Verstappen drawing parallels with Hamilton as new era of dominance begins

Is there any stopping Red Bull and Max Verstappen in 2023 and beyond?

-

Formula 1 has entered a new era of dominance, the kind of which it was hoping to avoid with the much-changed regulations introduced for the 2022 season.

Closer and more competitive racing was promised, ironically at the conclusion of one of the tightest title battles in the history of the sport, as Max Verstappen prevailed against Lewis Hamilton on the last lap of the last race in 2021 to clinch his first world championship in wildly controversial circumstances that captured the imagination of casual fans aplenty.

However, to say it hasn’t gone to plan would be an understatement. Cars can follow closer but predicting the race winner before lights out has hardly been easier.

Verstappen won a record 15 Grands Prix of 22 last season to wrap up his second title with four races to spare, and the early signs in 2023 are that fans can expect more of the same this year.

The Dutchman took the chequered flag at the Bahrain Grand Prix by 11.9 seconds from his teammate, despite suffering with some gearbox issues, but it could have been anything had he wanted to up the ante.

Max Verstappen winning the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix
Max Verstappen of Red Bull takes the chequered flag to win the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

In truth, barring a reliability issue or a late safety car, the win was as good as wrapped up after three laps. Thankfully, the ensuing 54 under the lights produced some drama behind as Fernando Alonso rolled back the years to clinch the 99th podium of his F1 career, but the supporting cast won’t always be on hand to share the load.

George Russell, who finished seventh, has already seen enough to concede defeat, saying: “Red Bull has got this championship sewn up, I don’t think anyone is going to be fighting with them this year.

“I expect they should win every single race this season. That is my bet.”

Dramatic? Maybe, but the fact it’s being touted as a realistic possibility by one of the sport’s main protagonists should tell you all you need to know.

Max Verstappen of Red Bull leads Charles Leclerc of Ferrari at the start of 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 duels in 2023

Last season at least gave us some good duels up front between Verstappen and Leclerc, especially before the summer break, giving fans hope for the ground-effect regulations. But at this trajectory, 2023 and beyond could mirror the supremacy of Mercedes and Hamilton at the outset of the turbo hybrid era.

It’s not what anyone wanted and it’s not Verstappen‘s fault, of course. It’s not his job to entertain the fans and nor was it Hamilton‘s when he was turning in similar performances with a car that was the class of the field.

However, bereft of a teammate that’s capable of challenging him for top honours, the competitive future of F1 looks bleak for all but the Verstappen contingent of Red Bull enthusiasts.

Andrew Wright
Andrew Wrighthttps://total-motorsport.com
Sports Journalist for Total-Motorsport.com
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Alex Bowman celebrates victory at the 2024 Chicago Street Race | NASCAR

How rain strategy helped Alex Bowman end his drought in Chicago

0
Alex Bowman and his job with Hendrick Motorsports was never really in question as his contract runs through the...
Lewis Hamilton, Lando Norris and Max Verstappen 1 at the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

F1 Driver Ratings — 2024 British GP

0
Lewis Hamilton finally ended his long wait for a race victory at the Formula 1 2024 British GP as...
George Russell leads the field into Turn 1 at the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

F1 Winners and Losers from the British GP

0
Lewis Hamilton emerged victorious in one of the most memorable races in recent Formula 1 history, which begs the...
Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the 2024 British GP | Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton masterclass proves he can take fight to Verstappen

0
Lewis Hamilton basked in the glory of his long-awaited victory at the British Grand Prix, celebrating in front of...
Max Verstappen looks on at the 2024 Austrian GP | Chris Graythen / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen rues ‘poor’ British GP as Red Bull battle rare issue

0
Max Verstappen conceded it was a "poor afternoon" for Red Bull at the Formula 1 2024 British Grand Prix...
Lando Norris with engineers at 2024 British GP | McLaren F1 Team

Are McLaren becoming ‘new Ferrari’ after another strategy blunder?

0
Lando Norris' media appearances after the British GP were a genuinely tough watch, with reporters seemingly counselling the 24-year-old...
Race winner Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes Max Verstappen on the podium after the 2024 British Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Lewis Hamilton: British GP win more crucial to Mercedes than Russell victory

0
Lewis Hamilton explained why he felt his victory at the Formula 1 2024 British Grand Prix on Sunday was...
Carlos Sainz at the 2024 Austrian GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

F1 2024 British GP – Fastest Lap

0
Carlos Sainz snatched the fastest lap at the 2024 British GP at the final opportunity as an all-time classic...
Lando Norris during 2024 British GP | McLaren F1 Team

F1 Standings after 2024 British Grand Prix

0
An emotional 2024 British Grand Prix saw Lewis Hamilton take a record-breaking win at Silverstone, outsmarting Lando Norris and...
Max Verstappen leads Lando Norris of McLaren during the 2024 British Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 2024 British GP: Driver of the Day

0
There is a reason why the British Grand Prix remains the hottest attraction on the Formula 1 calendar and...
- Advertisment -