As a result of Max Verstappen’s race win last weekend’s United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, Mercedes Mercedes’ eight-year dominance came to an end, as the Austrian side secured the 2022 Formula 1 Constructors’ Champions. Former Mercedes driver and 2016 World Champion Nico Rosberg feels this season could be the start of a run of domination from Red Bull for the next F1 campaigns.
Scuderia Ferrari seemed to be able to challenge Red Bull in the start of the season, with Charles Leclerc winning two of the first three rounds this year, but gradually slipped back due to reliability problems and a series of poor strategical decisions, up to the point of also falling behind the RB18 cars in terms of performance on track. Mercedes has not been involved in the duel for the F1 world titles this season, but look to be fixing their issues in view of 2023. Yet Nico Rosberg warned that it will be “very difficult” for Mercedes and the Italian side to defeat the Milton Keynes-based team next championship:
“Red Bull are the dominant force at the moment in the way that Mercedes were in all these past years. Securing that Constructors’ Championship as well so early, also having such a dominant team in every area at the moment, just as Mercedes had.” – the 2016 F1 world champion said on Sky Sports’ Any Driven Monday
The only aspect in which Scuderia Ferrari have out-classed Red Bull is one lap pace, with the Maranello team taking its 12th pole position last weekend at the Circuit of the Americas, but Nico Rosberg pointed out that the combination of Max Verstappen and the RB18 has been unbeatable this season.
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“They have the car, they have the development rate during a season, reliability now, they have the driver who’s the best or the equal best in F1 right now, they have the strategy – always nailing it all the time. It’s just all coming together in an incredible way, the engine seems to be awesome too. It’s definitely in a period now where it’s going to be so difficult for any other team to come close again, even next year, the way it’s going at the moment because they have such momentum.” – the former F1 driver added.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has already admitted that the team will make many changes to their 2023 challenger, with Nico Rosberg pointing out that their main focus should be on improving their straight-line speed.
“It’s going to be really tough for Ferrari, or even Mercedes to get closer. For Mercedes, the Achilles heel is that straight-line pace; my goodness are they slow on a straight, especially compared to Red Bull. I really hope they manage to find the secret there to unlock some pace down the straights.” – he concluded.
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