bremont, founded by Nick and Giles English, has been partnering with Williams Racing for the past year but does not show up on the new W46 racing car nor as a partner on Williams’ website. The Bremont website still shows plenty of Williams-related content to assume the partnership will continue into the 2024 season (and beyond, potentially). Nevertheless, the two would be a very good match as both are of British origin and have high regard for their craft. Davide Cerrato, Bremont’s CEO, has stated that the number of partnerships the company is involved in should be reduced to achieve more focus for Bremont, so perhaps this is one of the terminated collaborations. Time will tell…

Visa Cash App RB F1 Team – Daniel Ricciardi & Yuki Tsunoda – Tudor

The second team to have a brand-new name is the Visa Cash App RB F1 Team, which was formerly known as the Alpha Tauri-Honda RBPT team. This new title sponsor does mean it loses a bit of its appeal when it comes to the team’s name, but we can expect big things from the Italian sister to Red Bull. In terms of developments, the team has moved closer to Red Bull than it ever has done before, much to the dislike of other teams. Nevertheless, the proof will be in the pudding as it’s not a certainty that the Visa team will compete for race wins all of a sudden, of course.

Another surprise entry into Formula 1 regarding timing partners was Tudor, joining forces with the Visa Cash App RB F1 Team. It might be a big surprise given Rolex’s involvement in the sport, but Tudor has had ties with motorsports since the 1960s, all the way to today’s IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. During the launch, we could already spot a never-seen-before edition of the Black Bay, with a fully black case and bright blue dial. The news also pushed us to envision a team edition based on the unique piece for Only Watch. How close we will be to the real thing might be revealed during the upcoming Watches & Wonders fair!

Moneygram Haas F1 Team – Kevin Magnussen & Nico Hülkenberg – Unknown

The Moneygram Haas F1 Team has lost its most outspoken figure, as team principal Günther Steiner has been laid off and is replaced by Ayao Komatsu. The team has been around for a decade now and has been able to make quite an impression in some of the seasons. But, proven to be one of the most challenging things in Formula 1 to master, the team lacks consistency. Funded by Gene Haas, the team is looking to turn things around with the new VF-24, which will be piloted by veterans Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hülkenberg.

Haas F1 has not had a timing partner in the past couple of years, and it’s unclear as of now if it will have one heading into the 2024 season. There’s not a single watchmaking brand visible on the car, the racing overalls or the team’s website. So it feels like there’s a gap to be filled by someone, but who will step up?

For more information on the upcoming Formula 1 season, please visit or any of the team websites;

Editorial NoteThe images portrayed are sourced from, a selection of the teams (see above for links) and

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