Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, International Circuit, 2023 pre-season test

Expect no “slip ups” from Verstappen after second title – Hamilton

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In the round-up: Max Verstappen will benefit from less pressure on him in 2023 having sealed the last two world championships, says Lewis Hamilton

In brief

Verstappen unlikely to “slip up” after two world championships – Hamilton

Though Verstappen wasn’t seriously tested in his dominant season-opening win, Hamilton believes the reigning world champion will be an even stronger opponent after winning his second title.

“I think he will be very, very confident,” Hamilton said. “I think they developed an amazing car last year, they blew away all the records on pretty much everything and I don’t even think they were pushing at the end and still were way ahead.”

“I don’t think he’ll slip up,” Hamilton continued. “He’s a world champion and so I wouldn’t question his determination or his focus. I think he will be just as focussed as ever, and it’s our job to catch up.”

Alpine has “good base to work from” – Gasly

Pierre Gasly believes he and his Alpine team have built a “good base” after his first weekend with the team.

Gasly had a disappointing qualifying session, finishing slowest of all drivers in Q1 after having his quickest time deleted for a track limits violation. However, he eventually made his way up to eighth in the race.

“A first race with the team is always tricky,” Gasly said. “Not as comfortable with the entire with the entire team, you don’t have the same knowledge as when you carry on with the same team. So it was important to start on the right foot.

“I’m definitely very happy with the way that we’ve been working so far. I think we’ve got a good base to work from. We know what we’ve got to improve.”

“Natural” for McLaren and Red Bull to discuss power units – Horner

Christian Horner says it’s “only natural” that McLaren CEO Zak Brown would have exploratory discussions with Red Bull to gauge options for which power unit supplier McLaren will race with from 2026.

Brown visited Red Bull’s Milton Keynes factory before the Bahrain Grand Prix. Horner confirmed the visit, but said they were just exploratory discussions.

“It’s obvious that, as a power unit manufacturer for 2026, it’s inevitable that discussions are going to be held regarding potential powertrain supply and that’s only natural that we would speak with potential customers,” Horner said.

Horner and Brown were involved in a bitter and public row last year when the McLaren Racing CEO called for severe penalties for any team found to have exceeded the budget cap, as Red Bull later were.

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Comment of the day

The aptly named @tifoso1989 offers a detailed examination of the current state of Ferrari’s SF-23 after the opening race…

I believe that the Ferrari car concept is not flawed. The aerodynamicists at Maranello have consistently been innovating since the last major structure overhaul made by the late Marchionne, who promoted David Sanchez as the aero team leader, now the chief designer.

The novel designs of the sidepods/bargeboards in 2017, the front wing in 2019, and the bathtub solution in 2022 have all been imitated by rival teams. This pattern indicates that the aero team is capable of coming up with innovative solutions whenever there is a new rule change.

However, the team is lagging behind mechanically and lacks the technical leadership required to put all the pieces together. To address this, Vasseur needs to maintain the good patterns while breaking the bad ones.

In the short term, the team needs to understand what RBR is up to and attempt to copy it or get it banned for the following year. Additionally, Elkann needs to consider investing in the team and bringing in big fishes from both RBR and Mercedes who can transfer their chassis and mechanical knowledge to Ferrari.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Fred Schechter!

On this day in motorsport

  • Born on this day in 1955: Two-time F1 race starter Toshio Suzuki


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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 17 comments on “Expect no “slip ups” from Verstappen after second title – Hamilton”

    1. Well done Belgium.

    2. Maybe 2024 for the South African GP return or later.

      First came the tobacco advertisement ban some years ago, now the same with gambling, although only in a single country, but I wonder what next?

      A snowy Silverstone is a rare sight.

      Getting an RB design banned would be unnecessary & getting people from them & or Mercedes would possibly be easier said than done.

      1. Alcohol I guess?

    3. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

      The ONLY reason Low Country Boy won’t “slip up” this year is because Hammy’s ride is not going to be close enough to the front of the grid for Max to take him out!

      But maybe during stops, if the order is shuffled, Max can run him off the circuit for old times sake.

      1. Broccoliface
        10th March 2023, 8:11


      2. @scubaboy To quote Buzz Lightyear: “You are a sad, strange little man”

      3. @scubaboy is this the point where we get the list of all of Hamilton’s contacts from 2022 and Max’s one, and find the commonality between both of those lists (even if Max’s is only one long)?

      4. These are the fans we are waiting for. NOT Funny how people like to talk about the behavior of the max fans.

      5. If ya can’t learn from them prais’em

    4. Thank you for the COTD !

      1. @tifoso1989 well deserved

      2. Well earned and deserved

    5. F1 returning to South Afrida would be nice but the modern Kyalami is sadly just not that good or interesting a circuit and like Hockenheim is a shadow of it’s former self with none of the character that made the original so good.

      The 2 races F1 held on the modern layout in 1992/93 were dull races and i know they have changed the 1st few corners in recent years but i still just don’t see modern big single seaters been especially good around it. I mean even A1GP struggled as those cars were far better for racing.

    6. Yes. And Paul Ricard and Monza and Spa (with their poxy chicanes) and, frankly, Silverstone.
      Needs to earn its place in F1 by being better than what’s already there, not just because Lewis won’t shut up about it.

    7. I don’t understand how status changes how people function. I have seen it on a small level how just one basic domestic rally can get really ugly if money is on the frame. I can’t imagine if the case is about F1 race.

      If something doesn’t work or is on the verge of falling the main reason behind it is money.

    8. Unless the first race was a massive outlier, it doesn’t really matter if Max “slips up”. The performance advantage will easily cover up small mistakes, and the championship advantages are likely to be large enough to accept the occasional larger mistake or issue.

      And that part of why he’s probably not going to “slip up”. There is very little pressure on him this year. No matter the circumstances, he has 2 WDCs already and looks to be in a position to walk a third.

      The one I could see making mistakes this year is Perez. He will be under pressure both to perform well as Max’s wing man and to gain 2nd in the WDC, and he knows Danny is in the wings waiting to take his spot if he doesn’t perform.

    9. No ‘slip ups’ so is it the car or the driver that flatters the talent of a driver? Lewis has been called a fraud, a premadonna, untalented. Apparently only drives well in the best machinery. Unworthy of all his championships. But Max now is Brilliant. A true champion. Its all his talent and nothing to do with the performance of the car. He can eek out 50km/hr extra from any car. Thats how good he is. Oops sorry! from only cars thats more pointy at the front.

    Comments are closed.