Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey is expecting a "tough year" in the 2023 Formula One season due to punishments issued for the team's budget cap breach.

The constructors' championship winners were handed a $7million fine by the FIA and a reduction of aerodynamic testing time in the wind tunnel, which Newey says will cost the team.

Another dominant year for Red Bull is therefore unexpected, with the punishment opening the door to Ferrari and Mercedes to dethrone two-time drivers' champion Max Verstappen.

Newey has conceded that the team are set for a difficult period in the 2023 season, particularly with regulation changes that will result in "significant aerodynamic change".

"There's no testing, it's very difficult to put an answer to say that [the punishment] will cost us so many tenths of a second per lap," he said.

"But the reduction of internal testing means we can therefore evaluate less, less different components, less different ideas.

"If we're really smart and always puts on the right things on the model, then it doesn't make much difference. But that's not how it works; there are always some parts that you hope will work and don't and vice versa.

"So, it's difficult and it's a restriction for sure that will affect us.

"I think then there's a regulation, a small regulation change over the winter, which is lifting of the floor edge by 50 millimetres, which of course, sounds tiny, but in reality, it's quite a significant aerodynamic change.

"So, like all teams were working to reduce the deficit from that in addition to the normal development that goes on from year to year, I think we've obviously had a good year, particularly in the second half of the season. We do have the best car.

"But Ferrari won't be resting, and they will be kind of sorting out where the weak areas that they had a couple of reliability problems with, and they made a couple of pit wall mistakes. So, they'll be right back.

"And then, of course, Mercedes. They were quite a long way off the pace and evolving. But then they won the last race but one, so we know they will be right there. It's going to be a tough year for sure."

The 2023 Formula One season begins in Bahrain in March, with a record-breaking 24 races scheduled across the year.

Frederic Vasseur is to become Ferrari's new team principal in January after the departure of Mattia Binotto, the team announced on Tuesday.

Vasseur's newly vacant role as Alfa Romeo/Sauber's managing director is then expected to be filled by McLaren boss Andreas Seidl, ahead of Sauber's switch to becoming the Audi factory team in 2026.

Having been with Sauber in the team's various forms since 2017, Vasseur will join a Ferrari outfit that won four races in the 2022 season but remained well off the pace in challenging Red Bull and Max Verstappen for the constructors' and drivers' championships.

Ferrari announced in November that Binotto would step down at the end of the year, allowing Vasseur to join and reunite with Charles Leclerc.

He was in charge of Alfa Romeo during Leclerc's rookie F1 season in 2018.

Vasseur will be aiming to end Ferrari's long title drought, having not won a constructors' or drivers' championship since 2008.

Ferrari are still among the most prestigious and successful Formula One teams despite their long wait for more silverware, and Vasseur is thrilled to be joining such a historic constructor.

"I am truly delighted and honoured to take over the leadership of Scuderia Ferrari as Team Principal," Vasseur said in Ferrari's announcement.

"As someone who has always held a lifelong passion for motorsport, Ferrari has always represented the very pinnacle of the racing world to me."

Benedetto Vigna, Ferrari's CEO, added: "We are delighted to welcome Fred Vasseur to Ferrari as our Team Principal.

"Throughout his career he has successfully combined his technical strengths as a trained engineer with a consistent ability to bring out the best in his drivers and teams.

"This approach and his leadership are what we need to push Ferrari forward with renewed energy."

Vasseur's move comes in the wake of Jost Capito leaving his role as Williams team principal, having finished bottom of the 2022 constructors' standings.

Max Verstappen believes it is unlikely he will be as dominant in the 2023 Formula One season, with regulations allowing his rivals to be more competitive.

The Red Bull ace bounced back from a slow start to the season to dominate the 2022 campaign, securing a record-breaking 15 wins to finish 146 points ahead of his closest rival, Charles Leclerc.

Verstappen expects a much tougher fight from the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes next year, however, with the recent regulation changes allowing everyone to be "closer together".

"The others are not stupid. And certainly with these rules, which are a bit more restrictive than the previous set of rules, everyone is getting closer together," he told RacingNews365.

