The 2024 F1 Early Season Tier List (2024)

We’re now three races into the 2024 Formula 1 season, and the field is starting to take shape for the foreseeable future. Based on the first three races and projections for the future, here are your 2024 F1 tiers:

The Red Bull Tier

Red Bull

While Max Verstappen couldn’t quite match his record 10 wins in a row in Australia this past week, it’s clear that his team is still in a class of their own on nearly every track. The reigning champions cruised to 1-2 finishes in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and Verstappen put the car back on pole position before an engaged hand brake forced his retirement in Melbourne. While the Dutchman was passed on-track by Carlos Sainz before his retirement, we’ll never know what his true race pace would’ve been last week in Melbourne. Additionally, teammate Sergio Perez stumbled home to a fifth place finish in which he struggled to keep up with both McLarens and Ferraris ahead as he was dealing with car issues of his own. Regardless, it’s much too early to say that this was anything more than an off weekend after last year’s dominance. As F1 heads to Japan and beyond, it’s safe to say that Red Bull will continue to be a clear number one if they can avoid technical difficulties like they had last weekend.

The Ferrari Tier

Ferrari

Heading into the season, I expected Ferrari to be looped into the Podium Contenders tier I have listed below. However, in Fred Vasseur’s second year at the helm, Ferrari have taken a step forward and seem to be the clear number two team most weekends. Through three races, the Italian team has as many podiums as Red Bull, and are only four points behind in the Constructors Standings. They still need to win a race that Verstappen finishes before I’d consider putting them in Red Bull’s tier, but Ferrari have shown on three different circuits that they can be at the top of the pack and put a driver on the podium.

The Podium Contenders Tier

McLaren

After last season’s massive increase in performance around summer break, expectations were high this season for the papaya outfit. While their still a bit dependent on track layout to have podium race pace, McLaren’s results have improved in each of the season’s first three races. Lando Norris is hitting his prime age for success, and last year’s rookie sensation Oscar Piastri is showing great pace again, as he currently sits a point ahead of Norris in the Driver Standings.

Look for McLaren to continue to improve, and if the car’s weaknesses are improved upon, join the fight with Ferrari and maybe even Red Bull in the near future.

Mercedes

Since the start of the 2022 season, Mercedes fans have been waiting for a return to form for the Silver Arrows. But unfortunately for the likes of George Russell, Lewis Hamilton, and Toto Wolff, that form looks as far off as ever. It all came to a head in Melbourne, when Russell and Hamilton both failed to finish the race after Hamilton had mechanical issues and Russell crashed on the race’s final lap. While Russell was on track for points, Hamilton struggled with pace all weekend and shockingly failed to reach Q3. Last season, Mercedes didn’t have optimal pace but were able to maintain consistency throughout the season and fight to a second place Constructors finish. But so far in 2024, they sit only a point ahead of Aston Martin in 4th place, well behind McLaren for third and even further behind Ferrari for second. While we anticipate more consistent performance from Russell and especially Hamilton as the year goes on, the Silver Arrows have dug themselves an even deeper hole to start this season.

Aston Martin

After an incredible start to the 2023 season, the rest of the field caught up to Aston Martin in the second half of the calendar. They’ve picked up in a similar spot in 2024, still much better than they were in 2022 but lacking early 2023’s pace. While Fernando Alonso is still the driver leading the charge, Australia did see an inspired performance from Lance Stroll, finishing in 6th place and bouncing back nicely from a disastrous performance in Saudi Arabia. Alonso spent the race fighting valiantly with George Russell and even Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, before a last lap penalty sent him back to 8th. While they’re at the bottom of this tier now, this team has shown the ability to upgrade fast, and they could absolutely land on the podium multiple times this season.

Fighting for Points

Haas

In Ayao Komatsu’s first campaign as Haas’ Team Principal, they’ve exceeded expectations and for the first time in awhile at Haas, the future looks bright. Both Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg have delivered points for the team and put in inspiring performances in Jeddah and Melbourne. While there’s not a massive pace gap between them and the rest of this tier, Haas have certainly shown consistency and the ability to work as a team to score when the opportunity provides itself. With the most established and consistent driver pairing of any of the teams in this tier, I still believe Haas could be the team to beat here despite RB having 6 points to their 4.

RB

Despite early season struggles from Daniel Ricciardo and inconsistency on and off the track from Yuki Tsunoda, RB finally started to show better pace in Australia. Tsunoda delivered a massive six points to the team with a 7th place showing, launching them out of the four team tie at the bottom and into sixth place. While Ricciardo was unable to deliver points in his home race, Tsunoda gets that opportunity next as F1 heads to Japan next week. Another inspired performance from Tsunoda in his home race could go a long way towards making up for his early season incident with Ricciardo and the fight for the second Red Bull seat in 2025.

Williams

While not expected to contend for podiums or wins, expectations were still high for James Vowles’ outfit to improve in 2024 and be the cream of the crop in the bottom half of the standings. There was still optimism out of the Williams camp despite going without points in the season’s first two races. However, after an incident by Alex Albon in FP1 led to him taking Logan Sargeant’s chassis for the weekend, and Sargeant not competing in the Grand Prix. While Albon seemed to be the better bet for points, he finished the race in 11th despite the three DNFs throughout the field. After a weekend of backlash from fans supporting Sargeant and the disappointment of missing on the points, Suzuka could be a defining race for Williams in this season. If they can get their first points of 2024, the team and fans will be much quicker to move on from a frustrating weekend in Melbourne.

Bringing Up the Rear

Alpine

Even though they’ve worked their way out of the cellar since Bahrain, the near-term future still looks bleak at Alpine. Neither driver has finished a race higher than 13th, despite solid performances from Pierre Gasly this past weekend and Estaban Ocon in the previous race. Time will tell if the team’s new technical staff can extract anything out of this year’s car, but with eight teams ahead of them on pace it will be a massive battle for the French side to earn points in the near future.

Sauber

Sauber, also know as Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber, seem to be the most lost team on the grid at the moment, with the only light at the end of the tunnel being Audi’s 2026 takeover. In Saudi Arabia, drivers Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu were the last two drivers to complete the race, while this past week in Australia, poor pace and disasters on pit road led to a 14th and 15th place finish, well off the pace for points. While there is potential for short-term improvement, especially in the pits, there is little to suggest they will be consistently fighting for points anytime soon. With both drivers futures in doubt beyond this season and overhauls sure to come before the Audi days, this team will likely look drastically different in the next 12-24 months.

The 2024 F1 Early Season Tier List (2024)
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