the dutch max verstappen and your team Red Bull starts again as favorites to win the titles of the 2023 Formula 1 World Cupa year for which Fernando Alonso has recovered the illusion with Aston Martin and hopes to be at the level of Mercedes and Ferrari, which should be the options to break the monopoly of the Austrian team, with a Carlos Sainz ready to step up.
It seems that the world which starts this Friday at the Bahrain International Circuit will follow the same paths as last year, with a very domineering ‘Mad Max’ on paper. The two-time world champion dominated the first day of the official pre-season tests at Sakhir with his RB23, while on his second and last day of testing he came very close to a surprising Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo).
Verstappen is willing to convert the ‘great circus‘ back in their ‘garden’, without giving the rest options from the start. In 2022 he raised the record for wins in a single season to 15, and prevailed by 146 points over charles leclerc (Ferrari). In addition, his superiority, together with the support of his reliable squire Sergio Perezallowed those of the energy drink to break the dominance of Mercedes in the Constructors’ World Championship, which they had won in the previous eight years.
His more strategic and cold character, without losing his somewhat ‘crazy’ essence behind the wheel, make him a pilot with no apparent weaknesses, together with an RB23 that does not seem to be going to turn his back on him and that sets the bar for the rest of the applicants. Only two teams start as serious candidates to conquer their throne, Ferrari and Mercedes, with the task of preventing Red Bull from repeating or improving the golden four-year period (2010-2013) with four ‘doublets’ (World Championship for drivers and constructors in the same year ) thanks to the retired Sebastian Vettel.
The ‘Scuderia’ is facing the umpteenth opportunity to show that it is the competitive team that has not been seen on the track since 2007, when its pilot Kimi Raikkonen became world champion. His commitment does not stop and this season, with Fréderic Vasseur as team leader, he repeats the Leclerc-Sainz formula to storm the crown. In preseason, the Italians were consistent and showed some improvement in reliability that doomed them in 2022.
Bahrain GP schedule
Friday March 3
Free practice 1: 12.30 – 13.30 hours
Free practice 2: 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday March 4
Free practice 3: 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Classification: 4:00 p.m.
Sunday March 5
Race: 4:00 p.m. (57 laps)