Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2024

Despairing at Red Bull’s dominance? Six reasons to keep the faith in F1

Formula 1

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Max Verstappen and Red Bull trounced the opposition in the first Formula 1 race of 2024.

A comfortable one-two dispelled any suggestions their aggressive new car design might not be as effective as its predecessor. And it delivered a blow to their rivals who hoped they had cut into Red Bull’s significant race pace advantage over the winter.

But as always after just one race there remains much we haven’t learned about how competitive the field is and may become over the next nine months and 23 rounds. Here are six reasons why Red Bull may still face stronger competition than last year.

Their winning margin wasn’t as big

It’s easy to get distracted by some of the headline statistics from last weekend. Yes, Verstappen opened the year with a ‘grand slam’ – win, pole, fastest lap and leading every lap – which hasn’t been done since Michael Schumacher at Melbourne in 2004. True, he enjoyed the biggest winning margin ever seen in Bahrain, leading team mate Sergio Perez home by 22 seconds.

But Verstappen’s lead over Perez isn’t what matters. After last season, few realistically expected Perez to suddenly emerge as a title contender.

The much more significant figure is Verstappen’s lead over the closest non-Red Bull, and this was much less. Fernando Alonso came in 38.6 seconds adrift in third place last year, but yesterday Carlos Sainz Jnr’s Ferrari was 25.1s behind.

That’s still a wide margin. But there are other reasons why Red Bull were so hard to catch in Bahrain.

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Strategy amplified Red Bull’s advantage

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2024
Stocking up on softs boosted Red Bull’s advantage
The Bahrain International Circuit is the most abrasive track on the calendar. The punishment it metes out to the tyres makes this one of few guaranteed two-stop races in ordinary conditions.

Despite the newness of their cars, the tyres held no secrets for the teams, as they spent three days pounding around the circuit last week. The medium tyre compound proved useless for race runs, but Red Bull knew they could make the soft tyre last longer than their rivals.

Therefore they banked a fresh set of softs for the race, which gave them the luxury of covering around one-third of the race distance on tyres which were two stages softer than their rivals were running on. That won’t be an option at most races this year.

Verstappen wasn’t quickest in qualifying

All through last year the Red Bull wasn’t as strong over a single lap as it was over a race distance. That trait clearly remained in Bahrain, even though Verstappen took pole position.

His 1’29.179 in Q3 put him on pole position by 0.228 seconds over Charles Leclerc. But the Ferrari driver had done a 1’29.165 in Q2.

Indeed, the competitive situation behind Red Bull in qualifying was much more encouraging than this time a year ago:

Even with the dominant RB19 at his disposal, Verstappen missed out on pole position 10 times last year. He may find himself starting off pole position more often this year, and further back in the pack when he does so.

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Perez still looks a weak link

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2024
By the time Perez emerged from the pack, Verstappen was gone
Last year any slight performance disadvantage for Red Bull was amplified on Perez’s side of the garage. Incredibly, he failed to take the all-conquering RB19 into Q3 on nine occasions over the course of the season.

Although Perez’s form picked up at the end of last year, the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend gave no indication he has significantly reduced his usual deficit to his team mate. His 0.358s gap to Verstappen was the largest between any pair of team mates in Q3.

As the data above shows, he’s going to have a tougher fight on his hands this year. That will limit his usefulness to the team’s efforts to score points and as his effectiveness as Verstappen’s wing man.

The chasing pack is even tighter

Had it not been for Alpine’s conspicuously poor start to the season we would be able to say the F1 grid is closer from the front of the grid to the back than it was this time last year.

Daniel Ricciardo, RB, Bahrain International Circuit, 2024
Ricciardo relished the closer competition in Bahrain
The upshot of that is the drivers’ performance has a greater bearing than before. We can see more clearly when someone has performed well or badly. One case in point last weekend was George Russell, who was the only driver in the top seven places on the grid to put all his best sector times together in a single lap. He was rewarded with third instead of seventh on the grid.

