Formula 1 is back, and it promises to be a blockbuster season

The Formula 1 season is back today as the world’s best racing drivers take on the Bahrain Grand Prix

The Formula 1 season is back today, and it looks like it will be the biggest ever season, as the world’s best racing drivers take on the Bahrain Grand Prix.

From Max Verstappen going for a third world title, to Lewis Hamilton's chance at redemption, the world’s elite racing competition promises to be an exciting one.

After a three-month wait, Formula 1 is back with new cars, new drivers and potentially an all-new pecking order for a 23-race campaign.

Three days of testing last week showed reigning world champion Max Verstappen and his Red Bull are the team to beat, but Ferrari and Mercedes will do everything to dethrone the Dutchman.

This year was set to feature a record 24 races, but the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix and the decision not to replace it has lowered that to 23, which remains a record number for one season. Between the first race in Bahrain and final race on Nov. 26 there are just 15 weekends without a grand prix.

Following the retirement of former three-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, the new season will see  major changes in the grid line-up. Fans have said goodbye to Vettel, Mick Schumacher and Daniel Ricciardo, but welcome Logan Sargeant and Oscar Piastri as rookies and Nico Hülkenberg returns after two seasons away.

Fernando Alonso also made the move to Austin Martin, who look like they have a strong car ahead of the season. American audiences will be hoping Logan Sargeant, the first F1 driver from the U.S. since 2015, makes a name for himself in his rookie year with Williams.

Unfortunately, the reality is that he's driving a car that's unlikely to make it out of the first session of qualifying most weekends and will require a remarkable performance to feature in the top 10.

Ferrari fans will also be hoping that major changes at the top could help the team sustain a 2023 title challenge, with Frederic Vasseur replacing Mattia Binotto. The Scuderia had a very fast car last season, but reliability and strategy issues meant the team had to fight till the last race to ensure second place in the constructors’ championship.

Vasseur has made it clear that F1's oldest team must continue to evolve and improve in every area. Preseason testing projected an unclear picture about the car's outright performance and concerns over the way it uses its tyres, but there's hope that Ferrari was holding something back for this weekend's season opener in Bahrain.

Bahrain Grand Prix schedule

3 March (12:30pm) – Free practice 1

3 March (4pm) – Free practice 2

4 March (12:30pm) – Free practice 3

4 March (4pm) – Qualifying

5 March (4pm) – Race

Full season schedule

March 5 - Bahrain Grand Prix

March 19 - Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

April 2 - Australian Grand Prix

April 30 - Azerbaijan Grand Prix

May 7 - Miami Grand Prix

May 21 - Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

May 28 - Monaco Grand Prix

June 4 - Spanish Grand Prix

June 18 - Canadian Grand Prix

July 2 - Austrian Grand Prix

July 9 - British Grand Prix

July 23 - Hungarian Grand Prix

July 30 - Belgian Grand Prix

August 27 - Dutch Grand Prix

September 3 - Italian Grand Prix

September 17 - Singapore Grand Prix

September 24 - Japanese Grand Prix

October 8 - Qatar Grand Prix

October 22 - U.S. Grand Prix

October 29 - Mexican Grand Prix

November 5 - Brazilian Grand Prix

November 18 - Las Vegas Grand Prix

November 26 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix