Verstappen: precision key to 2023 title
By Ian Parkes
Saturday 4th February, 2023 - 4:30am
Max Verstappen believes Red Bull will need to be more precise in its planning this year in the defence of its Formula 1 titles following last year’s budget cap penalty.
Red Bull set the ball rolling on the new season with a launch in New York on Friday of its RB19, with two-time champion Verstappen joined by team-mate Sergio Perez and Third Driver Daniel Ricciardo.
The car, however, is subject to a 10 percent reduction in its aerodynamic testing allowance throughout this season after Red Bull was found guilty of breaching the $145 million budget cap that was imposed on all teams for 2021.
At the time, Team Principal Christian Horner assessed the punishment could cost the RB19 as much as half a second per lap this season, although eyebrows were raised by his rivals at such a figure.
Addressing the impact the penalty could have on him this season, speaking to invited media including Speedcafe.com, Verstappen said: “Of course, it’s a bit more of a challenge.
“So you have to probably be a little bit more precise in planning, with what you want to try and test, instead of sometimes throwing around a few things and see if it actually improves (the car) or not.
“But we are confident we can deal with that. Of course, there are always things, maybe with a little bit more time, you find a bit more performance.
“I do think if we have a good start to the year, everything should be good but it’s a bit too early to say at the moment.”
One of the key issues with the RB18, despite it scoring 17 wins from 22 grands prix last season, was the fact it was overweight.
Red Bull worked hard throughout the season trying to mitigate the problem, with Verstappen now eager to ensure there is no carryover from 2022 into the new campaign.
“We know one main area last year was the weight of the car, that the car was overweight, so that is our target for this year, to make sure it’s not the same,” assessed the 25-year-old Dutch driver.
“We are confident that will be fixed.
“From there, it’s a lot of other stuff we want to work on. I cannot go into too much detail, of course, about what that is exactly.
“But it’s the same as what I try to work on as a driver. You always try to look at yourself, as to what can you do better.
“You try to come back stronger every single year, even though sometimes of course, that’s a hard task, but it’s the same approach, and at the end of the day, you also have that with the car itself.”
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