The F1 curse Max Verstappen will look to an end in F1 2023 | F1
Verstappen started his second title defence with a dominant drive to win in Bahrain for the first time in his F1 career.
Remarkably, it was the first time Red Bull has won a season-opener since 2011, when Sebastian Vettel was victorious in Melbourne.
Red Bull are the class of the field, with their race pace nearly one-second per lap faster than their nearest challenger.
Thus, Verstappen is the heavy favourite to take the title in F1 2023, but there’s one curse he needs to be aware of.
Since 2017, the driver that has won the opening race of the season hasn’t gone on to win the drivers’ title.
Vettel won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, but it was Lewis Hamilton who ultimately won the title with three races to go.
History repeated itself in 2018 as Vettel made the most of a fortunate Virtual Safety Car to get ahead of Hamilton. The Mercedes driver would take the title in Mexico.
Valtteri Bottas dominated the 2019 Australian Grand Prix, however, he couldn’t maintain it as Hamilton won his sixth title in Austin.
Again, it was Bottas who started the year strongly for Mercedes, but Hamilton hit back, taking the title in Turkey.
Hamilton would win his first season-opener since 2015 ahead of Verstappen. He would controversially miss out on the title to Verstappen in Abu Dhabi.
Charles Leclerc kicked off F1’s new era strongly with a win in Bahrain. Ferrari imploded as Verstappen ran away with the title, taking his second crown in Japan.