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Verstappen: Hamilton can take the title in 2023

Verstappen won two back to back world championships in 2021 and 2022

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Red Bull’s Max Verstappen says the 2023 title is as good Lewis Hamilton’s as it is his. The Dutchman is not overlooking the ability of the top teams and drivers to compete against Red Bull.

Max Verstappen claimed his 2nd world championship early at the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix (Image credit: F1 official website)

The 25-year-old dominated in 2022 with 454 points and a 146 gap to Charles Leclerc in P2. He also broke the record for most wins in a single season, with 15. It’s safe to say Verstappen dominated the 2022 season. 

However he spoke exclusively to Sky Sports at the RB19 launch in New York and said how he thinks it’s fair game this year. Verstappen highlighted Hamilton’s chances next year as well as the chances of other drivers from top teams.

“He’s [Lewis Hamilton] been one of the greatest drivers ever in the sport, so for sure if he has the car to do it, he can fight for the title again,” said Verstappen of Hamilton.

“But that’s the same for George [Russell, Hamilton’s team-mate]. it’s the same for Charles [Leclerc, Ferrari], it’s the same for Lando [Norris, McLaren] – if you give them the car that’s capable of winning the championship, they can.”

“But it’s also about when you have the car then the pressure comes you cannot afford big mistakes.

“That’s a bit of a different pressure you have but I’m confident once these guys get onto a roll like that it is all possible, they all have talent to do so.”

Verstappen also spoke on Red Bull’s chances in 2023 given the cost cap penalty. 

“You always try to go for it, but I don’t know if we’re going to be good enough. Of course as a team we believe we are, we are very motivated, we come off the back of a very strong year and we are working flat out to try and achieve that.”

Strongest teams in 2023

The Dutchman is optimistic of Red Bull’s chances for the 2023 season. However, he sees that Mercedes and Ferrari both have good chances to rival the Milton-Keynes team. He spoke at the launch saying:

“I think even at the end of the year it looked like sometimes they [Mercedes] had it together, and sometimes not. So, from my side, it’s difficult to say because I’m not part of the team, but I guess we’ll find out this year. If they fully understand everything they wanted to improve on the car, of course, they will be our main rival,”

“But I think Ferrari will be strong – but how strong is difficult to say. But Mercedes have shown of course over the last few years that they’ve been really, really, really strong, but they have a good group of people as well.

“I trust in my people at Milton Keynes that they can build a very strong car together with an engine as well. I hope that we again have a strong package against them.”

Headline Image Credit: Getty Images 

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