Stefano Domenicali, Losail International Circuit, 2023

Red Bull’s race advantage ‘the major thing we’ll see different next year’ – Domenicali

Formula 1

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Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is confident Red Bull’s rivals will tackle a key area of their superiority next season.

In the second year since F1 overhauled its technical regulations in the hope of producing closer racing, Red Bull and Max Verstappen achieved unprecedented levels of dominance. Verstappen clinched the world championship with six grands prix remaining.

“I would say congratulations to Max,” Domenicali told Sky. “He has set something impressive in terms of maturity, in terms of standards, to Red Bull.”

However he said the season proved it is possible for their rivals to close on them. “To the ones that were saying with the budget cap you cannot develop the car, I would say McLaren proved that is not right.” McLaren struggled to escape Q1 in the opening races, but climbed to fourth in the championship at the end of the season.

Although Red Bull won 21 out of 22 grands prix, they were beaten to pole position eight times, as their RB19 was typically far more competitive in race trim than in qualifying. Domenicali expects their rivals will make progress in this area next year.

“You see [on] Saturday in qualifying, 20 cars [with]in less than one second,” said Domenicali. “So in qualifying. We are very, very close.

“Of course, race pace is different and I think that this will be the major thing that we’re going to see different next year.”

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He is optimistic the fight between the leading teams will be closer next year. “I think so,” he said. “Even if, as always, I’m a guy that doesn’t like to speak because there’s always a lot of people who are speaking and then are being contradicted.

“But I’m sure that’s the aim of all the teams to try to show the level of their engineering, the level of their capacity and capability to improve.”

Despite the one-sided nature of the competition, Domenicali said F1 is continuing to grow in popularity.

“The awareness of F1 and the growth of our sport is really magic,” he said.

“What is our focus is to make sure that the people that are avid fans like us can really believe in the sport, but also people that really are not avid fans, but they love what we are building up can be connected to us. And then it’s our duty to develop the culture of F1. This is really the beautiful challenge that we have.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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20 comments on “Red Bull’s race advantage ‘the major thing we’ll see different next year’ – Domenicali”

  1. I hope so.

    1. David Donaldson
      28th November 2023, 17:55

      Good luck to them, but the domination was so great that it was a bore fest.

      1. No no, no. Mercedes being dominant is a bore-fest and will destroy the sport (in spite of ever increasing viewing numbers).

        Red Bull, with it’s sandy-haired champion winning nearly every race in the season? That’s world-record-breaking domination, and is good for the sport!! And anyone complaining (Toto) is obviously a crybaby who’s trying to change the rules to his advantage!!

    2. Yeah, I think that will be the hope of most F1 fans!

  2. That completely depends on whether the other teams have finally learned how these regulations work and how they affect the car design.
    I’m still not so certain they have learned.
    And even when they have learned, it’s a question of at what stage of diminishing returns Red Bull is.
    Maybe they have discovered more low hanging fruit that can further consolidate the advantage they have.

    The winter test is going to be an interesting one, that’s for sure.

    1. So the baseline ground effect car that the FIA came up with over the several years prior to the introduction of the ground effects regulations was not even close. All the teams who used that data were taken down a dead end. Thank younFIA.

      Should have just used a CART car from the 1980s as a baseline.

  3. Yeah right, stop Ben S giving the team all it wants all the time. Sickening the cosy relationship between the two.

  4. The RB19’s dominance was something nobody could have imagines, I’m sure even inside the team. It has pace over the RB18 but perhaps its real advantage is its mechanical reliability and tyre management. It does feel as though Max has not even driven the car to its limit in some races which contradicts Stefano Domenicali’s optimism for 2024. Time will tell!

  5. It’s amazing how little Domenicali says with so many words. I get it, he’s just a spokesman for Liberty, but could they really not find someone else?

    “I’m sure that’s the aim of all the teams to try to show the level of their engineering, the level of their capacity and capability to improve.”

    That’s such fluff; it sounds like a deputy principal congratulating a bunch of middle school graduates.

  6. God, not this person again… I don’t think he himself believes what he’s saying 99% of the time.

  7. Despite the one-sided nature of the competition, Domenicali said F1 is continuing to grow in popularity.

    “The awareness of F1 and the growth of our sport is really magic,” he said.

    So, is the sport growing? If so, would be an ideal time to add an 11th team. Unless F1 is currently over-valued, and they’re afraid an 11th team might expose the charade.

  8. What a whole bunch of nothing.

  9. None of the other cars is even close to the Red Bull #1 car, not close. RB will be working over the offseason to improve the car as will the other teams. I just don’t see how they make such a leap to get close. Most teams struggled all season to improve the car and, in some cases, made the car worse whilst “improving” it.

  10. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    29th November 2023, 9:23

    Like you did when you failed at ferrari? Delusional.

    1. The cars were pretty good, but ironically given his current job, it was on the politics that Ferrari failed the most, meaning they were always on the back foot and having to respond rather than lead. Although reading these sentences, it’s not a big surprise why.

      Is also no surprise that Ferrari became more competitive when Marchionne and Arrivabene led the team. Though they may not have been on Todt’s level, they were both politically savvy and willing to pay tough. If we thus entirely predictable that Ferrari started dropping back again after the former sadly died and the latter was ousted in the coup instigated by Binotto’s ultimatum to the new bosses.

  11. Everyone gets excited about McLaren but they openly admitted to having to change philosophy.

    The launch car was basically what they had around October 2022 and was then frozen. Not that they haven’t done a good job this year but it’s not quite the turnaround that it seems.

    1. Exactly, the McLaren wasn’t so much a story of in-season development but of launching their proper 2023 car late.

  12. “The awareness of F1 and the growth of our sport is really magic,” he said.

    F1 awareness.The mind melts a bit from reading this kind of PR gibberish. Maybe we can help Stefano a bit. ‘People that frequently watch F1 have a relatively high chance of getting delusional, they think they have experienced something great but in reality they have watched the same guy wining almost every race – there is an almost 100 procent certainty that this will continue to happen or even get worse over the next couple of seasons. Once a race is over people who watch F1 often feel deflated and down or agitated – it’s best to keep your distance and not start a conversation’ stay aware if one of your friends or family members continues to watch F1. Be aware! Something like that? I don’t know..

  13. On a bad day this season a team might need to find 0.2 seconds per lap in a 50 lap race. On a bad day it could be 0.5 seconds. And that was without Verstappen apparently having to maximise the cars full potential.

    If ORBR find just 0.2 seconds themselves for next year they will be out of sight, IMO.

    In the same way that Mercedes were able to put time and effort into designing DAS instead of making the fastest car faster ORBR have the same luxury.

  14. RBR never had any real issues. They are just adding performance, everyone else is catching up. If it’s true that RBR stopped developing the GODCAR aka RB19 months ago then I can’t really see them dropping the ball for the next 2 years considering the level of stability in the regulations. Just like we had with Mercs, we shall have to wait for the next switch.

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