The drivers appreciate the closer fight, even if it costs them at times, as Daniel Ricciardo admitted.

“It is good that there is a pretty competitive field,” he told the official F1 channel after yesterday’s race. “At least in the midfield it’s very competitive.

“Even qualifying yesterday, I’ve made a mistake in turn one and I paid the price. And it’s kind of nice – it’s not nice when you make the mistake, but it’s nice when you know you need to put a really good lap together to be where you deserve to be.”

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Mercedes were compromised

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2024
The W15s appeared to have untapped potential
Among all of Red Bull’s likeliest rivals, Mercedes were the ones which appeared to demonstrate the least of their potential in Bahrain. After topping second practice they never quite got the W15 back where they wanted it.

That was partly by design. The team elected to optimise their car more for the race in qualifying, so were disappointed to end up third and ninth on the grid.

They expected to show their hand in the race but discovered they had misjudged their cooling levels. As a result George Russell and Lewis Hamilton had to reduce their pace in order to reach the end, which created knock-on problems.

“We got the cooling level wrong today and that cost us,” team principal Toto Wolff explained. “To manage the issue, we had to do a lot more lift-and-coast and you then lose performance with the tyres. It’s a vicious circle.”

Naturally the team believe the car could have been a lot quicker without that limitation. Mercedes is getting to grips with a wholesale change of car concept, and potentially have much more to unlock from their new car over the coming races.

Over to you

Are you still holding out hope Verstappen may face a stronger challenge from his rivals this year? Or does the above strike you as wishful thinking?

Share your views in the comments.

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2024 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Author information

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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75 comments on “Despairing at Red Bull’s dominance? Six reasons to keep the faith in F1”

  1. There’s even better news:

    The MotoGP season starts later this week.

    1. There’s even better news:
      The IndyCar season starts later this week.

      And to answer some questions in the article:

      “Their winning margin wasn’t as big”
      – Unfortunately, winning a race by 20sec or winning it by 40sec looks exactly the same.

      “Verstappen wasn’t quickest in qualifying”
      – Which makes the qualifying feel even more meaningless. Next time Leclerc wins pole you will know Ferrari won’t have the pace in the race.

      1. The IndyCar season starts later this week.

        And, unlike WEC, they had the sense not to schedule their opening race for the same Saturday as the grand prix.

    2. @sonnycrockett Doesn’t help me I’m afraid – no time to watch it!

      1. That’s a shame,@keithcollantine, you’re missing some great racing!

        1. Very much looking forward to this season starting, with Marquez now on a Ducati and Bagnaia and Martin picking up where they left off last year.
          Also excited to see how Acosta does.

    3. Yellow Baron
      3rd March 2024, 21:58

      And indycar

  2. Come one mate, this is wishful thinking. We are in for a terrible season.

    1. The arguments presented in the article are all very substantive and solid.
      But the thing is, all of those things we already saw at some point in 2023 and it’s way too little to make a difference.

  3. I can live with Max/RB totally dominating the season. That has been the case in F1 for most of it’s history I would say.
    Admittedly Lewis used to at least try to keep it interesting by claiming his tyres were shot or something, whereas Max just says “Yeah … everything’s fine”.
    But still, dominance by the superior team with the superior driver is the norm for F1.

    If the rest of the field are genuinely competing with each other though, then you will have my interest.
    Unfortunately, this opening race was just a pointless merry-go-round of DRS passes and lacklustre performance from drivers that I know can do better.

    We will get some good races – I’m certain of it – the worry is how many will be good?
    Let’s wait and see folks, it can only get better ……. can’t it?

    1. Josh (@canadianjosh)
      3rd March 2024, 13:36

      Anything would be better than a race rated mostly 5 or below out of 10. I hate to say it but Max dominating is likely most of what we’ll get.

      1. Jonathan Parkin
        3rd March 2024, 13:52

        What we need is a race like Monaco 1996. Only three finishers and a winner from a midfield team from 14th on the grid

        1. When the occasion for stuff like that happens they don’t run nowadays – spa 2021, and I know monaco 1996 wasn’t a super wet race, but also reliability was far worse back then.

