Mika Hakkinen is of the opinion that it will not be a task that is “straightforward” for Max Verstappen to maintain the level of dominance that he demonstrated in 2022, given the opportunities that other players will have to close the gap.
teammate Sergio Perez only won two races using the same equipment.
Verstappen cruised to title glory with races to spare, eventually taking top spot by a whopping 146 points – or almost five race victories’ worth of points – despite Ferrari’s F1-75 being more than a match for Red Bull’s RB18 for the majority of the season.
Given that the new regulations in Formula 1 were implemented in the hope of eventually bringing the field closer together, Hakkinen, a fellow two-time champion, believes there are opportunities for others to close the gap. As a result of the Dutchman’s form throughout the year, it will be incumbent on the rest of the field to catch up to the benchmark.
At the London launch of the new F1 Arcade, Hakkinen told Sky Sports, “He has done a great job with a great team, with the great engineers and designers, including Adrian.
Even though he is a great driver, I don’t think it’s so straightforward that way that he will continue to dominate.I’m sure there will be some surprises, but from where exactly?I’m not sure.”
Verstappen quickly responded when asked by Sky Sports F1 in Abu Dhabi if he anticipated 15 victories this season:Absolutely not.
I already said, “If I can have a season like this again, that would be amazing,” after last year.Again, incredible, but also the team effort as a whole, which has been really fun to be a part of.
Ultimately, you are attempting to always push for more.I mean, it is never adequate.
This year, Verstappen won the Formula One drivers’ championship for the second time in a row, winning it with four races remaining to set a new record of 15 wins in a single season.
Red Bull won its first constructors’ championship since 2013 thanks to Verstappen’s leadership, and Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez finished third in the standings with two victories.
Red Bull surged ahead in the second half of the season, failing to win any of the remaining 11 races, after spending the first half of the season in a performance battle with Ferrari.It set a new F1 record at the end of the year with 759 points and 17 victories.
Despite a late decision to concentrate on developing the RB18 car for 2022 during a fierce battle with Mercedes for last year’s championship, Red Bull achieved success.
Reflecting on the team’s campaign, Red Bull F1 chief Horner stated, “I think as a team, we got these regulations right.” He continued:I don’t think anyone could have foreseen what has transpired this year on and off the track if you had offered us this at the beginning of the season, when we really felt like we were on the back foot due to the most significant change in regulations in the last 40 years.