Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton says their job is to catch two-time world champion Max Verstappen in the 2023 season.
After winter pre-season testing, Red Bull and their first driver Max Verstappen emerged as the team to beat again.
The Austrian team made it clear from the first day of testing their new cars that they have again created a package that came out on top of the grid, even though they had a penalty for breaking the budget, which was related to the reduced development in the wind tunnel.
Already on the first race weekend of the new season, Max Verstappen won the Bahrain Grand Prix in a dominant manner, having previously won pole position.
The Dutchman and Red Bull started defending the title in the best possible way, and Sergio Perez contributed to record a new 1-2 victory.
On the other hand, Verstappen’s biggest challenger in the 2021 title race, Lewis Hamilton, finished only 5th, 51 seconds behind.
Mercedes went into the 2023 season to return to the fight for victories, and this would mark their fight to return the title to their hands, which ended in 2022.
The new W14 is based on the design of last year’s W13 car, which had a big problem with bouncing, and they are the only team with ‘zero’ sidewalls.
The bounce is gone, but the lead has widened against their 2021 rivals. There is already talk of changing the car concept so that Mercedes can return to winning ways.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is aware of the condition and strength possessed by Red Bull and Max Verstappen. The Briton believes the reigning world champion will be an even tougher opponent after winning his second title.
“He will be very, very confident,” Hamilton said of Verstappen.
“Last year they developed an incredible car. They broke all the records in everything and I don’t even think they pressed at the end and they were still way ahead.”
“He won’t make a mistake. He is a world champion and therefore I would not question his determination or focus. He will be as focused as ever, and our job is to catch up with him,” Lewis concluded.