Nov.24 (GMM) Max Verstappen is heading into his winter break vowing to keep the coveted number 1 on his Red Bull for 2023.
Throughout his title reign, Lewis Hamilton opted to keep wearing his personal number 44.
“Yes, I’ll compete again with the 1,” Verstappen, 25, is quoted by Speed Week.
“For me that’s the best race number, because how many times can you compete with the number of the champion? As long as I can successfully defend my title, nothing will change.
“I can drive with 33 again soon enough.”
Like his son, Verstappen’s famous father Jos isn’t sure how easy it will be for Max to defend his title next year.
“The field will move closer together again, which is ultimately the goal of the regulations and this new generation of cars,” he told Viaplay.
“That does not bother me. Good duels and an exciting season right to the end are fantastic.”
Indeed, they have enough to celebrate already – especially as Forbes magazine says Verstappen has now raced past Hamilton in the annual earning game with his estimated $60 million haul in 2022.
“I’m assuming a three-way battle next year,” former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher told Sky Deutschland.
“I’m a bit surprised that Mercedes struggled again in Abu Dhabi so obviously their problems have not yet been fully recognised.”
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, however, is impressed with the way Mercedes upped its game in the latter phase of the 2022 season.
“I don’t know how they did it, but they improved the car more than anyone,” he told DAZN. “Next year it will again be a fight of six drivers and three cars.”
Formula 1 also may now enter the off-season period with some political calm, as Toto Wolff’s controversial former lawyer Shaila-Ann Rao has stepped down as interim FIA secretary general.
Miami Grand Prix
Join Grand Prix Tours as we head to Miami, Florida for the 2023 Miami Grand Prix. Located in vibrant Miami, encircling Hardrock Stadium, this is a premier event with limited attendance and will sell out fast!
2023 marks the historic 80th anniversary of the iconic Monaco Grand Prix. Widely considered to be one of the most important and prestigious automobile races in the world the Monaco Grand Prix is still truly the crown jewel of Formula 1.