RACE DEBRIEF

    F1 world champion Max Verstappen says he has full confidence Red Bull can produce a competitive car for the 2023 season, despite the squad being hit with financial and sporting penalties for a breach of the cost cap regulations.

    Verstappen made it back-to-back titles with his 2022 triumph, while Red Bull won their first constructors’ crown since 2013, in what was a dominant display from driver and team during the first year of F1’s new era of technical regulations.

    READ MORE: Lawrence Barretto’s 5 bold predictions for the 2023 season – how many of these will come true?

    However, Red Bull will enter the new season with wind tunnel testing restrictions and CFD limitations, having also paid $7million to the FIA, raising questions over their ability to keep the likes of Ferrari and a recovering Mercedes behind them.

    But while Verstappen expects the team to take a hit in 2023, he expressed his full confidence in the workforce at Milton Keynes and suggested that they will use their sanctions as “extra motivation” to remain at the top of the F1 pecking order.

    verstappen donuts.jpg
    Verstappen became a double world champion in 2022, while Red Bull secured their fifth F1 constructors’ championship

    “Well, I mean, it will affect us, but how much? I don’t know yet,” said Verstappen, when asked about the cost cap penalty towards the end of the 2022 season, and the impact it could have on Red Bull’s performance moving forward.

    “I’m confident that the team, and the people we have, can use that as extra motivation to try and do even better. I know, of course, they always give their best.

    READ MORE: ‘Can he improve? Yes, of course he can’ – Red Bull tip Verstappen to get even better in 2023

    “But we have a very competitive car, we have a lot of great ideas, I think, already for next year as well with the car, and hopefully it’s going to be enough.”

    Verstappen claimed a record 15 race wins last year, with Sergio Perez bringing Red Bull’s total to 17. The pair will continue as team mates for a third season in 2023.