Watch: Max Verstappen incredibly relaxed ahead of title defence

Max Verstappen enters 2023 having broken the records for most wins and most points scored in a single season last year.

Double World Champion Max Verstappen enters this weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix more chilled and relaxed than ever seen before, with the Dutchman having caused chaos during the pre-weekend press conference on Thursday.

Given how dominant he was in 2022 and how strong pre-season testing was for Red Bull, it’s completely understandable why the 25-year-old might be feeling on top of the world.

His relaxed mood was evident during the pre-weekend press conference, where he was joined by former team-mate Pierre Gasly, Zhou Guanyu, Charles Leclerc, and George Russell.

With all Covid-19 restrictions having been lifted at the pinnacle of motorsport, the championship has ditched the individual chairs for the press conferences, with a white sofa having been put in its place.

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Seeing the drivers all sat on the same sofa gave off somewhat chat show vibes, something Verstappen was clearly a fan of.

The reigning World Champion seemingly spent more time chatting to the other drivers on the sofa, than he did talking to host Tom Clarkson, with Verstappen’s antics having been clipped together and posted on social media.

He is supremely confident ahead of the new season, with the Red Bull star having revealed that the Austrians have improved their car “everywhere”.

This will likely send chills down their rivals’ spines, given just how dominant they were last season.

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Whether Verstappen can repeat his 2022 dominance this season remains to be seen, with him having never actually won at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Winning in Bahrain isn’t necessarily a good thing, though, with the winner of the Bahrain GP having usually gone on to not win the title.

If pre-season testing is anything to go by then the chances are Verstappen will be challenging for the victory this weekend, with the RB19 already feeling “well balanced”.

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โ€œEverywhere,” Verstappen revealed during the pre-weekend press conference when asked where the team have improved the car.

“Thatโ€™s the aim I mean you always try and improve it. It feels nice, well balanced of course and every team of course lost a bit of performance with the floor but you always try and gain it back in a way.

โ€œSo you have to of course find a new balance with the car but itโ€™s been good.โ€