Max Verstappen expects tougher Ferrari and Mercedes fight in F1 title defence

The Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, has also emphasised that the drivers’ right to express themselves must be maintained after the FIA announced it is to ban political statements, with Horner saying: “We don’t want a load of robots without opinions going racing.”. However, the world champion played down the fact that Red Bull go into the season as favourites. As a team we keep trying to find performance and we want to keep winning, that’s why we are in F1. The sporting punishment, a 10% reduction, was announced last year. Hamilton failed to win a race over a season for the first time in his F1 career. Hamilton’s contract with the team ends this year but he is widely expected to stay on in F1 with a multi-year deal at Mercedes. The team will launch their car at Silverstone on 15 February, with the season opener in Bahrain on 5 March.

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