    2. But still, dominance by the superior team with the superior driver is the norm for F1.

      It really isn’t, Verstappen won 86% of the races last year, which was a huge increase over the previous record, which had stood since 1952 (!), when Ascari won 75% of the races. As an aside; contrary to most stats from the 1950s, Ascari did race at Indianapolis in 1952, but retired during the race, and his qualifying efforts prevented him from participating in the Swiss GP. Only three others season have seen drivers clear the 70% mark, though it would have been four if Schumacher hadn’t gifted so many wins to Barrichello in 2002; Ascari in 1952, Clark in 1963 and Schumacher in 2004 (and 2002).

      This win after win after win after win really isn’t normal.

      1. Win after win isn’t normal, but neither is Max Verstappen. We saw this kind of form in 2013. I don’t know why people are shocked by it all.

        1. Because it the car?

          1. “Because it the car?”

            Because of the car, a driver can look faster than anyone else on the track and making his strategy and moves look brilliant; and Max certainly has had a very fast car. Having said that, Max has repeatedly shown great talent and the ability to beat others at the top of the F1 game.
            Checo is a classic reference mark, the RB car certainly helped him do very well against the other teams but really, Max has driven leap years ahead of his teammate in a (theoretically) same car.

            As I’ve said in the past, I’m not at all a Red Bull F1 fan but the driver/car package they’ve put together is sadly a phenomenal winning package (designer/PU/driver) and credit is due.

          2. Well said @redpill, sure it is the car, but it is also Verstappen making the most of it, and the team too doing very little wrong. Others can learn from that I’d hope.

      2. What’s really not normal and why people hate it so much is Red Bull was caught cheating to gain this advantage and allowed to keep it. You can’t discuss Red Bull’s “superiority” without acknowledging that and no one enjoys a competition where one competitor’s been given a massive unfair advantage which can’t be overcome.

        1. Craig

          where one competitor’s been given a massive unfair advantage which can’t be overcome.

          Sorry, but – unless your talking about something other than what I think you are – what was the “massive” unfair advantage. Even with agreement that there was advantage and if we agree that it was unfair when penalties are considered, on what are you basing your assessment that it was “massive”?

          which can’t be overcome

          Isn’t everyone else free to do the same thing?

          1. If you deduct the % overspend from RB qualifying laptimes to same % last year I think there would be quite a different result. Therefore it does seem massive.

      3. José Lopes da Silva
        4th March 2024, 16:00

        If you consider the trends since around 1985 you’ll realise this is now the normal.
        In the sixties and seventies the pecking order changed wildly after every season and no one defender successfully a Drivers titles between Brabham and Prost. After that, long cycles of domination became the norm: McLaren, Williams, Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes, Red Bull (with tiny Benetton and Renault cycles in between)

    3. This is also just the tuning by the UK press with their perpetual ‘RedBull dominance’ narrative. Didn’t hear the same complaint for the 8 straight years Mercedes dominance since it suited them. It’s all a bit childish.

      1. Broadsword to Danny Boy
        5th March 2024, 16:11

        Think your memory is shot; there were plenty people bemoaning Merc dominance, but at least in those years when another team wasn’t in contention Merc let their drivers race each other so long as it didn’t unduly risk the constructors championship. Unlike Ferrari before them and now Red Bull.
        That’s not a criticism of RB, they are operating within the rules of the game, but if you thought Merc dominance was dull, this is on another level.

        Personally I’d just loosen up the formula in a number of areas to allow the engineers to invent their way out of this…. it’d be far more entertaining, you know six wheels, double wings, moving aero, suction fans, triple diffusers, engine development, laser anti-gravity warp……whatever. Anything to keep folk awake for 50 races a season or whatever it izzzzzzzz…..

