Max Verstappen sends warning to rivals

Max Verstappen is gunning to win his third consecutive Formula 1 championship in 2023.

Double World Champion Max Verstappen has sent a terrifying warning to his rivals, by revealing that Red Bull have improved “everywhere” ahead of this weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Red Bull looked sensational during pre-season testing last week in Bahrain, with it having looked like the most comfortable and balanced car by far.

The vast majority of the paddock has tipped Verstappen and the Milton Keynes-based team as the duo to beat come the season opener, with it being easy to see why.

Verstappen has looked so chilled and relaxed ahead of the start of 2023, despite the fact he could match the likes of Ayrton Senna and Niki Lauda as a three-time World Champion, should he win a third consecutive championship.

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The 25-year-old admitted that his side enjoyed a “very good” winter but is aware that they must “continue to develop”.

“We had three really good days, I think in general the progress we made over the winter was very good,” Verstappen said.

“But we have to show it this weekend and not only this weekend but we have to continue to develop.”

Mercedes driver George Russell has gone as far as suggesting that Red Bull are entering 2023 in a ‘league of its own’, something which might be the case given that the Austrians have introduced an even stronger car for this season.

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It is very difficult to look past the Austrians for victory, with Verstappen having even revealed that the RB19 feels “well balanced”.

“Everywhere,” Verstappen revealed in the pre-weekend press conference when asked where Red Bull has improved.

“That is the aim. You always try to improve it. It feels nice, well balanced.

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“Of course, every team lost a bit of performance with the floor but you always try to gain that back in a way.

“So there is a bit of a new balance with the car but it has been good.”

Ferrari appear to be the only side who might be able to challenge Red Bull in Bahrain, especially given that the reigning Constructors’ Champions are unsure how quick the Maranello-based side will be.