Hamilton: Red Bull likely to win every race, rules make it hard to catch them

2023 Canadian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton believes Red Bull are on course to win every race this year as Formula 1’s regulations make it difficult for their rivals to gain on them.

Max Verstappen continued Red Bull’s winning run at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve yesterday. As well as sweeping all eight grands prix this year they team scored 10 out of 11 wins over the second half of last season.

However Hamilton said he isn’t feeling frustrated at spending a second year being unable to challenge his 2021 championship rival Verstappen.

“You know how it is and you know what you’re faced with,” he said. “There’s nothing I can do about their amazing performance.

“It’s likely that they will win every race, moving forwards, this year, unless the Astons and us put a lot more performance on the cars, or their car doesn’t finish.”

Mercedes have begun to make progress with their car after introducing a significant upgrade three races ago. Hamilton said the car feels little different to drive but has begun to yield more downforce.

“In truth, it doesn’t feel a huge difference to the beginning of the year,” he said. “There are some elements of the car which do feel different, obviously, with the upgrade.

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“But it’s just simply a little bit more downforce on the car. The characteristics of the car are very, very similar to what we had earlier on in the year.”

Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri, and Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2023
Gallery: 2023 Canadian Grand Prix in pictures
Hamilton said more drastic changes are required for Mercedes to narrow the gap to their rivals. “For the future, for next year’s car, we need to take a lot of these different things off and change them, for sure.

“It’s definitely not the car, characteristics-wise, that’s going to be able to beat the Red Bull just yet. So we’ve got to work on that.”

However he suspects those kinds of gains are not going to be possible this year. “It’s not easy with the regulations to find the amount of performance that they have, advantage-wise,” he said. “They’ve got to be 30 points up on us in certain points through the lap. We’ve got some work to do.”

“But it’s not that it’s frustrating,” added Hamilton, after finishing yesterday’s race third behind Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso.

“I’m happy to firstly be back in the mix and I’m just hoping at some stage we can have it all a little bit more level so we can get back to some of the good races we had back in 2021. And to have all three of us in a super-tight battle would be sick.”

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88 comments on “Hamilton: Red Bull likely to win every race, rules make it hard to catch them”

  1. We probably will not get people challenging Red Bull before 2025 right before we have another major regulation change, it’s been like this for years. Major reg change, someone strikes gold and other play catch-up for years.

    1. notagrumpyfan
      19th June 2023, 8:36

      It might not take that long this time.
      An Aston Martin, the Mercedeses, and the Ferraris are already faster than one of the Red Bulls.
      Verstappen on an off day, or on an unfriendly circuit, can be overtaken by all of them*.

      * although I’m sure Ferrari and their line-up will miss that opportunity.

      1. notagrumpyfan – They’ve been faster than Perez only because he hasn’t been at his best post-Miami GP, but once he’s back at his early-season level, he’ll again finish 2nd on pace.

        1. The early season level of Perez was de outlier. Just look how last year went for him at regular tracks. I think his hopes got a severe beating in Miami with his teammate starting 9th just zooming past him for victory.

        2. Easy to blame a slow Perez, but don’t discard the possibility that the RBR is not that far ahead of the competition.
          Very seldomly (if ever) have we seen one car winning races and the other finishing outside the podium on three consecutive occasions.

          1. Look at Alonso and Massa during Ferrari or Vettel and Webber or Schumacher and Barrichello. All of them had periods where they won or were on the podium and their teammates were nowhere.

            What’s happening between them isn’t unique. And while Perez has always been a good driver, we know he wouldn’t have three wins in one season let alone early in the season without a dominant car.

          2. It’s possible that the others are starting to properly catch the RBR, but I seriously doubt it. I suspect this was just an outlier: either the track wasn’t suiting them on race day, or they were running with the engine dialled well back. Even so, Max was still comfortably in the lead for the whole race and never looked to be in any danger whatsoever. And even then, and with a safety car, he still crossed the line nearly 10s ahead of Nando.

            If the other teams are starting to catch up a bit, I think it’s more likely because RBR are already concentrating development on next year. With such a huge advantage, it’s highly unlikely any team will be able to catch them in either the WDC or WCC this year, and they have their development time “punishment” to consider. Even if we reach the end of the season with one or more teams on par with RBR, I won’t be at all surprised to see them with a massive advantage at the start of next season again.

          3. I think it’s pretty fair to say that the Red Bull is marginally faster in qualifying trim but looks up to 0.5s quicker on race pace than the field. Even in races where Verstappen has been closer to the rest it has usually been because he’s driven conservatively and not been pushed too hard. Perez is just clearly 3+ tenths slower than Verstappen, Leclerc, Hamilton, Alonso and Russell and as such if he doesn’t do his best he’s at risk of being swallowed up in qualifying which then wrecks his race.