"All teams now have an idea of ​​which course to take so yes, I expect smaller differences next year, but that's only good. Of course, I hope that we are still ahead, but that is not at all as obvious as this year."

Red Bull's defence of their two titles will be further impacted by sanctions dished out after being found guilty of breaching Formula One's budget cap, with Verstappen questioning the punishment.

The 25-year-old added: "Probably everyone is more motivated because of this. I personally think it is a heavy punishment for what we have done, but yes, what can we do about it?

"It happened and we will see next year what effect it really has had on us."

The new season begins in Bahrain on March 5, with a record-high 24 races scheduled across the course of the year.

Jost Capito is stepping down as the principal of Williams, the team announced on Monday.

Capito had been in the position for two years having initially joined the team as CEO in December 2020.

The 64-year-old leaves his role after Williams finished bottom of the constructors' championship standings in 2022, having now done so four times in the last five years.

In Williams' announcement, Capito said: "It has been a huge privilege to lead Williams Racing for the last two seasons and to lay the foundations for the turnaround of this great team. I look forward to watching the team as it continues on its path to future success."

Williams become the second team in Formula One to head into 2023 without a team principal appointed, after Ferrari announced in November that Mattia Binotto was to step down at the end of the year.

It is rumoured Sauber's Frederic Vasseur could soon be the third team principal to leave his job, amid speculation he could replace Binotto at Ferrari.

Formula One has announced the venues for the six Sprint weekends during the 2023 season, doubling the amount from the 2022 season.

The Sprint moves the standard qualifying session to Friday, with a 100-kilometre dash on a Saturday deciding the grid for the main race on a Sunday.

For the 2022 season, four new venues will host Sprint events in Azerbaijan, Belgium, Qatar and the United States (Circuit of the Americas).

Interlagos in Brazil will stand as the only venue to have hosted Sprint events in each season from 2021, while Austria's Red Bull Ring featured the revised format last season.

Speaking on the increase of Sprint events, Formula One CEO Stefano Domenicali said: "We have seen a hugely positive reaction to the F1 Sprint events during the first two years of its running, and we can't wait to bring even more action to fans with six events next year, including our first US F1 Sprint in Austin.

"The introduction of the F1 Sprint has created a race weekend that includes three days of competitive racing action and brings more entertainment to fans of the sport as well as additional value for key stakeholders including teams, broadcasters, partners, and host venues."

Previously, Silverstone, Monza and Imola have hosted Sprint events but, for 2023, those races will have the regular qualifying format, along with the rest of the calendar.

Christian Horner was not surprised to hear of Mattia Binotto's departure from Ferrari and rubbished speculation he would leave Red Bull to fill the vacancy.

Ferrari announced last week that Binotto had handed in his resignation as team principal after a frustrating season, where the team fell short of their objectives despite a fine start to the campaign.

An error-strewn year saw Charles Leclerc lose a 46-point advantage over Max Verstappen and Red Bull, eventually finishing a distant second-place to the two-time world champion.

Ferrari's hunt for a successor to Binotto has seen Horner linked with a move across the paddock but he affirmed his commitment to Red Bull.

Asked whether he was surprised by Binotto's exit, Horner told Sky Sports: "Not really. It is obviously Ferrari's choice.

"I think it will be the sixth team principal I have sat opposite since I've been at Red Bull. Obviously, it's very difficult for him. They had a great car this year, they were very competitive.

"My commitment is very much with the Red Bull team. I've been there since the beginning and have a really close attachment."

Verstappen will be looking to hand Red Bull a third consecutive drivers' championship in 2023, as well as retaining the constructors' championship, but Horner expects a tougher fight when the season begins in March – predicting Mercedes to be back near the top.

"Both those guys [Lewis Hamilton and George Russell] had great seasons. George finishing ahead of Lewis in his first year with the team was an impressive performance but Lewis is obviously still right there," Horner added.

"You've got to assume they're going to come back fighting hard next year, Ferrari as well will be looking to make progress, so it's set to be a really tough season."