  4. Stephen Taylor
    3rd March 2024, 13:58

    Come on Keith you should know better . Max wasn’t pushing anywhere near the potential of that car.

    1. Even so, I’m surprised they let him build a 20+ sec gap without telling him to save the engine or whatever.

      1. The scariest part, he was saving the engine.

        During the Vettel era with the blown diffuser, it seemed every year the Red Bull margin increased until a large scale rule change.

    2. Yeah. Ridiculous claim. Also last year Max and Perez were fighting a bit. Yesterday Max was on his own and still finished 20 second up the road.

  5. Their winning margin wasn’t as big; true but last year the guy in 3rd (Leclerc) retired later on in the race so the gap to the new third was somewhat artificially high.

    Strategy amplified Red Bull’s advantage; the fact that they were able to run this strategy will also be an advantage at other tracks, even if the effect is less significant.

    Verstappen wasn’t quickest in qualifying; he also ‘only’ took 12 poles last year, but it was still a snoozer of a season.

    Perez still looks a weak link; but even he finished 2nd, which in 2022 only happened when Red Bull outright dominated, and in 2023 he was off the podium more often than not. If anything, this result is ominous, not consoling.

    The chasing pack is even tighter; it might be, but there’s only so much fun to be had in seeing who comes 8th, especially when that doesn’t lead to any prolonged battles but rather a whole bunch of forgettable DRS moves.

    Mercedes were compromised; a small glimmer of hope, perhaps. We’ll see.

    In terms of the championship and race wins, there’s just about no reason to expect anything other than a Verstappen-led sweep. The other teams have shown nothing to indicate otherwise.

  6. I recognize the effort, but 2024 seems over.
    And, if one assume that nobody will bring something relevant until 2026, 2025 season might be over also.

    1. At this point the only hope is that Red Bull will mess up somehow in 2026, like Mercedes did in 2022.

      It’s also kind of sad that we have a few drivers who everyone rates very high (championship material) who might never get as many wins as Barrichello, Bottas, Riccardo or Webber, let alone win a championship!

      Then there’s Perez who can only hope to get into that club.

      To be fair Webber did fight for the championship once (that’s why I didn’t add Massa to the list).

  7. I’m not particularly surprised that the people for whom their revenue depends on sustained interest in F1 are trying desperately to ask people to keep the faith in what is undoubtedly going to be the most boring season of F1 possibly ever.

  8. After 3 days of testing and 3 FP sessions two of the top teams were unable to properly setup their cars and were “compromised”.
    Not that F1 is easy, but it doesn’t bode well when 2 top teams are making basic errors while the dominant team is seemingly perfect and not making any mistakes at all.

  9. The thing is that throughout the history of F1 there has always tended to be a dominant team probably most years and there has always been a big gap between the front few teams & the rest.

    The difference between the modern era and past era’s however is that practically all of the variables that once created the sort of unpredictability that would prevent the fastest package from winning everything have been removed, reduced & sanitised in the name of cost reduction, attempted performance equalisation, standardised parts or in some cases circuit safety.

    Since long life engines, gearboxes etc… were introduced 20 years ago reliability improved as teams were no longer pushing those components as hard as they once did. And that along with budget reductions also prevent teams/engine manufacturer’s from really looking to the extremes of development aimed at pushing the boundaries of performance.

    And with the cost cap & other restrictions on design and how teams can design/build/test & introduce upgrades you no longer get those same upgrade cycles race to race that used to help shuffle the order a bit.

    And while I know the tyre war has it’s detractors the thing that is often ignored is how the tyre development between suppliers & different strengths/weaknesses of each supplier also helped shuffle the order from circuit to circuit and also during races themselves at times. You look at a race like Pheonix 1990 as an example where Jean Alesi was able to lead most of that race in part because the Pirelli tyres Tyrrell were racing on tended to work better on street circuits when compared to the Good Year’s.

    And then of course you have the circuits where the elements such as kerbs/grass/gravel & less than ideal track surfaces that used to create some mistakes if drivers ran a bit too wide or whatever no longer punish them so errors are no longer a significant time loss.