            It’s also pretty clear that the Red Bull in traffic is not as potent as in free air like the Mercedes used to be when they had a dominant package. So when Perez starts further down the grid than he should he finds it hard to maintain the pace his car package should have.

            I do think Aston Martin and Mercedes are closer to Red Bulls pace than many think though as historically Verstappen has never been able to drive too far from his ultimate pace in a car, it’s just not his style or nature so I don’t think he’s had vast amounts of pace in reserve. I fully expect from Silverstone onwards that Red Bull will be pushed a lot harder for victories.

        3. look at the Brazilian GP last year. they can get the setup wrong, and it can cost them. it’s down to more than just the drivers.

          1. Brazil last year would have been completely different if Hamilton had said to Verstappen – “You Shall Not Pass” on the curve.

            Verstappen should have waited for DRS to overtake. He would have easily taken Hamilton and caught Russell.

            BTW Hamilton got close to Russell, then just let him have it.

          2. *** if Hamilton hadn’t said to Verstappen – “You Shall Not Pass”

        4. I don’t think so, take canada for example: alonso was too close, I don’t believe perez at his best could’ve beaten alonso, and even hamilton could’ve been a challenge.

    2. JCost, yes, every time there is a reg change, one team becomes dominant. Then, just as the other teams are catching up and we have a really good season with different teams all in the mix, they change the regs again.

      1. Apparently Alonso was not pushing for much of the race as he was trying to manage a potential issue, so to be within 10 seconds of the lead RB was a step forward, even if Max wasn’t pushing.

        Perhaps Silverstone might favour Mercedes enough for them to push RB a bit harder.

  2. Yay for costcap, yay for enginefreeze, yay for restrictive fuelflow

    1. None of those things are really a problem within themselves.
      – The budget cap would be totally fine if the teams didn’t all need to make the same type of car to such prescriptive technical regulations.
      – The engine freeze has little impact now, as the current engines are all extremely close together in performance. Any variation between engines is probably more positive for F1’s on-track product than negative, anyway.
      And the fuel flow – flow is less of a problem than quantity and access. Restricting the amount they can use and when they can put it in the car takes away many variables that influence the on-track product.

      1. – The budget cap would be totally fine if the teams didn’t all need to make the same type of car to such prescriptive technical regulations.

        And this has been the major problem for a long time. Ever since the late 1980s, and especially since the early 2000s, it’s been trivially easy for engineers to make cars that are much faster than F1 cars. The problem with this is obvious; it’s too dangerous for both the drivers, marshals and also the public. So with each set of regulations, the FIA has attempted to prevent development in all but one or two areas. Usually those choices are influenced by the participants, and the FIA’s eternal desire to have global manufacturers add credibility and public interest to their series.

        If you then add even more restrictions under the guise of promoting racing (for all the good that did), you end up with an insanely complex puzzle with basically just one perfect solution and endless amounts of money being poured into trying to solve that. Long gone are the days when instead of wasting dozens of millions on aerodynamic gizmos, a team could instead attempt to get more performance out of their own engine, or work with their tyre supplier to improve performance there.

        Also; the budget cap is still insanely high for one season of racing.

      2. I agree the fuel flow restriction is a non-issue. As I’ve said before it’s no different to a rev and capacity limit on a NatAsp engine. Those who complain about the fuel flow restriction have little understanding of how engines work.

        The only real problem with the budget cap is the same issue we had with engine tokens: As one team has done such a better job than all the others, the budget cap makes it much more difficult for anyone to catch them. In the past, the richest teams could just throw money and resources at catching up, but with budgets capped or development restricted this can’t happen. The only difference here is that it restricts all development, not just engine development.

        Speaking of which, I disagree that the engine freeze has little impact. It’s well known that RBR (with Newey) are the kings of aerodynamic development, so even if they hadn’t started so far ahead it would be likely for them to make better progress than anyone else on this. The engines may be very similar in performance, but the engine freeze stops anyone from utilising their engine expertise to gain performance. It’s made F1 completely aero-dominant once more, they may as well be using spec engines at this point.

        Were there no engine freeze in place, one of the manufacturers could well have made a significant improvement in their engine. Then, we could be seeing RBR fighting with another team, or several, with RBR making up for their lesser engine with better aero, and the other(s) making up for their lesser aero with a better engine. Instead, it’s “improve the aerodynamics or nothing”.

