Max Verstappen’s emphatic victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix saw him wrap up the F1 season on a positive note after dominating proceedings for the entire campaign. The Dutchman earned more than double the points tally of Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez and will be the hot favourite to make it four titles in a row in 2024.
However, it remains to be seen whether the likes of Lewis Hamilton or Lando Norris will be able to challenge Verstappen for next year’s end-of-season honours. The former is still chasing an eighth world title but will need Mercedes to give him a quicker car in order to rival Red Bull for victories on a consistent basis.
Norris, meanwhile, could be set to emerge as Verstappen’s closest contender if McLaren keep developing their car on an upward trajectory. The Woking squad have come on leaps and bounds over the last few months and will have high hopes of pulling off a surprise title challenge when next season gets underway.
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Mercedes launch brake issue investigation
Mercedes are investigating a brake issue that Lewis Hamilton suffered during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix over fears that it could affect their development of next year’s car.
Head of race strategy, Rosie Wait, confirmed the problem was being looked into in a video released by the Silver Arrows.
She explained: “Lewis was managing brake issues throughout the race, which was a real reliability concern, so our number one priority was making sure that we got that car to the finish and didn’t have to retire it.
“That will have affected his performance to varying degrees throughout the race and is something that we are certainly working on to improve for next year’s car.”
Horner confirms Hamilton fear about Red Bull
Christian Horner has revealed that Red Bull have been developing their 2024 challenger since the midpoint of this year.
It comes after Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton suggested that Red Bull had not touched their existing car since the summer due to their sheer dominance over the rest of the field.
Horner said: “Thankfully, we had a good base to start because if we’d have been consumed with the very limited amount of wind tunnel we had in terms of developing RB19, it would really compromise us very badly on to RB20.
“Because we had a great starting block with ’19 enabled us to apply the limited amount of resource that we had available to RB20 reasonably early for us, while spinning both plates. That’s why development has been very frugal on this car really since the middle of the year.”
Hello and welcome to Express Sport‘s rolling coverage of the latest F1 news as the dust continues to settle on the 2023 season.
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