Max Verstappen handed boost as Red Bull to use ‘lightweight chassis’ in Bahrain GP

Max Verstappen enters 2023 on the back of having broken the record for most wins and most points scored in a season in 2022.

Sky Sports F1 reporter Ted Kravitz believes double World Champion Max Verstappen will benefit from Red Bull’s three-part “secret weapon” in 2023, with the Dutchman’s immense talent being the final part of it.

The Milton Keynes-based side enter this weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix as the favourites for both the first victory of the season and the 2023 title, with the outfit having enjoyed a superb pre-season.

Red Bull looked sensational during pre-season testing, with Verstappen in particular having already looked incredibly comfortable behind the wheel of the RB19.

Their chassis in particular looked great and very well balanced, with this being the first part of their weapon, according to Kravitz.

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“Red Bull will start with the lightweight chassis that they introduced and designed and we think never raced towards the end of the year [2022],” the Sky Sports reporter said.

“They’ll start with that as a base. They will develop that, so it will be underweight and they can ballast it up to meet the weight limit.”

The next part of Red Bull’s weapon is that they’d already done the “academic work” to improve the RB19, before they were slapped with their penalty for breaching the 2021 budget cap.

Red Bull’s penalty isn’t expected to really hit them until the end of the season, given that they’d already completed the majority of the work on the RB19 before starting to serve their 10-percent wind tunnel reduction.

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“Benefit two, they will have done all the academic work and design before the restrictions they had on the accepted breach agreement of their cost cap restrictions came in, their penalty for that,” Kravitz added.

“So they’ve done all the work before that even comes in and towards the end of this year and next year it will start to bite.”

The final part of their weapon is Verstappen himself, whom Kravitz rates as the “best driver on the grid” at the moment.

It’s incredibly difficult to argue with that, given that the 25-year-old broke the record last season for the most wins and points scored in a single season.

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With all three parts combined, Kravitz believes the Austrians will be “nigh on unbeatable” this season, something only time will tell.

“And number three, they have the best driver on the grid in terms of form at the moment,” Kravitz continued. “Even considering Lewis Hamilton.

“As we haven’t seen the championship form of Lewis yet because he hasn’t been in the championship [fight] since the end of 2021, which we know what happened then. Max Verstappen is bang in form and I think that is the third part of a secret weapon that should make them nigh on unbeatable.”