Verstappen and Red Bull are unbeatable
At the end of a record-breaking 2022 season, Max Verstappen retained his world title with consistent mastery. The Dutchman’s dominance also allowed Red Bull to regain the top spot in the team’s championship. Although a little disappointed not to see Sergio Perez get the double, the results for the Austrians are definitely very positive. Christian Horner’s men will be back-to-back favourites, hoping that the minor late-season tension doesn’t resurface with the return of winter.
Red Bull Racing (2022 Constructors’ Champion, 759 points): Bulls sweep the competition
Red Bull, 205 points ahead of second, were never troubled by Ferrari. The Italians, who returned to the front of the stage at the beginning of the season, could not maintain the distance against Max Verstappen and his team. It must be said that the infernal rhythm offered by the Austrian team did not allow any team to follow them. With more than 30 points in 17 weekends, Helmut Marko’s men quickly pocketed the constructors’ title they had been chasing for almost 10 years (last time in 2013 with Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber). The perfectly designed Red Bull 2022 version allowed its users to be fast on any circuit and in any weather.
Unbeaten on the track, the Milton Keynes team had to deal with matters outside the competition. First, they exceeded the budget limits in 2021 by several million euros. A financial and sporting sanction was decided by the commissioners dealing with the file, but the decision caused controversy in the paddock. Red Bull believed it was too harsh, as rivals demanded a harsher penalty. Then the famous energy drink brand lost its founder: Dietrich Mateschitz. To honor him, Max Verstappen won the US Grand Prix in Austin the next day. Ultimately, the tension between the two teammates at the end of the season proved to be no good between the world champions. In Brazil, Max Verstappen did not give up the 6th place to Sergio Perez in the fight for the second place in the championship. The Dutchman got “revenge” for qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix last May, where the Mexican would have deliberately caused a yellow flag to keep him on the front row. Two-time world champion Red Bull’s major flaws are not visible, but be careful that late-season appearances don’t add up in the winter.
Max Verstappen (2022 Drivers’ Champion, 454 points): Super Max in recording mode
What selector is used for such an achievement? In 2022, Max Verstappen was not only dominant, he was literally untouchable. Undefeated when leading the race, the Dutchman managed to calm his desire to score valuable points in the championship. More mature than a few years ago, the current world champion has lost none of his talent to win his second world crown. Having won 15 out of 23 races, the Batavian broke the record previously held by Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher (13 wins in one season) by two points. If there is nothing to say about Max Verstappen’s pilot, the human side of the now two-time world champion still does not please everyone. For example, the Red Bull leader’s radio messages are in question when something goes wrong. For example, after stopping for more than 11 seconds in Austin, Super Max It wasn’t kind when he had a high-performance car in hand that allowed him to win a Grand Prix. But that’s what makes Max Verstappen so charming, his constant desire for everything to be perfect. It will be on the track in 2022.
“A champion? Not a champion?” ?
Even Max had to be convinced! ?#JapanGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/kiJXb283RN
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 9, 2022
Sergio Perez (3rd, 305 points): Red Bull found Valtteri Bottas
For too long, Max Verstappen was lonely at the front, forced to fight against two Mercedes. But since coming to Sergio Perez, the Dutchman has found a teammate with the ability to stay close to him, protect him from his pursuers and play several different strategies to win. It brings to mind another iconic duo of recent years, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. Although he has always shown his ambition to become a world champion, the Finn has always rolled in the shadow of the seven-time world champion. This is what happened to the idol of the Mexican people. The owner of the N°11, a two-time winner this season, had his hour of glory on the narrow streets of Monaco. The success in the principality comes just days after he was extended at Red Bull for next season. Very consistent, Sergio Perez missed Charles Leclerc’s second place by just 3 points, which would have allowed Red Bull to complete a historic double in the drivers’ championship. At the end of the season, the Mexican, who was not helped by Max Verstappen, showed all his nerves in the performance of the Brazilian GP. “We see who he really is“, he fell, especially on the radio. Seeing the lack of support from the two-time world champion, Sergio Perez could assert himself even more next year to challenge the Dutchman’s hegemony. But it would be surprising if Red Bull accepted this little internal struggle.
? “Shows who he really is…”
When Max Verstappen did not allow Sergio Perez to go to Brazil ❌
Guaranteed atmosphere in Abu Dhabi? ? pic.twitter.com/CWEEZjbvnI
— CANAL+ F1® (@CanalplusF1) November 15, 2022
Season 2023: conquering the hat-trick
Ferrari and Mercedes will also be back, but Red Bull is already the big favorite in their line-up. The Austrian team, despite restricting the use of the wind tunnel, seems to have enough of an advantage to limit the impact of the penalty. With Max Verstappen looking for a third world crown, Christian Horner’s men will be doing everything they can to reach the Netherlands. Among the few questions surrounding the Austrians remains the matter of Sergio Perez. Will the Mexican play more privates next year after losing second place in the championship? Helmut Marko will have to find the right words to clarify this situation, if he hasn’t already. It would be surprising, even illogical, to put the two men together, as Max Verstappen is a natural leader who represents the team’s past, present and, above all, its future. A future that could be glorious if Batavian continues at this hellish pace.