        1. it’s “improve the aerodynamics or nothing”.

          Totally true – but again, that’s down to the restrictiveness of the technical regs. Not the budget cap.
          And whether the budget cap was half or double it’s current figure makes no substantial difference, particularly so while there are exclusions.

          If the budget cap were a deal breaker in F1, the teams would never have allowed it. They do have that power now, and aren’t at all afraid to use it to ensure those teams at the front of the grid stay there.
          We’ll never see all the inclusions in the Concorde Agreement, but it’s pretty easy to figure out what’s in there, who requested it, who benefits from it and why.

    2. Yep!

      I think the stepped restriction in CFD/Wind Tunnel time seems to be a reasonable approach in heading towards a more level playing field.
      Engine freeze and cost cap has only locked-in the advantages of some teams.

      I don’t think anyone likes the cost cap, it just adds complication and limits those who may start a season “on the back foot” from being able to develop their way to competitive form.

      1. I like the cost cap, in general. However, just as with any development restriction with no link to performance, it was always going to “lock in” any advantage and make catching up more difficult.

      2. Coventry Climax
        20th June 2023, 1:02

        I don’t understand people’s obsession with creating a level playing field. All that creates is a spec series, which F1 never used to be. I speak in the past, because most of it is gone already. F1 is a constructors championship as well as a driver’s, so it’s inherent there’s differences between cars. The only level playing field they should have, is that they’re all racing on the same track.
        Same with BoP in LeMans; it degrades the value of achievement for teams, specifically when all the chassis are the same and the only thing the teams can fiddle with is their engine – but those are equalised by the FIA’s BoP as well. So it’s not Ferrari that has won, it’s their drivers. There’s other series for that construction, and they’re called spec series.

        1. I don’t think many want a spec series, but we also don’t want a sport where everything is tipped in favour of the 2-3 teams with the biggest pockets.

          Personally, I’d have been happy with them just making the prize money system fairer. That would have balanced things up to a degree. But now that the budget cap is here, I do think they should be able to relax a lot more rules and allow the teams more freedom to spend their limited pot of money where they want.

    3. @cdfemke The cost cap was necessary for F1’s long-term benefits & the same with engine freeze relating to the former, while fuel flow has nothing to do with being able to catch up & has been restrictive since 2014.

      1. I mean why do we need the fuel flow cap though, why can’t teams be allowed to modify the fuel flow at their discretion. There is already a limit on the amount of fuel they can feasibly burn through in terms of what they can carry so what’s the purpose of the fuel flow limit now? Why not let a car who has saved a lot of fuel over a race ramp up the boost and flow if it’s their choice and get some mega performance occasionally. I agree it’s not likely to allow anyone to catch up but it seems like a good option to improve the show.

        I don’t really get the fuel flow limit or engine freeze, you may as well just put a standard engine in all cars if you’re not going to allow clever engineering of the cars in that area. It’s about time F1 removed a lot of the restrictions and let the cost cap do the work of limiting teams development and performance.

        1. I will try to explain:

          In an ICE, the usable fuel flow is limited by the air flow. There is only so much fuel you can effectively burn for a set amount of air. In a naturally aspirated engine (non-turbo), this is easy to limit: Set the maximum cylinder capacity and a rev limit.

          In a turbo engine, this no longer applies. As the turbo is compressing the air, you can cram a heck of a lot more in there. It’s really only limited only by the strength of the materials used to build the engine components. Therefore they needed another way to limit the “power input”.

          There were some alternatives:
          – Boost pressure limit: They could limit the maximum pressure produced by the turbo. This would be a blunt instrument to use, would be much more affected by temperatures and would be more difficult to measure and control.
          – Airflow limit: There are mass airflow sensors, so they could have chosen this approach. However, it’s far less accurate and reliable to measure gas flow than liquid flow.

          In the end, they opted for a simple and reliable fuel flow sensor and limit. It was the most effective way to measure and regulate the power input for the turbo engines.

          1. Coventry Climax
            19th June 2023, 13:30

            Although your reply is technically correct, @drmouse, it is not an answer to the question @slowmo put.
            Also, there would have been other ways; e.g. measuring and limiting the torque on the rear axle. True, maybe not as simple, but there’s a lot more solutions like that, using electronics.

