Retracing the beginning of this championship, next to the name of the winner of every single race held up to now there is always that of Red Bull. Six successes out of six appointments, in a march that seems unchallenged. Not even in Monaco, the track where Red Bull seemed most vulnerable, were their rivals able to impose themselves on both cars from Milton Keynes, with Max Verstappen able to take his fourth victory of the season, adding to the two triumphs of Sergio Perez in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan.
Immediately after the first Grand Prix of the season in Bahrain, George Russell did not hide his fear that the RB19 had the potential to win every race in 2023. An impression also shared by the reigning champion, Max Verstappen, according to whom the car is currently built in Milton Keynes seems to have what it takes to impose itself in every round of this world championship.
However, although in terms of sheer pace the RB19 has a tangible advantage over the competition, for the Dutchman it is rather unlikely that Red Bull will be able to win every round of the calendar: “At the moment it looks like we can (win every race ), but that’s unlikely to happen. There are always things that don’t go in the right direction, perhaps due to a retirement,” explained the bearer of the Anglo-Austrian team.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19
Photo by: Erik Junius
The idea that Red Bull can dominate the championship far and wide has created various discontent, above all bearing in mind how important it is, even on a television level, to have fought seasons. In reality, in the past years Formula 1 has often collided with periods in which a particular team has imposed itself with a certain simplicity on the rest of the group. For Verstappen, the best solution would be to keep the regulations unchanged for the next few years too, so that the competition can also align in terms of technical solutions, closing the gap from the top: “As regards the period of domination, we have always seen in Formula 1, I think the longer the regulations stay the same, the more compact the group will become, so it’s something we need to think about”.
“Clearly we’ve had particular years where there are two teams fighting, or maybe even three teams, but overall, if you look back at the 80s, 90s and 2000s, there were dominations by certain teams,” he said. then added the twice world champion.
“Just keep the regulations similar for a long time. As soon as you change something, teams find a way to do better than the others and for other teams it will take time to close the gap.
Race winner Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool
Verstappen is back from a good victory in the Principality, which came at the end of a weekend that many have defined as his best weekend of this start to the season: “I don’t know, it was probably a good weekend. Going into the eve we knew it wouldn’t be our easiest weekend on the calendar, but we still managed to do well, we were all close in qualifying”.
“But then, in the race, clearly we had to do a rather long stint on the mediums, stay out waiting to see what Fernando (Alonso) would do, then the rain came. It was a confusing situation, it’s not the best situation you can find a rider in when you’re in the lead. Then he started to rain, you don’t want to take too many risks but you also don’t want to waste too much time ”.
“Overall it was a good race, but when I crossed the line I told myself that I was very happy that the weekend had come to an end. It’s been very hectic and quite stressful, so I’m really looking forward to this weekend – it’s a real track and this is where a Formula 1 car comes to life.”
Leaving the Monegasque appointment behind, Formula 1 will move to Spain, a stage in which Red Bull should introduce a new package of updates. The Hasselt driver didn’t say too much about the scope of the news, but added instead that the track should better adapt to the characteristics of the RB19: “We simply continue with our normal program and nothing strange”, explained Max about the updates .
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, with his pit board after winning the Spanish GP in 2016
Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool
“I think so (that the track enhances the qualities of the car). In theory it should, but of course we need to find a good balance first. But I think as long as we have a good balance, we can have a good weekend.”
Seven years ago, Verstappen’s first success in the top category arrived right on the Barcelona track, in what was also his first weekend as a Red Bull driver. Now the Dutchman is the most successful driver ever in the history of the Milton Keynes team, having overtaken Sebastian Vettel just last weekend thanks to the Monegasque victory: “In general, that week (of the 2016 Spanish GP) was crazy. I spent time in the simulator trying to learn the procedures because the cars at the time were quite different, not only to drive, but also in terms of steering.”
“For me to go through that situation, just sitting in the car, when I came out of the pits that car (Red Bull) had so much rake, I could even almost see my front wing! I learned a lot that weekend. Christian told me to try and score points and have fun. In the end I had fun! Of course it was great to win that race at the time, then a lot of things happened. Winning 39 races now is crazy, but it’s also a feeling you want to win again,” added Verstappen.