Formula 1: under the spell of the dominator Max Verstappen

Formula 1: under the spell of the dominator Max Verstappen

Formula 1 Max Verstappen

Formula 1 under the dominator’s spell

As of: 4:38 p.m. | Reading time: 5 minutes

The measure of all things in the premier class: Max Verstappen

What: AP/Paul Chiasson

Dutchman Max Verstappen leads the competition in Formula 1 and will defend his world title. Nobody doubts that. Nevertheless, Red Bull is not free from worries ahead of its home race.

How good the Red Bull Formula 1 team is can be seen from the Mercedes car. After the Silver Arrows dominated the past decade at will, the Austrian racing team is now the measure of all things in the premier class of motorsport. The competition saw that too. After Mercedes failed to close the gap to Red Bull with its own aerodynamics concept for around a year and a half, the team of seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton copied parts of the idea of ​​archenemy Red Bull. A step in which teams like Aston Martin and Ferrari admitted much earlier that it was necessary.

The battle for the world championship has long since been decided. Both for the drivers and in the Constructors’ World Championship, which is so important for the racing teams, for which Red Bull will receive bonuses in the millions from its sponsors this year after 2022. Max Verstappen leads the World Championship with 69 points, his team is even 154 points ahead of the competition.

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While this is the first defense of the title in the constructors’ championship for the Austrian racing team since 2013, their star driver will be crowned champion for the third time in a row after 2021 and 2022. Nobody in the Formula 1 paddock has any doubts about that after the Dutchman won six of the first eight races. The certainty comes not only from the fact that Verstappen is driving a flawless season, but also because his company car, the RB19, as the Red Bull car is officially called this year, apparently has a supersonic gear. Up to a second has already been faster than the competition this season. A result that can be compared to the 7:1 of the German national team in the World Cup semi-final against Brazil at the 2014 World Cup.

“The other teams have to roll up their sleeves now”

No team has implemented the rule revolution that came into force at the beginning of 2022 and brought with it a completely new generation of cars as well as the Austrian racing team. “One can only congratulate Red Bull. They have done a great job and are currently driving in a league of their own,” explains Formula 1 boss Stefano Domenicali in the WELT interview. According to the Italian, there should be no artificial restrictions through rules that would make the competition more exciting again. “The other teams now have to roll up their sleeves and find solutions,” explains Domenicali. “You shouldn’t punish anyone because they’ve done a good job,” he continues.

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It couldn’t be any better for Red Bull in terms of sport – and yet there is some dissatisfaction with the Austrian racing team. While Verstappen has consistently led the field for the past 224 laps and is thus fifth in the all-time list behind legends such as Alberto Ascari (305 laps) and Ayrton Senna (264 and 237 laps), Sergio Perez keeps showing weaknesses. Despite the dominant Red Bull car, the second RB driver is only nine points ahead of Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso in the drivers’ championship. A fact that does not satisfy those responsible for motorsport boss Helmut Marko and team boss Christian Horner. Even if Perez finished first twice.

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After disappointing again with a sixth place at the last Grand Prix in Canada instead of racing onto the podium, Marko indirectly increased the pressure on the Mexican with an interview. He told ORF that Daniel Ricciardo, RB’s experienced test and reserve driver, who has already had seven Formula 1 victories, would drive in the current Red Bull after the Silverstone race in mid-July. Then the Australian will complete the tire test from manufacturer Pirelli and you can see “where Ricciardo really stands”. Serious considerations and discussions about replacing Perez have not yet taken place. It is considered almost impossible that Red Bull will do this in the middle of the season.

Red Bull wants to make history

The pressure on the third place in the last World Cup is still immense. While teammate Verstappen’s contract runs until the end of 2028, Perez’s contract expires after the 2024 season. Until then, he has to prove that he can consistently get the maximum out of the Red Bull and fight for victories. That is the expectation of his bosses. The team, which is not headquartered in Austria but in Milton Keynes/England about an hour north of London, wants to expand its position as the industry leader. “We want to shape an era and win many more races in the coming years,” says team boss Christian Horner WELT.

Usual picture: Max Verstappen (1st from left below) and the Red Bull team celebrate

What: AP/Graham Hughes

With that, Red Bull would continue to make history. The racing team is already counting, which has only been in place since 2005 Part of Formula 1 is one of the five most successful teams in the history of the premier class of motorsport. At the last race, the Canadian Grand Prix, RB celebrated the 100th victory in the racing series – a sound barrier that previously only Ferrari (242), McLaren (183), Mercedes (125) and Williams (114) broke.

On Sunday (3 p.m.) the next success should be achieved. At Red Bull’s home race, the Austrian Grand Prix, the racing team is – once again – the favourite. If motorsport boss Marko has his way, it is only a stage success on the further way. After the magic limit of 100 Grands Prix successes had been broken in Canada, the ex-racing driver who lives in Graz/Austria said that Williams could still be caught this year. For this, however, Red Bull would have to win all of the 14 remaining races. Should that succeed, the team would not only be tied in the all-time best list for Grand Prix successes, but above all would be the first racing team to have won every race in a season. The Red Bull can be trusted at the moment.

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