            Anyway, I agree with @slowmo: You know the race distance, you set the maximum allowed amount of energy to be used and let the teams sort it out when and where to save or splurge. And I said energy, and NOT just the amount of litre’s of fuel, as there might be differences in energy density across the stuff supplied by different petrol companies. That gives the FIA a means to drive their (fake) mission of fuel efficiency, and allows the teams to make strategic decisions. Win-win I’d say.
            Then drop the minimum weight and there’s an incentive to come up with higher energy density fuels, bringing back competition there too, like it used to be and like it used to make F1 interesting and technological, instead of a dumb, fake wrestle show for the masses. Not sure if @slowmo agrees to my last addition though. ;-)

          2. The fuel flow limit has absolutely nothing to do with saving fuel, though. It’s all about limiting power input, the same as a cylinder capacity and rev limit.

            There are alternative means of doing this, but fuel the fuel flow limit was the most effective available.

            Personally, I’d love to see most of the engine regs dropped in favour of a simple: “You have X energy available for the whole race (in any form) and Y maximum power input to the drive system, come up with your best solution”. If someone wanted a large-bore v12 at low revs, fine. A small i4 turbo, fine. A hydrogen fuel cell, fine. Hybrid systems, as big or small as you want, fine.

            In fact, I’d even go a stage further and make said energy and input power limits dependent on the mass of the vehicle*. Light but less power, or more powerful but heavier, take your pick.

            * It would need to be non-linear, of course

          3. Ah, I’ve just noticed you’re right: I didn’t address his question, I misread it.

            So, I think the reason for limiting the fuel flow was the same as the reason for a rev limit on the engines. Without them, the teams will pursue more and more expensive designs, exotic materials etc to allow higher power input.

            That said, IIRC originally the reason for bringing in a rev limit was for cost savings, as engine development costs were spiralling with the hunt for ways to rev the v8s higher and higher. The fuel flow limit was similarly in place to control the costs associated with developing engines which could tolerate massive boost pressures. As we now have a budget cap in place, we would be unlikely to see this happen. It would probably be the right time (now or with the new formula in 2026) to relax these restrictions, as well as removing the limit on engine components: As long as engine costs per unit were under the cap, the development would be naturally constrained anyway*.

            * Of course, there would need to be controls on creative accounting, selling engines at below cost and such like, to ensure it didn’t become a loophole.

    4. The reduced development allocations will narrow down the gap and at the same time allow teams from going bankrupt in order to not be 3+ seconds a lap off the top 1-3 teams.

      People keep forgetting the two most important things:
      1. this has happened a million times WHEN THERE WAS NO COST CAP

      2. $ won’t buy you a Newey. There’s only one out there and he’s not going anywhere.

      1. He’s 64 years old, what makes you think he’ll want to work to his death bed, he’s definitely going to be winding down more over the next few years. Short term I get why people might still want to hire him to take his knowledge of the current regulations but I can’t see him hanging around much after the next rule change in 2026. Mind you most of the F1 grid are only focused on short term success.

        1. Coventry Climax
          20th June 2023, 1:16

          He’s 64 years old, what makes you think he’ll want to work to his death bed, he’s definitely going to be winding down more over the next few years.

          Musicians and actors -for example- go on for as long as they’re able and successful, because it’s their passion, so as long as Newey feels the work he’s doing is still his passion, why would he stop?

          It’s different for the majority of people, as they may not be so lucky to hold a job that’s their passion.
          I’m not saying Newey will go on untill his death, as there’s frequently a heavy travelling commitment involved that is generally not part of the passion, and I’m sure there’s many other factors involved, but it is a mistake to project the common man’s thoughts onto the Neweys, Jaggers, Connerys, and the likes of this world.

      2. In regards to #1, it’s true that there have always been top teams and those making up the numbers. But this multi-year dominance is rare. Or was, at least. There have been multiple teams in serious championship contention in: 2021, 2013 (until Pirelli), 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2003, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, and so on. The last 10+ years of F1 have not been the norm. This is what it has been turned in to.

        As for #2, Newey has produced more failed projects than title winning cars. There’s nothing magical about him, even if he’s a crafty guy and obviously one of the best known F1 designers. But having Newey on board didn’t stop Red Bull from being side-shows from 2014 until 2021, nor did it help McLaren win any titles after Häkkinen’s double.

        1. having Newey on board didn’t stop Red Bull from being side-shows from 2014 until 2021

          From 2014 to 2018/19ish, RBR had sub-standard engines which hampered their efforts considerably. The fact that they were still battling quite close to the front for the majority is a testament to the quality of their aerodynamic package. The most certainly weren’t “side-shows” except for the odd year, they just couldn’t match the Mercedes.

