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
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…
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