Red Bull Racing advisor Helmut Marko feels the Max Verstappen-Lewis Hamilton rivalry for the world championship will be renewed again in 2023. The duo enthralled Formula 1 fans in 2021 with a title battle for the ages, which saw them enter the season finale tied on points.

In 2022, Mercedes failed to grasp the new aerodynamic regulations, and failed to develop a competitive car. It saw Hamilton and teammate George Russell regularly having to settle for places behind Red Bull and their new title challengers Ferrari.

Red Bull blew away the competition in 2022 with a superior car that has seen them win 16 of the 22 races thus far. Charles Leclerc and Ferrari seemed like genuine title contenders at the start of the campaign, but fell by the wayside as the season progressed owing to problems of their own making.

Verstappen claimed his second world championship with four races to spare, while Red Bull dethroned Mercedes as the Constructors' champions. Leclerc and Ferrari are expected to renew their challenge in 2023, but Marko has put forth Hamilton as the Dutch racer's main rival as he feels the Monegasque is too error prone.

Lewis Hamilton
British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton was named as an investor in the new ownership group of the NFL's Denver Broncos AFP / CHRISTOPHE SIMON

"Leclerc was very strong in qualifying," Marko said recently, as quoted on Grandpx News. "But he was prone to making mistakes."

"I see (Lewis) Hamilton as a stronger challenger for 2023. He has a clear advantage in terms of experience, he can motivate himself incredibly well and I'm also convinced that Mercedes will put a better car on the track next year."

While Verstappen's rivals will be hoping to close the gap on Red Bull, Marko remains certain that the Dutchman is still improving. The two-time champion has shown his racing pedigree, and his ability to deliver consistent performances even under pressure.

"He drives more confidently than ever with more overview of the race overall. At the same time he has developed into a tyre whisperer," the Red Bull advisor added. "He drives on a soft tyre for longer than his competitors on a harder compound. I haven't seen his limit yet."

Meanwhile, the F1 juggernaut arrives in Brazil this weekend for the penultimate race of the 2022 season. Marko expects Ferrari to bounce back after struggling in Mexico last time out, but Verstappen will again enter the weekend as the overwhelming favourite to claim his 15th win of an impressive campaign.

Max Verstappen (front, centre) and the entire Red Bull pit crew and team celebrate winning back-to-back world championships at Suzuka
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