    When you cut out all of the variables that used to introduce a bit of uncertainty, unpredictability & help generate the shuffling in the order and odd surprise result are no longer there to do so and the more artificial elements introduced to try and recreate them are doing what artificial nonsense usually does in failing to work as effectively once everyone has figured them out.

    1. DRS is surely not helping in this matter: when the drivers in the strongest cars are out of position they can climb back very easily now, compared to the 2000s, for example, when going from last to 4th\5th was an achievement.

    2. When you cut out all of the variables that used to introduce a bit of uncertainty, unpredictability & help generate the shuffling in the order and odd surprise result are no longer there to do so and the more artificial elements introduced to try and recreate them are doing what artificial nonsense usually does in failing to work as effectively once everyone has figured them out.

      Absolutely, and just about all these effects are amplified by the awful tyres that lead to race laptimes being a lot slower than the limits these cars reach in qualifying. It was over 3,5 seconds in Bahrain, and that’s not even close to the worst in recent times. That’s not a lot of difference for normal people, but for these guys, that’s something they notice at every corner. They’re cruising.

      Look how bad they handled the Qatar race. Yes, ambient temperatures were high, but it was a bad reflection on modern F1 to see the drivers struggle to keep it together when the tyre limitations were removed. Twenty years ago, the fastest lap here at the first Bahrain race was a negligible 0,1 seconds slower than pole. And it’s not just a case of one driver going for a glory run; the times match up from the front to the back of the grid. That stuff matters.

  10. That’s a great example of cognitive dissonance; watching F1 to see the pinnacle of motorsport and automotive engineering but despairing at the team that is best achieving that pinnacle of motorsport and automotive engineering.

    1. Well, not always. The despair is only there when their man isn’t the beneficiary of the situation.

  11. I really don’t see how Perez being a weak link is a good thing…

    If Red Bull were dominating but at least had two drivers of similar(ish) pace the races would at least have a bit more interest going for them. As it is now and last year, it’s almost certain who’s going to win. I end up praying for a stuck wheel nut on a Verstappen pitstop just to provide some interest, and it shouldn’t be that way.

    A bit like the Hamilton-Rosberg era, yes Mercedes were dominating, but the two fighting each other gave some great races. Admittedly when Bottas came along, that fell away somewhat, but then at least for 2 of those seasons Ferrari had its act together to at least provide some early season interest, before they and Vettel imploded.

    1. Looking back one should really be grateful for Rosberg. And he was clearly above the number 2s like Bottas, Rubens, Perez, Ricci.

      In fact if Rosberg had a number 2 instead of Lewis he probably would have got 3-4 championships.

      Even Max should thank both Lewis and Nico for his first win :)

      1. And Bottas’ quali skills were far superior to Sergio’s.

  12. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    3rd March 2024, 15:53

    Starting the season with:

    – A weird Thursday/Friday/Saturday Schedule
    – A utterly dominant & bulletproof car
    – A superb driver on the top of his game
    – Post testing where everyone and their dog could see Red Bull were leagues ahead

    It’s probably the least hyped and most disheartening start to a season in a long long time. I imagine FOM are pretty worried about having to drag this out for 24 races, but then it’s hard to feel sorry for any of them as this is all very self inflicted from F1 as a whole.

    I’m fairly sure this was the first time I missed the start of the first race of the season since the 90’s!

    1. Drag out for 24 races? Probably another 47 or 48 depending on how long next season ends up being.

  13. I wonder whether racefans.net and other similar sites have experienced (and will experience) fewer visits this year. I personally visited it less this weekend, which saddens me because it probably shows I lost quite a bit of interest.

  14. Just canceled F1TV. That’s what I think about it all.

    1. I almost wanted to subscribe just to show some appreciation for the hilarious temerity to raise the price from €65 to a whopping €142,80 for a year long subscription on the back of the 2023 season. Yes, that 2023 season.

