Max Verstappen gives thoughts on Mercedes’ testing performance

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Max Verstappen says he is not surprised that Mercedes decided to stick with their ‘zero sidepods’ concept, and adds “you never know what they will find in a few days”.

After the end of 2023 Pre-Season Testing, most observers think Red Bull are the clear favourites this season.

Dutch branch of talked to Max Verstappen on day 3 of testing, and asked him if it was only a matter of time before he becomes the 2023 champion.

“I think it is still much too early for that,” Verstappen said.

“But the test days are positive in any case. The balance of the car was good from the start and then you can try a lot of things with the set-up, going extreme left and extreme right, so to speak.

“That’s nice because you learn a lot of things that way.”

Mercedes on the other hand did not completely impress, although on the last day Lewis Hamilton managed to put in a respectable time to finish second in testing overall.

Verstappen was asked if he was surprised to see Mercedes stick to their 2022 ‘zero sidepods’ car concept.

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“No, not really,” the Dutch driver said.

“Because if you have to develop a whole new concept during the winter, that’s very difficult.”

Asked to give his impression on how Mercedes was doing (before Lewis put in his fastest time in the afternoon session), Verstappen said:

“I haven’t looked at them that much to be honest. But it didn’t always look very comfortable so far.

“Of course you never know what they will find in a few days towards next week.”

Asked who he expects to be Red Bull’s main rival at the Bahrain Grand Prix next week – Mercedes or Ferrari, Max said:

“At the moment I find it difficult to say, but I mainly look at ourselves anyway.”

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