Two appointments, two braces. The start of the season saw Red Bull prevail in both Grands Prix held up to now, with performances, especially in the race, clearly superior to those of their rivals.
After the first race in Bahrain, George Russell did not hide his fear that the Milton Keynes team could have such a large advantage that they could win every race of the championship, as it was for Mercedes at the beginning of the hybrid era. Starting from a solid foundation like the RB18, Red Bull has encountered a greater simplicity in the development phase, which has allowed it to continue to build on those strengths without having to make great sacrifices.
Something that, for example, hasn’t been matched by Ferrari or Mercedes, which over the winter have changed the philosophy of their cars more than what can be seen in their shapes, even going to sacrifice some of the best features to find a margin on the weaknesses.
Throughout the history of Formula 1, there have often been times when a team has been able to emerge above the rest of the grid, particularly at the dawn of major regulatory changes. Furthermore, with the introduction of the budget cap, that expenditure ceiling designed to limit costs, starting off on the wrong foot adds a further element of complexity to the climb to the top: in the case of the Star team, for example, there is no there will be enough money to introduce a new chassis this season, but that will have to wait until 2024.
Without a shadow of a doubt, arriving at a Grand Prix taking the result for granted is not a particularly exciting spectacle for the public, whose desire is to be able to witness world challenges fought from start to finish.
If on the one hand, as in any situation of domination, the first requests for regulatory changes to bring the grid closer together are “quietly”, on the other Red Bull’s rivals have not hidden their responsibilities, claiming that it is up to them to do a job best to beat the Milton Keynes team.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
“I’ve never been a fan of being worried about a team dominating because if they can, it means that [quel team] he did a great job. They deserve it,” explained Carlos Sainz, who was asked for a save on Red Bull’s excellent start to the championship and if the fight for the title will only concern Perez and Verstappen.
“I mean, I wish it was us [in quella posizione]. And then [in quel caso] I would get very angry if people cared that we were dominating in Formula 1. Sadly, this is a sport of cars rather than drivers. We know this makes the difference, even if Red Bull usually has a very strong line-up.”
“If a car is really good, all the other drivers can’t do much to stay in the fight. It’s the nature of Formula 1. We’ve seen it in the past and it’s nothing new,” added the Spaniard, who nonetheless maintained to underline in other interviews how the Scuderia from Maranello is working hard behind the scenes to be able to close the gap from the top and get back to fighting at the top.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
Even Toto Wolff, who had experienced this situation at the beginning of the hybrid era when Mercedes could count on an advantage that was never fully disclosed, wanted to underline how it’s up to the competition to recover: “I think there were years in which we were just as strong , but this sport is a meritocracy”.
“While it’s not good for the show that they always win the same, it’s because they did a good job and we didn’t. We all hope for good entertainment, but it is our duty, with everything we have, to catch up and fight these guys We must not minimize [il loro successo dal punto di vista sportivo]because I remember hearing rumors like that in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020”.
“What makes this sport so special is that you have to work hard to win and you deserve it, that’s a fact. We will of course try to do everything in our power to fight back and try to identify any areas of weakness they may have.”
Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, 1st position, celebrates
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
“The show follows the sport, and that’s perhaps not good from a commercial point of view, but that’s what makes Formula 1 so special,” explained Wolff.
An opinion similar to that of another team grappling with a difficult present, McLaren, which in the words of its Team Principal, Andrea Stella, has found an interpretation that wants to give credit to its opponents: “It’s not an amazing thing [il vantaggio della Red Bull]. For me it’s just the result of a team having an edge in terms of knowledge and the transformation of this knowledge into performance solutions. So congratulations to Red Bull” said the Italian.
“When you look at the car, you see its refinement. So, I think they deserve their success. It’s up to us to do a better job and challenge them.”
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