Former F1 world champion Jenson Button feels that there could be some ‘epic’ things that take place in 2023 season as teams grow more accustomed to the technical regulation changes from last year.
The constructors’ championship has seldom been a closely-fought affair, with Mercedes enjoying a monopoly on titles for almost a decade till Red Bull broke their run last season.
The Hybrid Era, which began in 2014, has seen Mercedes climb far ahead of its competitors and had it not have been for being ‘enticed down the wrong path’, Mercedes may very well have put up a better showing in 2022 as well.
Such was Mercedes’ dominance from 2014 to 2020 that they won by at least 83 points in every season and the margin of victory was over 250 points on four occasions.
The 2023 season will mark the second under current regulations and Mercedes is unlikely to make the same mistake again.
Apart from this, Red Bull also got a sporting penalty due to overspending on its budget and will have reduced wind tunnel testing time in the upcoming campaign.
All these factors have led Button to believe it will be a three-way tussle next year.
“It’s going to take a couple of years,” Button said.
“Even with the cost cap, for the teams that are closer to the rear to really fight at the front, but it’s possible, definitely. There’s no reason why they can’t, especially if they have the right personnel and the right driver line-up. Anything is possible.
“Three teams would be mega. We all love it when there are more teams involved. When it’s two drivers in the same team fighting for a championship, yeah, it’s fine if the racing is good. But we like other teams.
“We love the teams fighting as well as the drivers. I loved that fight between Toto [Wolff] and Christian [Horner] off-track as well as the action on-track.
“The last time we had three teams was back in 2010, where it was McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull all fighting for the world championship.
“Bring it on. I think we’ll have an epic season next year.”
While Ferrari may have ended with second spot in the constructors’ championship, Red Bull is still most careful when it comes to Mercedes.
Speaking ahead of the 2023 season, Red Bull technical advisor Helmut Marko agreed that Mercedes was likeliest to give the Austrian sports drink company a hard time.
“They are the more stable team. And they have Hamilton,” Marko said.
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