No Formula 1 team in over seven decades of the sport’s history has enjoyed a start to a season like Red Bull has in 2023.
Their perfect run of victories from the start of the championship until the summer break is not just incredibly impressive, it is also an all-time record win streak for Formula 1 having beaten McLaren’s previously unmatched win record of 11-straight victories from 1988.
Not only is Red Bull’s win streak unparalleled, it’s difficult to see it being broken any time soon. At the last round before the summer break begin at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, Max Verstappen’s winning margin over the closest non-Red Bull car, Charles Leclerc, was over half a minute – exactly two kilometres behind when Verstappen crossed the finish line.
However, as difficult as it is to envision anyone catching and beating Red Bull given their current crushing form, it remains inevitable that their stranglehold over first place will end eventually. Whether it will be because of mechanical misfortune, a collision that wipes out both Verstappen and team mate Sergio Perez from contention or because they are genuinely beaten for pace over the course of a race, one of the nine teams on the grid will be the one to break the streak.
But which team will have the honours?
Mercedes current sit a distant second in the constructors’ championship, ahead of Aston Martin. They were also the last team other than Red Bull to take a race victory, courtesy of George Russell claiming his maiden grand prix win in Brazil at the end of last season. However, they are one of four teams who have taken ‘best of the rest’ honours over the first 12 rounds.
Aston Martin – exclusively through Fernando Alonso – have been the closest team to Red Bull on five occasions during the 2023 season so far. But while they were the nearest challengers at the start of the year, their form has faded into the mid-season.
There have been three rounds this season where Ferrari have been Red Bull’s closest opposition, with Charles Leclerc crossing the line behind both of them in Baku and Spa and taking second place behind Verstappen at the Austrian Grand Prix. Ferrari were also the last team to consistently match Red Bull’s pace in races, but that was now over a full year ago as Ferrari have not won a grand prix since the 2020 round at the Red Bull Ring.
Then there is McLaren. Despite another frustrating start to the year where they were well out of contention for points, let alone wins, McLaren have had the most stunning rate of progression of any team on the grid. After their major upgrades in Austria, Lando Norris took back-to-back second places in Silverstone and the Hungaroring to put themselves right in the thick of the action at the front of the field.
Naturally, it’s not impossible that one of the teams from the bottom five positions in the championship could find themselves finding more speed and overtaking those four teams to breakthrough and win or be in the right place at the right time during a particularly chaotic race. But in all likelihood, based on current performance levels, it is either Mercedes, Aston Martin, Ferrari or McLaren who have the best chance of winning next.
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As brilliant as it would be to see the likes of Alpine, Alfa Romeo or Williams take a stunning surprise victory, it’ll almost certainly take a chaotic race the likes of Spa 1998 or Monaco 1996 for that kind of result to happen. Certainly this season at least. If anyone is going to break the streak this year, it will almost certainly be one of the top five teams.
Although Mike Krack saw Aston Martin’s performance in Spa as a step forward for his team – and was probably accurate in that assessment – Aston Martin feel like a team who have already peaked for this season at least. As great a leap as they’ve made, their trajectory suggests their race winning days will lie in the years to come. Similarly with Ferrari, despite being the closest to Red Bull in Spa, the Scuderia clearly have work to do to finally fire on all cylinders and be a legitimate championship contending force once more.
McLaren have also been incredibly impressive in their ability to recover from a poor start to the year and throw themselves right up into the battle at the front. However, neither of their talented young drivers have ever stepped on the top step of the podium and it will be very difficult for McLaren to push past Red Bull this year with the resources available to them.
That leaves the most likely candidates: Mercedes. Not just with two race winning drivers and a multiple championship winning pedigree, but with the technical prowess and resources on a level with the world champions. All they need is the car to do it. Whether that comes this season or next, they remain the best bet to beat Red Bull.
Which team do you think has the best chance of beating Red Bull first?
Which team will be the one to break Red Bull's record win streak?
- Williams (1%)
- Mercedes (48%)
- McLaren (31%)
- Haas (1%)
- Ferrari (15%)
- Aston Martin (1%)
- Alpine (0%)
- AlphaTauri (1%)
- Alfa Romeo (1%)
Total Voters: 137
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