Lewis Hamilton still has the hunger to go wheel to wheel with Max Verstappen: JONATHAN McEVOY looks forward to 2023 F1 season as veteran Brit aims to bounce back and win a record eighth world title

Boffins toil away in the factories, Lewis Hamilton hones his fitness on the ski slopes… All is quiet preparation now but the Formula One season will burst into life again at pre-season testing in Bahrain on February 23rd. Accompanying the words were the faces of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, as vanquished and victor alike were still wiping blood off themselves after the infamy of Abu Dhabi at the close of the 2021 season. So what hope is there that the bitterest rivalry on the grid will resurface this coming season? Despite the extra development time, the modern Mercedes team face a stiff test after their long years of dominance under the previous set of regulations. They come in the shape of his own team-mate Russell and a mercurial Ferrari. Taking in sprints, Russell beat Hamilton in 15 of 25 races last year. However, I expect Wolff and Co to treat Hamilton as first among equals.

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