      Free highlights and £12 for RaceFans is a much better deal.

      1. Wow, that’s crazy. In the Netherlands the price went up from €65 to €94 – though only for those already with a yearly subscription, they now only offer a monthly one, which is of course more expensive.

      2. Wow. I might have cancelled also. In the USA we pay $85

  15. We’re watching possibly the best driver in history partnered with the best design team in history. It’s utterly remarkable what we are witnessing. Let’s not forget this car had resource restrictions placed upon it. I think those that despair, I feel bad for, but for me this is about as close to driving perfection as we’ll ever see. Masters at work, this is greatness.

    There’s not a team in the world that wouldn’t do anything to have that car, and not a driver on that grid who wouldn’t want Verstappen’s gift. What we are seeing is a reflection of what everyone truly desires.

    I do think F1 has too many races, the engines are rubbish, the cars are too big and heavy, but we are witnessing something very special.

    Oh, and when someone does finally match this level to take it to Max, it’ll be some of the most compelling racing in F1’s history. But you need people to push the limit higher for the ‘challenge’ to be valuable.

    1. Vestappen is a long way off the best driver in history (He might be good but the very idea he’s “best” is frankly laughable. For the record if anyone gets such an unquantifiable accolade it’d be Lauda) and the fact Red Bull is still so far ahead despite resource restrictions from their previous cheating (which gave them this advantage in the first place, yet no one seems willing to say Vestappen is only “good” because of the car for some curious reason) raises far more questions.

      1. I’m very curious why you say Lauda would be the best ever, as his name doesn’t usually enter such discussions and he’s usually placed just a tier below. What elevates him in your mind? I wouldn’t be born for a while yet when he was racing so I missed anything that would’ve been evident to someone watching then.

      2. I do not agree with a single thing you say.

    2. Would agree, But he has Perez as a partner, and even he dominated yesterday for his 2nd place finish in that Redbull.

  16. Are you still holding out hope Verstappen may face a stronger challenge from his rivals this year?
    – I wish, but unfortunately, I doubt that’ll be the case, especially for the championship, although occasional races could be a different matter.

  17. If Perez wasn’t so bad at qualy he would’ve started 2nd and would be able to follow Max closer instead of wasting time clearing and covering slower cars.

    Leclerc had issues and should’ve finished closer too.

    All the rest was pretty bad.

    1. I think we saw a continuation of last season. The RedBull is on par with Ferrari. Mercedes, McLaren and Aston are close behind. Max just distracts more out of that car than any other driver in the current field would. Without Max it would actually be anyones guess who would win, I think the field has never been so close (if you disregard Max). So Max is ahead and then behind him Sainz, Leclerc and Perez will battle throughout the year, sometimes joined by Lewis, George, Lando and Piastri. So, just as a suggestion to all complaining about the situation, I would appreciate seeing history being made witnessing such a level of performance of Max and enjoy the incredible tight battle for 2nd & 3rd.

      1. Could agree, but Perez regained 2nd so easy and then dominated those behind, which says the car has a bigger margin than last year.

      2. That’s one of the worst takes i’ve ever seen. Perez was awful last season and still finished 2nd.
        So the cars are equal but he was the 2nd best driver?

        Jeez….

      3. If Max was winning by five seconds or so, I could see the argument that he’s just a better driver than everyone else and the cars are close. However, consistently winning by 20+ seconds can only be done with a dominant car. To me, there’s no question that Max is the best driver out there right now, but he also has the best car by a mile.

  18. I feel we are clutching at straws here. In the last two years Verstappen and Red Bull ushered in the most crushing era of dominance in the history of the sport, and from what I have seen this weekend, it shows no sign of abating. I hope next year Red Bull manage to put Norris or Sainz in the second Red Bull (neither Tsunado nor Ricciardo has convinced me this year or last year they are ready to step up to the first team), so at least we get the occasional fireworks, even if Max would remain the title favorite.

