Could Max Verstappen attempt a three-peat?  

Max Verstappen, the current favorite to win his third world championship in a row

Just a few days left as all roads are set to lead to the greatest, and most famous racing sport in the world. Will it be the reigning and defending champion Max Verstappen who will retain his crown in the 2023 edition and walk away once more with the glory, or will it be a record-chasing Lewis Hamilton who’s heavily deemed the strongest contender of the latest season?

The 2023 edition will premiere on March the fifth, with the Bahrain Grand Prix. The F1 Teams will go through the traditional pre-testing season, which will take place over a period of three days in Sakhir from 23-25 February. It is during this season in teams will have the final opportunity to assess the state of their cars on their paces and also that of the drivers. A total of ten teams will be taking part in the season, each of whom has two drivers. The defending and reigning champion, who is the Oracle Red Bull Racing driver, Max Verstappen, looks to claim his third successive world championship in the bout whereas the Mercedes –AMG Petronas F1 Team driver, Lewis Hamilton seeks a leeway to have his place solidified in the history books as the greatest F1 driver of all time.

However, could Lewis Hamilton rise up to the task of claiming his eighth and record-breaking world championship? Or is the rising Max Verstappen a formidable threat to the Mercedes driver? A dominant 2022 for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has turned to 2023's edition, with the aforementioned heavily favored to secure his third gold.

Whilst the 2022 season seemed like a fight between the F1 giants Red Bull as well as Ferrari, it ended up being a one-team season as Red Bull gave it their all authoritatively defeating their chief rivals, Ferrari. In his second back to back title win in 2022, Verstappen had the privilege of producing the most successful season in F1 history. Max prevailed in 15 races and secured a 146-point gap ahead of second place Charles Leclerc.

A brief overview of Max Verstappen's and Lewis Hamilton's World Championships is presented below:

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Left is Max Verstappen and on the right is Lewis Hamilton

It wasn’t an easy season for Hamilton as he finished sixth and couldn’t win a single race win, the first of its kind for the legend, yet he is highly considered the second-most favorite to hold the crown. Notwithstanding, the genesis of greatness with Charles Leclerc, as evidenced by his runner-up crown in the 2022 edition of the race series. Taking a look back at the achievements of the two highly favored F1 drivers to win, Lewis Hamilton has bagged seven world championships, and he holds the records for most grand prix wins (103), most pole positions (103), and most podium finishes (191) whereas Max Verstappen is a two-time world champion, having won 35 grand prix wins, 77 podium finishes, 20 pole positions, and he is the reigning world champion.

Max Verstappen says that he expects a closely contested battle for the crown in the 2023 edition, as other teams get to grips with the new generation of F1. Lewis Hamilton, on the other hand, is having the final year of his contract with Mercedes and has high hopes of having a good enough car for him to claim the record for the highest number of world championships. The failures of the past season might be the pushing factor for the seven-time world champion to retaliate and win yet his record-eighth.

Here is a recap of the performances of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton:

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