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Former F1 driver predicts Ferrari resurgence and tough year for Red Bull

Johnny Herbert gives his take on what he is most excited for heading into the 2023 Formula 1 season.

Ferrari's season started spectacularly, with Charles Leclerc taking two wins from the first four races, before the team tailed off in the championship fight. Red Bull eventually got on top of their teething problems and, with Max Verstappen, went on to dominate this season in an example of how to defend your World Championship crown. But that show of pace at the start of the season could make a return for Leclerc and Ferrari, as former F1 driver Johnny Herbert believes they will make a resurgence along with Mercedes in 2023. "I’ve heard mixed things from the end of the year in Abu Dhabi," he told Motorsport Magazine, when referring to Mercedes' progression. "On the one hand, that it still didn’t fully understand the porpoising issue, yet on the other hand that the opposite is true. Let’s hope it’s the latter! "We want to see continued brilliance from George Russell, while there were still signs that Lewis Hamilton hasn’t lost it. You’d hope that a restructuring of the concept at Mercedes has been implemented from what it has learnt."

Herbert: Red Bull beatable? Damn right they are!

Herbert thinks the penalty for going over the $145 million cost cap will be a challenge for the team, as they see restrictions on their car development take effect. "It’s probably not going to hurt it overall as much as the problems Ferrari and Mercedes have got," he said. "Red Bull will still be the target to topple. Is it beatable? Damn right it is, as Ferrari showed early on last season, as did Mercedes." Mercedes will be hoping they can get back to winning regularly in 2023, and the prospect of a championship battle between George Russell and Lewis Hamilton is exciting for Herbert. He added: "George versus Lewis in a competitive Mercedes would be a juicy prospect, two Brits going at it with a seven-time world champion aiming for his eighth against a young driver gunning for his first. George will make life difficult again for Lewis, we certainly haven’t seen the best of him yet. "He will improve and get stronger because he will mature. He seems to have the right mentality, even politically within the team. He’s not a driver to accept being a number two; he has the strong character we previously saw in Nico Rosberg."

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