Max Verstappen won 17 times in 22 Grand Prix events, including the final four, to capture the constructors’ championship in the 2022 Formula 1 season.
It is clear that the Red Bull Racing team led by Christian Horner arrives in 2023 as the big favourites in the competition.
The short winter tests confirmed this season. But how is the competition doing at the dawn of a 2023 season under the sign of evolution, compared to the great technical revolution of 2022?
Verstappen was the fastest on day one in last week’s winter test, in addition to taking second behind Zhou Guanyu on day two of test.
As for day 3, it was Sergio Perez who was the fastest, recording the best time of the week.
Some teams hide their game, others do fast laps with little fuel, and above all, the cars will still evolve a lot during the season.
A warning that will hold for all teams. Except that for the moment, it is the only reference on which to rely and Red Bull has released the image of a team in full control. The car was quick and reliable throughout testing.
People know that Red Bull is not the type to lose opportunities that come their way for the main part.
Verstappen has been excellent in the last two seasons, the team behind the strategies rarely misses, in short, if the reliability and performance are there, it will be very difficult to compete with the defending champions.
It now remains to be seen how Verstappen and Perez will collaborate with each other, as the tension between the two has risen a bit towards the end of the season.
Did fans use the downtime to finally resolve long-running disagreements? Fans can only hope for this, as Daniel Ricciardo working with the team as a test driver can spark some rumours later in the season.
It will also be necessary to monitor the impact that the sanctions on aerodynamic tests could have in connection with the exceeding of the ceiling on expenditure in 2021.
If the effects are not yet felt, this could represent an opportunity for Ferrari and Mercedes at the end of the season.