        2. Brawn teams (most notably Ferrari and Mercedes) were the only ones to ever beat Newey and it wasn’t down to superior aerodynamics, but the amazing unreliability of the McLaren cars (2004 was the only year Ferrari was genuinely always the fastest car) combined with the amazing Ferrari reliability. During the Mercedes run, if RBR had the Mercedes engine they would have taken titles without doubt.

          About 80% of the chassis (not just aero) and aero conventions that we assume as standard and don’t even see anymore came from Newey. These are facts. I don’t root for designers and RBR was never a team I rooted for except when they were under dogs.

          -When Newey entered F1 teams were barely bothering with aerodynamics. They were just bolting on massive wings enabled the huge power of the turbos. When Newey’s Leyton House car came out it looked like anything F1 had ever seen and was the only V6 cars (which had 250+ hp less than the turbo cars) to compete with the turbo cars and blew away the other NA cars).

          -Newey then went to Williams and gave them the most dominant chassis in F1 history. Rule changes targeted at Williams and seasons with mediocre drivers like Hill and Senna’s death were the only reason they didn’t win every title before Newey moved to McLaren at the end of the ‘90s.

          -He moved to McLaren and his first car immediately won their first two titles and would have won many more in the early 2000s, but their engine and transmission reliability was amazingly bad. Kimi had one season in which he retired more than 10 times solely due to engine failure.

          -We know what his Vettel RBR cars did

          -We know how good the chassis was when Merc was dominating. Why do you think RBR was so good at Monaco where power wasn’t everything?

          -Now, his cars are dominating again

          But he’s nothing special, right?

          1. BTW, before he came to F1, his cars revolutionized Indy Car and he became a TP at just 25. His first Indy Car design won its second race and the Indy 500.

      3. I wonder if Newey might finish his days at a lowly team and see how far up the grid he can get them, be an interesting challenge, he has nothing to prove.

        1. Coventry Climax
          20th June 2023, 1:19

          How would it be a challenge for him, if there’s nothing to prove?

    5. @cdfemke I’m pretty confident they’ll fix all these things, but not in the way we intend it. They’ll introduce balance of performance, to cover several f ups with a different f up.

    6. There wouldn’t be a Formula 1 without these

  3. It’s not clear from his comments which regulations Hamilton is referring to. That means we can all project our preferred interpretation onto his words, which at least provides plenty of fuel for online comments sections.

    1. which at least provides plenty of fuel for online comments sections.

      You might have unearthed the business model behind this site :P

    2. Sikhumbuzo Khumalo
      19th June 2023, 10:50

      It’s very easy. It’s the cost cap. Without the cost cap Mercedes would spend what is necessary to close the gap.

    3. @red-andy It’s simple, all we need to do is *most insane combination of words ever devised*

  4. I agree its hard to catch up given cost constraints. Unpopular way of doing it would be BOP or Success Ballast but we all know that will never happen

    1. Sikhumbuzo Khumalo
      19th June 2023, 11:08

      All they need to do is scrap cost cap. Whoever has the money will use it to build best car. Whoever doesnt have it then tough luck; that is how generally most sports operate.

      1. That would also lead to a team being way ahead of the rest, wouldn’t it? Maybe a different team, but still.

        1. Sikhumbuzo Khumalo
          19th June 2023, 22:08

          But it gives those with financial muscle a fighting chance. Right now we can hand Max the WDC – it’s done deal

          1. Won’t be any better, just look at 2014-2020, incredible merc dominance despite no cap.

  5. When was the last time FIA managed to really guarantee exciting championship battles between several teams? Surely is no easy equation. Nevertheless, seems like we’re still not getting what we hoped for in the championship battle. As Merc was saying during their golden era, inferior teams should just do a better job. A fair comment imho. My only objection: FIA should be ruthless to cheating.

    1. The last time the “FIA managed to really guarantee exciting championship battles between” two teams was 2021. They produced “exciting” on-track action, but only by playing fast and loose with the rules throughout and, generally, manipulating the championship to keep things close throughout.

      F1 has occasionally had close championship battles between two teams “naturally”, but very rarely more than that. It’s effectively two linked competitions: One to build the best car, and one driving those cars on the track. Normally, one team will do a better job than anyone else on the first part, which gives them a massive advantage in the second. It’s then up to the other teams to try to catch up in the engineering competition, and for their drivers to try to make the best of their inferior equipment while they do.

      This is how it has always been in F1. There have been many attempts to address this over the years, but it is a core part of the championship. The only real way to fix this would be to run spec cars and remove the engineering competition from the equation.

