Spa could be ’easiest win’ of 2023 for Verstappen
"The track plays into our hands"
Red Bull and Max Verstappen are not ruling out an easy romp to victory this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, even with the five-place grid penalty for F1’s Belgian Grand Prix after taking an extra gearbox.
At the tight, twisty Hungaroring a week ago - theoretically not the best circuit for the dominant 2023 car - the Dutchman won by a whopping 33 seconds.
And Red Bull top official Dr Helmut Marko said this week that the two-time world champion, who is cruising to his third consecutive title, could have gone even faster.
So as the Belgian GP weekend kicked off at the fabled, high speed Spa circuit, where Red Bull’s DRS advantage is expected to be massive, Marko said: "In theory, this should be our easiest win of the season.
"The track plays into our hands and Max is becoming more and more confident," the 80-year-old told Kleine Zeitung newspaper.
"But on a sprint weekend it always depends on the setup. Often the theoretically easiest victories are the most difficult."
Verstappen, though, doesn’t seem concerned about that, and he is even hoping for a "lonely" race at the front rather than a thrilling wheel-to-wheel battle.
"I like solo races," he smiled on Thursday.
"Of course it’s better for the sport if there is tension, but personally I prefer that gap with the competition. I don’t mind racing, but I’ve done that often enough in my career and I don’t necessarily have to."
When asked if he can do anything to make Formula 1 a more interesting battle at the front in 2023, Verstappen then laughed: "Maybe I shouldn’t come to a few races."
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