  19. Even being the season with the biggest dominance ever, there were 2 hopeful signs early last year:

    1. Until the Miami race Checo seemed to be posing a genuine challenge
    2- The unexpected early success of Aston Martin And Fernando

    Nobody expects a real challenge from Checo this year, and the AM seems firmly behind Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren, not to mention Red Bull.

    A superb driver and team such as Max & RBR deserve all the success they are achieving, but it makes for unmitigated tedium.

    i

  20. If Red Bull really care about Formula 1, they should give Max a teammate who gives more of a challenge.
    Dont know what Perez did over the winter. Did he perhpas train with Alpine???

  21. I’ve got a seventh reason to have some hope for this season. Verstappen gets bored and quits halfway during the season to take up endurance racing.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        4th March 2024, 1:24

        lol – that would be so funny if he did that and they still won the WDC and WCC.

  22. Reminder.. Verstappen was cruising. If needed he could do half a second to a second faster.

  23. Yellow Baron
    3rd March 2024, 22:01

    Six reasons to keep faith in F1 – Brought to you by McDonald’s University toilet classroom. Sponsored by FOM.

  24. Red Bull’s slower driver cruised to the finish in second.
    And they have a new design they haven’t even started to properly develop. Just now the biggest threat to their season looks internal and I don’t mean Pérez.

  25. There is no hope for this year, I do understand it’s only the first race, but this was very demoralising. I fear this will be the same next year. Where is Max’s competition? To be specific, where is his below standard team mate? Our only hope for this year and Perez will be finishing 30 seconds behind. This isn’t good enough.
    Regardless with Red Bull being so strong, we at least need intra-team competition and this will never happen. Im resorting to only YouTube highlights and not paying a cent to watch this garbage.

  26. The glass half full report.

    Will there be a glass half empty companion article.

    I agree with the central views expressed here. Congrats RBR and MV. Only interest is what happens behind Max (acknowledging that Max ‘may’ drop back into the action on the rare occasion). Fingers crossed that this is interesting enough. Shame on short sighted rules that have exacerbated the effect of normal dominance cycles.

  27. I do applaud Red Bull for their machine but the only thing that one needs to watch is the first lap and if VER is still running as one of the top 20 cars, the race is his. Go do something and come back to watch the final lap.

  28. I stopped watching after a bit. It was boring. ¯⁠\⁠_⁠(⁠ツ⁠)⁠_⁠/⁠¯

  29. Sorry, I don’t find any of these reasons help me to think the situation will improve. I fear that this is the new F1 until some drastic change effects the stability of everything now. I feel every change they have made in recent years has changed the uncertainty of elements in a race, be it refueling, DRS, hybrid engines, longer/bigger cars, and others have reduced the competition in the race.
    So all hail Red Bull, our F1 overlords. See you next season, hoping for big changes. At least IndyCar has been fun to watch – I hope that continues.

  30. An Sionnach
    4th March 2024, 4:08

    It would be great to get a truly talented driver into the other Red Bull. Alonso! I would like to know just how representative Perez’ pace is of the car. That’s what gives me hope, although I could happily watch Max drive for a whole race if not much is going on. His current form is mesmerising and surely cannot last? Mistakes must creep in eventually, and then confidence falters. He is human, after all? I have a feeling that the Red Bull might be a little like the old Benetton and that it needs a special talent to unlock all of its potential. With that in mind, as much as I’d like to see Alonso in there, I would guess he might be too talented in a tricky car to be representative of what we could expect from other top drivers. Perhaps Leclerc, George or Lewis might provide a better benchmark? Lando could drive that awful McLaren so he’s off the list, too.

    Not related to Mercedes’ technical issues mentioned here, but when it comes to Lewis and his troubles in qualifying…Lewis says a lot of things.

  31. It’s tedious. The utter dominance of one team, the fake DRS passing and the cost for the average punter to have the privilege to watch the procession makes for a pretty unappealing proposition. I like Keith’s optimism but I’m afraid it’s just that. We’re in for another boring year.

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