Red Bull will also have to cope with the penalty issued for breaching Formula One's budget cap, resulting in a reduction of time allowance in the wind tunnel.

However, with development of the 2023 car already well underway before the punishment was issued, it is expected that the biggest impact from the penalty will be felt in 2024.

Formula One's 2023 season will not feature the Chinese Grand Prix after the race was scrapped due to "ongoing difficulties" surrounding the country's COVID-19 situation.

F1 was due to return to the Shanghai International Circuit in 2023, having last raced there in 2019.

The 2020 race, like most originally scheduled for that season, was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic and the 2021 race fell the same way. F1 could not honour its contract to race in China last season because of travel restrictions related to COVID-19.

There will now be no race in the country for the fourth successive campaign after F1 confirmed the 2023 grand prix scheduled for April had been cancelled.

"Formula 1 can confirm, following dialogue with the promoter and relevant authorities, that the 2023 Chinese Grand Prix will not take place due to the ongoing difficulties presented by the COVID-19 situation," a short statement read.

"Formula 1 is assessing alternative options to replace the slot on the 2023 calendar and will provide an update on this in due course."

China continues to operate a 'zero-COVID' policy, with strict local lockdowns enforced if even one person tests positive for the virus.

Those who test positive are taken to a designated COVID hospital for centralised care and remain there until they have tested negative for COVID-19 multiple times, a process that can take numerous weeks.

Reports prior to F1 confirming the cancellation indicated it was not prepared to ask teams to travel to the country amid the risk its drivers and staff could be quarantined for weeks if they caught the virus.

F1 staff would reportedly not be given exemptions if they contracted COVID-19.

If it does not replace the grand prix with an alternative in another country, F1 will stage a 23-race calendar in 2023 that would feature a four-week gap between the Australian Grand Prix on April 2 and the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on April 30 because of the cancellation.

The new season is due to start on March 5 with the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Alex Palou, the 2021 IndyCar champion, has been named as one of McLaren's reserve drivers for the 2023 Formula One season.

The 25-year-old, who ran in testing with the outfit across the 2022 season, is set to balance his time in the cockpit with his schedule in IndyCar.

Earlier this year, Palou was involved in a dispute over his future, with McLaren and then-current team Ganassi both suggesting he was under contract for next year with them.

After the latter initially filed a lawsuit against the racer, it was settled for him to test, though now the Spaniard makes the step up inside McLaren's team structure.

"I'm excited to be part of the McLaren team as one of their reserve drivers in 2023," Palou said in a statement. 

"I can't wait for the involvement with next year's car.

"I look forward to continuing my development as a driver and I appreciate the trust McLaren have in me with this new role next year."

McLaren were involved in a dispute over new driver Oscar Piastri too, after the latter left Alpine amid a bitter fallout over his future.

The Australian will succeed Daniel Ricciardo for the team on a contract through 2024, and will partner Lando Norris, with McLaren yet to confirm the remainder of their reserve driver pool.

Ferrari have confirmed the departure of team principal Mattia Binotto, ending a professional relationship that extends all the way back to 1995.

The 53-year-old, who originally joined almost three decades ago as a member of their engine department, succeeded Maurizio Arrivabene in 2019 in charge of the Scuderia.

But his departure has been widely expected following a Formula One season that saw Ferrari rival Red Bull in the early stages before dropping away amid a series of technical errors and operational failures.

Binotto will officially depart at the end of the year, on December 31, with the team adding a search for his successor is already underway.

"With the regret that this entails, I have decided to conclude my collaboration with Ferrari," he confirmed in a statement.

"I am leaving a company that I love with the serenity that comes from the conviction that I have made every effort to achieve the objectives set.

"I leave a united and growing team. I think it is right to take this step at this time, as hard as this decision has been for me."

Ferrari chief executive officer Benedetto Vigna paid tribute to Binotto, and added he leaves the team in a prime place to continue to compete at the top of the sport.

"I would like to thank Mattia for his many great contributions over 28 years with Ferrari and particularly for leading the team back to a position of competitiveness during this past year," he stated.

