Mar.3 (GMM) F1 legend Gerhard Berger says it is “dangerous” for Red Bull to assume it is the clearly dominant team heading into the 2023 season.
As the sport’s players re-gathered in Bahrain on Thursday ahead of the first race, the feeling that back-to-back world champion Max Verstappen is the runaway favourite is unanimous.
“I’m already hearing people say it will be a very boring season,” former F1 driver and now Dutch GP boss Jan Lammers told De Telegraaf.
According to Krone newspaper, Austrian Berger – famously close to Red Bull – added: “Red Bull is the favourite.
“But when everything looks so clear, it is also dangerous. There is usually competition coming from somewhere.”
Berger actually thinks the Ferrari looks “very fast” on a single lap, whilst seeming to also struggle with tyre wear over a longer stint.
When asked about the impression that Red Bull is dominant whilst Ferrari’s tyres degrade too much, Carlos Sainz told Spanish reporters on Thursday: “If everything is already known, why are you interviewing me?”
What has also become relatively clear, however, is that Aston Martin’s step forward has been so big over the winter that some think a green car could beat Mercedes and Ferrari on Sunday.
“I think they tried to hide their excitement,” Ferrari driver Sainz smiled, “but honestly the rumours have been going since December and it reached all the teams.
“So what we saw in the tests is more or less what we all expected. It must have been so, so good that they couldn’t hide it.”
Mercedes’ George Russell, however, insists he is not too downbeat that his new car might only be in a “nice fight for second place” this weekend.