      1. I disagree with your approach, because it does only refer to the specific circumstances and not the underlying truth. 2021 was an end of a long Merc-dominant era, it was no result of a FIA-planned rule shuffle. What happened throughout the 2021 campaign was only good for the commercial value of the F1, FIA was rather devalued after all that happened. In 2022 FIA changed (once again) everything in pursuit of the spectacle. My question to you: will that be remembered as something successful if we finally get a close battle in 2033?

      2. @drmouse @petrucci Not quite sure which angle you’re coming fro drmouse, but, yes, 2021 was the last time there was a battle between two teams. Before that we had a couple of seasons where Ferrari (as usual sadly) imploded halfway through the season or earlier against Mercedes.
        In other words, leaving the formula alone and tweaking a few bits to hurt the fastest team tends to lead to some kind of parity – enough, at least, for the drivers to make a difference. In 2021, Versappen and Hamilton, Red Bull and Mercedes, were as even a match as you’re probably ever going to get. Pity it was ruined by bad race direction and lax stewarding.
        This year it’s not that Red Bull will win every race – Max will win every race or almost all of them (some mishap is statistically probable I guess). If you had two Perezs in the Red Bull, this championship we would be a 3-way between him, Hamilton and Alonso, I’d guess.

        1. Not quite sure which angle you’re coming fro drmouse

          My point was that there was interference from the officials to ensure the battle was exciting. Both of the contenders were treated more leniently than normal at various points, where other drivers weren’t. They went out of their way to ensure the “show” remained “exciting”, up to and including throwing the rulebook completely out of the window at the end.

          If you had two Perezs in the Red Bull, this championship we would be a 3-way between him, Hamilton and Alonso, I’d guess.

          Agreed. However, if you had only drivers of Perez’ calibre at all three teams, RBR would still be winning by a comfortable margin and several other teams would be consistently battling with the Mercs and Astons.

      3. Coventry Climax
        20th June 2023, 1:26

        Which would not ‘fix’ F1, but kill it, in my opinion.
        Otherwise I fully agree with you.

        1. I completely agree, spec cars would destroy F1.

  6. What I’m not understanding is, if Red Bull were able to comprehensively pull away from the field from 2022 to 2023, where the structural disadvantage preventing catching up is coming from?

    What Red Bull have proven over the years, bar a poor period with the 2014 and 2017 regulation changes, is that they have excellent technical and professional leadership, which cannot be eroded away via cost cap levelling or other suggested methods. This is an engineering championship as much as it is a driver one, and if Red Bull are the best, then they deserve it.

    1. Coventry Climax
      19th June 2023, 14:01

      Couldn’t agree more.

      My words: Before Red Bull, Mercedes have had the advantage for many years, and their story always was they did a better job and it’s for the other teams to catch up, with the rules being the same for everyone.
      Well, Red Bull has caught up. So now it’s time to change the playing field? Ridiculous.

      Mercedes needed the start of this year to finally comprehend why their zero size sidepod concept didn’t work, while there was evidence all along that it didn’t work. By my book, that’s doing a poor job.

      1. Coventry Climax
        19th June 2023, 14:03

        Why does the interface mess up bold and italic? I intended to use both on the words ‘why’ and ‘that’, not spread it out like butter.

  7. Cost caps and the stupidity of the power unit freeze means the performance pecking order was baked in from day one. Red Bull will win all the way to 2025 because the development race has all been but snuffed out. Well done FIA.

  8. Scotty (@rockonscotty)
    19th June 2023, 13:09

    Is the cost cap really an issue? If I remember correctly, most of the team budgets were well under the cap and couldn’t spend up to it anyway.

    1. No, its not the issue.
      Thought most of the team budgets were well under the cap before it was brought it, the top teams were happilly spending towards $500million.

      And of course with unlimited budgets, F1 had never seen one team run away with a championship… or have an era of F1 defined by one… never…

  9. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    19th June 2023, 13:36

    Well, we are about to start seeing 75% to 100% race wins from Max with no opposition. What was the stat Sky Sports gave? 20 out of 27 races won by Max.

    Mercedes and Aston Martin have 2 P2s apiece and that’s largely due to Perez having Webber-esque performance in the car which is hardly surprising for Red Bull.

    1. Coventry Climax
      19th June 2023, 14:15

      We’ve had that before, and for longer than the two years we’re currently having, with a guy named Schumacher, and then someone named Hamilton.
      So who, do you think, is the ace Red Bull should put besides Max?
      Has it occurred to you that just maybe Verstappen is good? Most people seem to have no issue with that concept when it concerns the names of Schumacher, Hamilton or even Alonso.
      Currently, Verstappen doesn’t seem to do very well with the British public. But that’ll change when he manages to accumulate more titles. People will always like to be associated with the winners.

