Johnny Herbert believes Max Verstappen won’t have it all his own way in Formula 1 2023 and hopes to see a closer title fight compared to last year.
Red Bull and Ferrari went head-to-head in the first half of the season before mistakes and reliability issues from the Italian team saw the championship go Verstappen‘s way.
The Dutchman won a record-breaking 15 races during his second title campaign whilst his big rival from 2021, Lewis Hamilton, failed to win a race in a season for the first time in his F1 career.
“It’s not going to be all Max’s way,” Herbert exclusively told Total-Motorsport.com. “But he’s not going to make it very easy!
“We want those two cars in the mix with Red Bull but also Ferrari to be in that mix as well.
“Last year started off where Mercedes weren’t in the mix, Ferrari were. That evaporated and it was a one-horse race, now we want a six-car race.”
Mercedes and Red Bull have won the last 13 drivers and constructors’ titles, stretching back to 2010.
Meanwhile, Ferrari haven’t won a title since 2008, when they won the constructors’ championship, and Kimi Raikkonen remains their last champion in 2007.
Charles Leclerc is widely seen as Ferrari‘s best hope to lead them to a title and Herbert thinks the Monegasque driver will be keen to iron out the mistakes he made in 2022.
“Sometimes there is a lot of optimism for a driver going into a new season because some positive things have happened over the winter, especially when you struggled a little bit last year.” added Herbert.
“For example, Charles Leclerc with Ferrari started so strong, then they had a few issues with strategy.
“Charles made a few mistakes as well, which is something he’s got to try and avoid. The likes of Max and Lewis don’t do that, or hardly at all.”