Last season, the Formula One world championship was all about one man, Max Verstappen. The Flying Dutchman broke the record for the number of wins in one campaign as he romped to a second consecutive title, and he did so without a certain Abu Dhabi 2021-sized shadow hanging over him. Both he and his team kept their cool throughout the early part of the season, where Ferrari dominated, and eventually came roaring back to life.
His team, Red Bull Racing, has implemented a number of F1 tech innovations throughout the close season and if you thought their 2022 car was impressive, you should see their car this season. They have stormed to three consecutive victories so far this term, and they look head and shoulders better than the rest of the grid. Super Max was on top form during free practice in Azerbaijan, and he was at the top of the time sheets once again. As such, it begs the question, can anyone stop them and their lead driver and reigning back-to-back world champion?
Civil War Brewing?
It seems that the only man that may be able to half Super Max in his tracks is his teammate, Sergio Perez. The Mexican veteran has put the team and his teammate above his own interests throughout his last two years with Red Bull, however, he came out fighting following his victory in Saudi Arabia. Last term, Verstappen was asked to pull over and let his teammate pass in Brazil so that he could secure second place in the world championship. He didn’t comply, and now Perez could be on the hunt for revenge. Should the Milton Keynes-based outfit find itself way out front in both the driver’s and the constructor’s championships, Christian Horner may well let his teammates go head to head for glory, and Mexico’s finest export will be highly motivated to secure his maiden crown.
Veterans Come to the Fore
Another talking point so far this term has been the return of Fernando Alonso to the front of the grid. He made the shocking decision to swap Alpine for Aston Martin last season, and it looks like an inspired choice. He has picked up three consecutive third-place finishes so far this term. Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who regularly shows his face at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, is also highly motivated. His current run of 27 races without a victory is the longest barren spell of his career. However, he recently picked up a second-place finish down under, and he will be aiming to return to the top step of the podium sooner rather than later.