Instead, the World Champion can see Ferrari constructing on their promising pre-season and getting into the combination for race wins and doubtlessly even titles. Max Verstappen and Hamilton had been in a category in their personal closing yr with 19 of the 22 grand Prix victories between them. Valtteri Bottas, who finished third in the Drivers’ standings, ended up a large 161.5 points in the back of his then Mercedes team-mate, Hamilton.
But with the brand new season has come heavily revised regulations, designed to tighten up the sphere. As all the vehicles are trendy, there were hints other teams may want to trap up on Mercedes and Red Bull, who needed to preserve some recognition on their 2021 war instead of pitching all their development attention forwards.
Ferrari look the constructor most probable to have made a enormous soar, based totally on their consistency close to the pinnacle of the leaderboard at some point of pre-season testing to date.
That has now not long gone overlooked via Verstappen.
Lewis Hamilton congratulates Max Verstappen. Abu Dhabi December 2021.
Asked if Hamilton may be the only to overcome again this year, the Dutchman instructed Sky Germany: “I don’t think so. Ferrari also appeared robust this yr, at least now in the tests.
“It’s hard to decide the others. Some teams still get some enhancements before the first race.”
On whether or not it will be a three-manner fight, Mercedes vs Ferrari vs Red Bull, the 24-12 months-vintage added: “It‘s difficult to say. So some distance, the Ferrari appearance sturdy. Mercedes will continually be there. For us, it seems advantageous.”
Verstappen was additionally quizzed approximately the current settlement extension he signed, which ties him to Red Bull till 2028 and is said to have driven his profits up towards that of Hamilton at Mercedes.
“At the give up, it becomes a clean choice,” stated Verstappen, who is about to start his eighth season in Formula 1.
“For a long time, I experience exactly within the team. That‘s crucial for turning in the right consequences. And it‘s also critical to have a laugh, which I actually have here. It suits when you consider that a long term. Red Bull is like a second circle of relatives.”
Verstappen answered “maybe” whilst requesting if he can imagine finishing his profession at Red Bull.
Or may want to he envisage competing for some other group?
He answered: “At the quit of my contract, I am 31. Then I did a few years in F1. Let‘s see if I will hold or not after that.”