As pre-season testing concluded in Bahrain on Saturday, Max Verstappen exuded confidence about the upcoming Formula One season.
The Dutchman is the overwhelming favorite to win a third world title at the same track next weekend, and he was positively gushing about his team’s progress after three days at Sakhir.
“It’s been fantastic,” Verstappen said. “The car is in excellent condition. We were just going through a lot of different things we wanted to try. In general, I enjoy driving the car.
“We had really good test days and learned a lot, so hopefully we can start the weekend strong and see where we end up. We are pleased with our progress.”
Verstappen and his closest rival from last year, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, were sitting next to each other in the official news conference midway through Saturday’s final day of testing.
They were asked how they saw their chances for the record-breaking 23-race season in 2023, and their responses were as revealing as they were stark in contrast.
Leclerc echoed the sentiments of many in F1 as the season’s first race approached.
“I think we have some work to do,” Leclerc admitted. “Red Bull appears to be on a roll these three days.
Verstappen was unflappable. “Our goal is to win – and only win the championship,” he stated.