"As a result, we are in a strong position to renew our challenge, above all for our amazing fans around the world, to win the ultimate prize in motorsport.

"Everyone here at the Scuderia and in the wider Ferrari community wishes Mattia well for the future."

Max Verstappen suggests any drivers in Formula One not prepared for a record-breaking race calendar next season should consider quitting.

The Red Bull man, who claimed a second world drivers' championship crown this term, capped his imperious year with victory at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix earlier this month.

But the Dutchman will face a longer fight to defend his title once more next term, with F1 poised for a possible 24-race campaign, two more than in 2022.

That has raised concerns over the fatigue drivers may face across a mammoth season, but Verstappen suggests those who do not feel they are cut out for the long haul should step back.

"If you're not prepared, then it's better to stop already, right?" he told The Guardian. "I think we're all racers, and we love racing.

"I think we are all prepared for longer seasons. I hope it will be tight. It's always nice to have a fight until the end. But yeah, I'm prepared for more races and for a longer fight hopefully."

Having seen the battle for his maiden title in 2021 go down to the wire in controversial circumstances, Verstappen ultimately secured his second crown with four races to go, at the Japanese Grand Prix.

Acknowledging it was nice to have a change of pace, the Dutchman also affirmed his hopes for a closer contest next term.

"You can't have that drama every single year, for sure," he reflected on 2021. "It's not good for me, it's not healthy for anyone in the team, both teams.

"Of course it's nice to have a season like I had last year, but it's also nice to have a season like I have this year.

"It just would be very tough if you have that every single year. But that also doesn't really happen in F1, so it should be okay."

Red Bull have announced the return of Daniel Ricciardo, who will be their third driver for the 2023 season.

The Australian left the grid following his exit from McLaren, where he completed his final race in Abu Dhabi last Sunday, and it was widely expected that he would be returning to Red Bull, who he left in 2018.

Ricciardo had a stint with Renault before moving to McLaren, with spells at both teams being disappointing ones, and it was announced earlier this year he would be leaving the latter – Oscar Piastri being his replacement on the grid.

The 33-year-old did not turn his back on Formula One, however, and could return to the grid with a full-time seat in the future, though previously stated he felt the best approach could be as a reserve driver.

That move has now come with Red Bull, where he will be an understudy to Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in 2023 – filling in should either of the pair be unable to race, as well as competing in practice sessions.

"The smile says it all, I'm truly excited to be coming back home to Oracle Red Bull Racing as their Third Driver in 2023," Ricciardo said.

"I already have so many fond memories of my time here, but the welcome from Christian [Horner], Dr [Helmut] Marko and the entire team is something I'm sincerely appreciative of.

"For me personally, the ability to contribute to and be surrounded by the best team in F1 is hugely appealing, whilst also giving me some time to recharge and refocus.

"I can't wait to be with the team and support with simulator work, testing sessions and commercial activities. Let’s go!"

The 2023 Formula One season will begin on March 5 in Bahrain, the start of a record-breaking 24 races across the course of the campaign.

Max Verstappen already ranks among Formula One's all-time greatest drivers, believes former world champion Nico Rosberg, after the Dutchman's latest triumph.

The Red Bull man signed off on a second successive world drivers' championship crown in emphatic style with victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last weekend.

With 15 race wins this season, Verstappen has set a new record for most victories in a single campaign, and has moved to sixth on the all-time list, overhauling Fernando Alonso.

Now former Mercedes driver Rosberg, who won the title in 2016, thinks he deserves to be high in the conversation when it comes to determining who the sport's finest stars are.

"He is an incredible driver," he told Sky Sports podcast Any Driven Monday. "I think it's easy to say even now that's he's going to be one of the best of all time, if you look at the statistics he actually even is now.

"He's a double world champion [and] with all of the race wins that he has, more than Alonso, he's already one of the best of all time. I think he's only getting started.

"He's going to confirm that in the next decade, certainly. His level of driving is phenomenal, and it's great to witness that."

Though the latter half of his campaign was dogged by Red Bull's salary cap infringements, Verstappen's achievements nevertheless came impressively this year,

An early title battle with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc ultimately petered out after a multitude of strategy errors from his rivals, but even before then, the Dutchman looked to have the edge.