      1. Tim (@tsgoodchild)
        19th June 2023, 14:27

        Really? I have always felt that the Brits like an underdog. As soon as success is pretty much guaranteed, the hatred starts to settle in. It has always confused me why the Brits don’t like to celebrate success!

        1. In this case I think it had more to do with Max’ rivalry with Lewis. The media also has a responsibility on the image of a driver, some articles are either very biased, or out of context. Also Max’ tends to speak his mind, and that can sometimes rub the wrong way, and it is not his native language, so some words can get interpreted the wrong way.
          Don’t think in Holland everyone is for Max too, there are a lot people who are against F1 in general, him living in Monaco and seen as a spoiled rich kid. What I love about Max is his confidence, he doesn’t give a @#$ what others think, he is a racer, it’s in his blood.

        2. It has always confused me why the Brits don’t like to celebrate success!

          It’s because, like other nations, we like to support the “home hero”, but said home hero rarely comes out top, so we end up supporting the underdog.

      2. Schumacher’s was on top of his game and a superior driver to all but a select few who could get close, but that’s not the same as domination. The 2000 and 2003 titles were heavily contested, and while Schumacher finished the 2001 season with nearly double the points of McLaren’s Coulthard he won only nine races; the eight other races were split between Williams and McLaren.

        The only two seasons Schumacher and Ferrari properly dominated like we’ve seen in recent years were 2002 (which immediately saw the FIA introduce a new point system and qualifying regulations) and 2004 (which also prompted big changes for 2005, most crucially the new tyre regulations).

        In terms of percentage of races won by the constructor’s champion (over 75% marked):

        Ferrari from 1999 through 2004: 38% / 59% / 53% / 88% / 50% / 83%
        Red Bull from 2010 through 2013: 47% / 63% / 35% / 68%
        Mercedes from 2014 through 2021: 84% / 84% / 91% / 60% / 52% / 74% / 77% / 41%
        Red Bull in 2022 through 2023: 77% / 100%

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          19th June 2023, 15:50

          @michaeln great breakdown – For sure, Mercedes dominated in the hybrid era but the domination was less obvious because of the competition between Hamilton and Rosberg during the first 3 seasons which were some of the most entertaining seasons in F1.

          Unless teams can somehow catch up this can be a 1 pony or in this case a 1 bull show.

        2. Note how 2019, which was a dominant season where ferrari and red bull could win occasional races on merit was dangerously close to being marked too, missing only 1%

        3. Schumi was good but had zero competition. Hakkinen? Thats about it. Totally incomparable to the current field. Canada 2023 podium had 11 WDCs. Schumacher never had such a competitive field.

    2. Yeah that is interestingly that Max is able to achieve that level of domination while the Red Bull car is less dominant than Mercedes or Ferrari were at their peak.

      If you look at most wins in last 20, 30 or 50 races Red Bull is trailing Mercedes in all of them yet Max is leading Lewis, Vettel and Schumacher in all of them except the last 50 races (he needs to win 1 of next 3 races to tie and 2 of 3 to lead).

      Give Max a 3rd (2024) and 4th (2025) year with the fastest car and same will be true for wins in last 100 races.
      Lewis 54 of 100 with Mercedes 75 of 100
      MSC 50 of 100 with Ferrari 63 of 100
      Vettel 39 of 100 with Red Bull 47 of 100
      Max 37 of 100 with Red Bull 42 of 100

      Again shows that Max is maximizing results now that he finally has a good/fastest car.

  10. Electroball76
    19th June 2023, 13:54

    Ah, the fickle finger of fate!
    One minute you are Williams.
    The next minute you are.. Williams.

  11. Don’t agree as Mercedes could be a lot closer. They made a bad design decision in year 1 and then continued to try to improve the bad design throughout year 1. And they doubled down on the bad design in the offseason, continued to try and improve the bad design in the first few races this year. They finally switched designs a couple of races ago, so no Lewis, it was the stubbornness and arrogance of whomever at Mercedes for over a year that are responsible for not giving you a car that can compete with Red Bull or even Aston-Martin and AM is running the same power unit. I’ve said it often, whatever happened at Mercedes would be a great business school study in organizational behavior.

