‘Off-track issues to overshadow continued Red Bull dominance in 2024?’

Total-Motorsport.com take a closer look at what to expect from Red Bull ahead of the 2024 Formula 1 season

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Despite Christian Horner’s investigation for alleged inappropriate behaviour, Red Bull and Max Verstappen remain big favourites for the 2024 Formula 1 season.

Verstappen made history with a record-breaking 19 race wins in 2023, including 10 in a row, as he joined the illustrious list of drivers who have won three consecutive titles.

Teammate Sergio Perez, who took two victories last year, will be under pressure to keep his seat as his contract expires at the end of 2024.

Total-Motorsport.com journalists Adam Dickinson, Jasmine Hughes, Joe Krishnan, Ed Spencer and Brandon Sutton take a look at what to expect from Red Bull in 2024.

Adam Dickinson: Verstappen will have no problems on his way to fourth title

Red Bull remain the team to beat in F1 until proven otherwise. Though the cost cap penalty will have taken a slice of competitiveness away from the team, their last significant upgrade in 2023 came at the Hungarian GP so I think they’ll have nullified it pretty effectively, and Verstappen is still the quickest man in motorsport.

Equally, with the outcome of the Horner investigation unconfirmed at the time of writing, the only way I see that affecting them is if they get off to a bad start in 2024 and need a rethink, which doesn’t seem likely.

I think there could be a closer battle in the constructors’ championship – potentially with Ferrari – as Sergio Perez‘s confidence will continue to be eroded by Verstappen‘s unerring supremacy, but I expect the Dutchman to have no such problems on his way to a fourth drivers’ title.

Constructors’ Championship prediction: 1st

Max Verstappen poses for a portrait during Red Bull Racing 2024 Season Launch RB20 in London | Will Cornelius / Red Bull Content Pool

Joe Krishnan: It will take something extraordinary to stop Red Bull

Red Bull won’t be making improvements this year, that much is clear. If they do, F1 needs a big rethink. You can only sit and admire the way Verstappen cruised off into the distance in the majority of his 19 race wins in 2023. At the same time, it’s never good for the sport to have one team so far ahead of the rest.

Then again, it sounds like sour grapes to come down on Red Bull for being almost flawless. Whether it was pit stops, strategy or tyre management… everything they did was near-perfect, and the others simply failed to live up to their standards.

This is as much a call to Ferrari, Mercedes and McLaren to make a big improvement as it is a desperate plea to Red Bull to chuck a visor tear-off into the cooling system of Verstappen’s car.

Red Bull are not without their own challenges, from Horner’s uncertain future to a brand new Adrian Newey innovation on the RB20 sidepods. But Verstappen’s efforts alone were comfortably enough to get them the constructors’ last year – and it would take something extraordinary to knock them off the top.

Constructors’ Championship prediction: 1st

Brandon Sutton: Perez embarks on biggest season of career

Is there really any other answer? At times, Verstappen lapped a whole second faster than the field as he won 19 races in 2023. Red Bull even maintained their advantage through to the final round despite entirely switching development to 2024 from the Singapore Grand Prix.

It’s a grim outlook for the rest of the F1 grid and to make matters worse, the team are so operationally slick that there isn’t really the chance of a random screw-up to open the door to a surprise winner as there rarely was in the Mercedes era.

Verstappen will prove to be his remarkably consistent self, dominating the majority of the races for his fourth championship and he will probably even sound bored most of the time.

But for Perez? It’s the biggest season of his career. If he’s as poor as 2023, where he finished with less than half the points haul of his teammate, then he’s out of his seat and possibly sent into a premature retirement as Daniel Ricciardo, Liam Lawson and Alex Albon, to name a few, wait in the wings. In 2024, it’s Red Bull and Verstappen as champions and Perez with everything to prove.

Constructors’ Championship prediction: 1st

Ed Spencer: On-track dominance risks being overshadowed

After a season where they were one win away from completing the perfect season, it seemed nothing could trouble Red Bull’s run of titles.

But the winter of 2024 has seen Red Bull in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, with Horner’s position as team principal under threat due to an ongoing inquiry into his conduct.

If Horner were to resign, Red Bull could be led by someone completely new to the team’s ecosystem, potentially slowing down the team’s success rate if the new boss takes time to adapt.

None of this should worry Verstappen, who has become the new benchmark in F1 after a dominant 2023 and is the hot favourite for title number four. 

Elsewhere, Perez goes into 2024 with it all to do and under pressure to avoid repeating the mistakes that marred 2023 if he wants to retain his seat for 2025. 

Constructors’ Championship prediction: 1st

Sergio Perez poses for a portrait during Red Bull Racing 2024 Season Launch RB20 in Londo | Will Cornelius / Content Pool

Jasmine Hughes: Question of how many times Red Bull will win

It’s a no-brainer. Red Bull will almost certainly finish the 2024 season on top, with Verstappen looking set for his fourth consecutive drivers’ championship.

The Milton Keynes-based team were almost unbeatable last year, losing to another team only once across the 22 race season. All that seems left to speculate on is how many victories Red Bull will take, and whether they will enjoy as clean a sweep as last year.

For the sake of entertainment, we hope not. Red Bull’s competitors worked hard to close the gap throughout the 2023 season, and will have doubled-down on this goal over the off-season. Hopefully this year, there will be a few more Singapore-esque challenges against Red Bull’s dominance.

Of course, there does remain the Perez question. The Mexican struggled in comparison to Verstappen last year, coming away with only two race wins and often finding himself making his way back to the front of the grid after a dismal result in qualifying.

With Perez’s contract expiring at the end of 2024, this year will be his final chance to prove he belongs to remain at Red Bull.

Constructors’ Championship prediction: 1st

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, and previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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