Max Verstappen expects Mercedes to play catch-up in 2023

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Max Verstappen says once teams get the regulations wrong they’re “always behind” and then they “have to try and catch up”, but “while they try to catch up, we’re also trying to improve”.

The first year of the new F1 regulations wasn’t easy for Mercedes. While Red Bull and Ferrari hit the ground running immediately, it took Mercedes until the second half of the season to be able to show real signs of improvement and occasionally join the fight at the top.

Now the German team is working hard to be able to completely close the gap to Red Bull, but Max Verstappen says they will still be playing catch-up once the season starts.

“You see this when the regulations change and some teams hit it spot on,” the Dutchman told Viaplay.

“Once you hit it spot on and you know what you are doing, you more or less work from there and you make small steps.

“But when you get it wrong, you really have to reinvent and try again and you’re always behind and then you have to try and catch up.”

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Max then explained the same thing happened to Red Bull in the turbo hybrid era.

“You saw that with us in that it took a few years [to get back to the top].

“We didn’t have a good engine but once we had that sorted out, we worked on the car and once you bring all that together you are finally more or less there. But it took us a few years.

“Maybe with these regulations, it is less complex but you are still on the backfoot and you need to catch up. But while they try to catch up, we’re also trying to improve.

“So that’s what we have to try and keep doing and hopefully show that again [this year],” Verstappen concluded.

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