  12. A superb driver in a dominant car with pace to spare means Verstappen/Red Bull are unassailable. Perez’s performance shows, though, that drivers do make a difference. Put a Perez level driver in both cars and this season would be far from over – though I guess there’s an argument that the psychological effect and accumulative pressure of Verstappen in the other car worsens Perez’s performance. On that point, Horner had sounded the idea after Monaco that now he had no chance in the WDC (his team principal evaluation) Perez might improve with the sudden release from the pressure to mimic Verstappen. Not happening yet. The situation isn’t that dissimilar to when Alonso left Hamilton to dominate at McLaren, except Red Bull didn’t produce a dud car with the new regulations in 2022 (compared to 2009) – the precise opposite in fact.
    On past evidence, the most likely scenario is that Mercedes and Ferrari get close to Red Bull and start winning a few races by 2024. But it will remain a Red Bull/Verstappen era for some years ahead.

    1. This is perez’s fault though: I remember that comment from horner and I thought it made sense, but not long after that perez made a comment of the likes that he wasn’t gonna take pressure off himself and I thought: then expect more underperformance!

      1. @esploratore1 I guess there’s a pressure not to feel pressure too :P
        Trying to emulate Verstappen’s style just seems to make things worse for Perez, it requires a sense of car balance and traction only a few possess, which inevitably leads to mistakes. What he really quite desperately needs for the next few races is to get into Q3 at least. There are just two many good drivers on the grid now for him to be able to get away with starting lower down, especially as passing on track isn’t his speciality, even with that Red Bull power.

  13. Gotta praise the work those guys have been doing.

    Different from Mercedes, they are the best at everything. Best car, best strategies, best pit work every single race.
    Won’t mention drivers because that we can never be sure but Max is driving like the one of a kind he is.

    They have a very strong shot at winning every race and Max breaking his own 2022 record because the whole team is just that good at the moment.

    1. Yes, and I think verstappen already showed he is a high level driver before getting a dominant car: competing with hamilton against all odds in 2021 (exploding tyres, being taken out by both mercedes, and the masi thing doesn’t balance the whole season’s luck out) with an overall slightly worse car, and in the previous years he was still very competitive and won races whenever he got a car of similar speed than ferrari\merc.

    2. similar speed as*, I guess

  14. Sergey Martyn
    19th June 2023, 16:11

    What a hogwash…
    A pinnacle of motorsport is ruled by restrictions seen only in Spanish Inquisition’s wet dreams and then there is Lewis talking about the rules.
    Why he didn’t voiced any concerns about Merc domination lately?
    Catch me if you can.
    If you can’t – just shut up.

  15. SanFran (@andrewfrancis80)
    19th June 2023, 16:15

    Just a thought…. How exciting would this season be if Red Bull had 2 Perez level drivers at the team instead of Verstappen??

    1. Very exciting I’d say, we’d have perez vs perez 2 vs alonso vs hamilton in 3 different cars! And guessing leclerc’s poles could end up giving him a true win chance without having a competitor like verstappen in the red bull.

    2. I read two Perez’ and then papa checo would explode of happiness

  16. Mercedes thought they had a brilliant concept, if it would have worked they would have been skyrocketing the records. However it didn’t work for them, and now they are facing a budgetcap and little progress to come. I think they will come under more pressure from AM and Ferrari.

  17. I read a lot in this thread that the cost cap is locking in the advantage. If only the cost cap could be lifted, teams could spend a lot and close the gap. But this is a logical fallacy. If the cap was to be lifted, that would be the same for RBR. So now they can spend more to increase the gap. And it not like the cars are the same for a really long time where we are at the end of development. There is probably still a lot to gain for RBR too…

    Also, Aston has proven this statement wrong. Within the budget cap one could still make decent gains.

    1. Agree on both counts, first of all we had plenty of domination before the cost cap, most impressive was also recently with merc having the overall best car, sometimes with huge margin, from 2014 to 2021 with dominant seasons in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020, and yes, I was also impressed by ason martin’s progress, I didn’t really trust at all before seeing this season’s first quali that anyone could join the big 3, and from what I’ve seen this race they might actually have some chance to win on pace as the season goes on, they seem to be getting closer.

  18. What dominance? Lewis was a one time champion, of impressive skill before he joined Mercedes.. They did not look like much when thry trudled around p6-p10. But then he became in span of 7 years most dominant driver in history.

    Now with anti performance rules I would be surprised if RedBull is dominant for 5 more years.

    Also svale of their dominance is already deminished.

    Nico Rosberg at worst was p2-p4.

    Look at where Perez is. Failed to enter Q3.

    But when combined with Verstappen that car flies, imagine Red Bull would have two Perezes? Aston and Mercedes would be fighting for wins and Ferrari would be in fighting range.

    Rules are designed to prevent this and next year RedBull will carry even more penalty. I remain hopeful, but not this year.

    Verstappen is in the zone and wins with some comfort.

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