Max Verstappen believes that the competitiveness of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes will rely upon whether or not or not the Brackley group has understood their 2022 points.
Verstappen dominated the 2022 season, taking a record-breaking 15 Grand Prix wins as he wrapped up his second successive title, hauling 454 factors within the course of – additionally a brand new F1 file.
The Pink Bull driver’s predominant rival from 2021, Lewis Hamilton, endured the worst season of his lengthy profession, failing to a win a Grand Prix for the primary time and completed a career-worst sixth within the Drivers.’
This was partially right down to the Mercedes W13 having a elementary ground downside, which was initially masked by porpoising.
Mercedes are adamant that they may be capable of get again within the struggle with Pink Bull, and Ferrari, over the course of 2023 as Hamilton seeks his eighth World Championship, however Verstappen is just not involved.
Verstappen not involved by Mercedes
“It’s tough to say [where Mercedes will be] as on the finish of [last] yr, generally it seemed like that they had it collectively, generally not,” the Dutchman advised media, together with RacingNews365.com, on the livery launch of the RB19.
“From my aspect, it’s tough to say as a result of I’m not a part of the group if they’ve absolutely understood the whole lot however I suppose we’ll discover out this yr in the event that they did absolutely perceive the whole lot they wished to enhance on the automobile.
“For positive, they are going to be a predominant rival, however I additionally suppose Ferrari might be sturdy, however how sturdy is tough to say, however Mercedes have proven over the previous few years that they’ve all the time been actually sturdy they usually have a great group of individuals as nicely.
“However I belief my folks in Milton Keynes, that they’ve constructed a really sturdy automobile, along with our engine as nicely, and I hope now we have a powerful package deal towards them.”
Not pondering of the title
Ought to Verstappen win the 2023 title, he’ll turn out to be simply the fifth driver in F1 historical past to assert a championship hat-trick – with Hamilton on that individual listing.
The 25-year-old would emulate Juan Manuel Fangio (1954-1957), Michael Schumacher (2000-2004), Sebastian Vettel (2010-13) and Hamilton (2017-2020) in claiming three or extra on the bounce, however he’s extra centered on the group delivering a great automobile.
“We’ll work onerous as a group to attempt to guarantee that now we have an opportunity to struggle for it once more,” he mentioned.
“However solely time will inform. I am not even fascinated by this stuff for the time being, as a result of it’s extra essential that we simply deal with having a aggressive automobile.
“And if now we have a aggressive automobile, then this stuff can occur, however it’s extra essential for us now that we simply guarantee that the automobile is working nicely with no points – and that it’s fast on the finish of the day.”
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