"We need to remember also, it's not like from the get-go this year his car was miles quicker than everyone else's," Rosberg added.

"The Ferrari was the quickest car in the beginning of the season and still, he got this incredible 15 wins and really destroyed the opposition in that way.

"If you look at the points, he scored 146 more than anybody else, it's unreal. It's one of the greatest driving seasons we've ever seen, certainly."

Logan Sargeant insists he does not feel any extra pressure despite becoming the first full-time American Formula One driver in 16 years.

A fourth-placed finish in the Formula 2 championship, confirmed in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, saw the 21-year-old move above the threshold for the required points to earn a super licence, securing him a seat at Williams.

Sargeant will partner Alex Albon in 2023, with Nicolas Latifi losing his spot, and will be the first American driver since Scott Speed in 2007.

A move to F1 always comes with pressure - though that could be significantly more given the support from his homeland - but Sargeant does not believe that is the case.

"I have prepared the best I can to be the best driver I can possibly be," he said. "Hopefully, I can represent them well and make them proud, but I don't feel it's any extra pressure."

American drivers do not have an established recent history in Formula One, with the last driver prior to Speed being Michael Andretti, who was dropped three races before the conclusion of the 1993 season.

F1 is keen to continue to grow stateside, with Las Vegas joining Miami and Austin on the calendar next season, but Sargeant does not feel his nationality was a factor in gaining a seat on the grid.

"I like to think it is a happy coincidence," he added. "I put in the hard work over the past however many years, made the commitment to move to Europe when I was young to make this dream a reality.

"I feel like I've had a very good junior formula career. And [I am] just looking forward to closing that chapter and move on to what's next."

Max Verstappen has hinted he could retire from Formula One when his contract with Red Bull expires in 2028, saying: "I want to do other stuff".

Verstappen retained the drivers' championship in dominant fashion this campaign, posting 15 victories in 22 races – a new single-season record.

However, speaking before he claimed a record third straight victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday, Verstappen highlighted F1's impact on his family life and cast doubt upon his long-term future in the sport.

Asked whether he would continue in F1 when his current deal expires in six years, he told Sky Sports: "I don't know after that, but it also probably depends how competitive we are in '28.

"I've still got time. I don't want to make drastic decisions now.

"I want to do other stuff. F1 is amazing and I've achieved a lot, and I'm very happy and proud about it, but it's a lot of travelling and it's a lot of races.

"At one point, what is more important? Is family more important, or is F1 more important? That's when you need to make your mind up."

Verstappen finished the season 146 points clear of second-placed Charles Leclerc in the drivers' championship standings, having wrapped up his second world title with four races to spare.

Lewis Hamilton described the 2022 season as a "team-building exercise" for Mercedes, having failed to finish the final race of the season.

The seven-time world champion a difficult campaign this year, having struggled to compete for race victories and Mercedes finding themselves way off the pace of the likes of Red Bull, who waltzed to victory in both championships.

In Abu Dhabi, an initially strong start from Hamilton saw him leapfrog Ferrari's Carlos Sainz to fourth but he encountered issues after bouncing over a curb off track.

Hamilton was eventually forced to retire with power failure in an end that summed up the difficulties he encountered throughout the year, though he hopes the team can take lessons from their woes into 2023.

"Ultimately, we started with a car that we didn't want and we finished with a car that we didn't want," he told Sky Sports.

"We were stuck with it, we kept working away to improve it but the fundamental issues have been there all the way to the end, as you saw this weekend.

"It's been more of a team-building exercise this year and I'm very proud of the team. I'm very grateful for everybody who has continued to push.

"We have these next couple of weeks where we will be back at the factory, we'll get to see everybody. While we won't be celebrating a championship, we'll be celebrating them still for their hard work and efforts.

"I hope that the struggles this year really provide us with the tools and the strength to fight for many more championships moving forward."

A DNF in Abu Dhabi ensured Hamilton would finish a Formula One season without a race win for the first time in his career.

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