Despite Red Bull winning all but one of the races in 2023, Carlos Sainz believes the competitiveness of the chasing pack showed how “beautiful” Formula 1 can be.
Red Bull and Max Verstappen dominated the season, taking both titles with relative ease and the Dutchman winning a record 19 races out of 22, with two added from team-mate Sergio Perez early in the season.
Sainz was the only non-Red Bull driver to win in 2023, taking top spot in Singapore, but pointed out that the tightness of the battle behind Verstappen was something for the sport to be happy about.
Carlos Sainz: Competitiveness behind Red Bull ‘beautiful’ part of F1 2023 season
Away from Verstappen’s near-monopoly on race victories, a total of 11 drivers stood on the podium in 2023 and Sainz’s Ferrari team, along with Mercedes, Aston Martin and latterly McLaren all jostled to be ‘best of the rest’ at different times.
This led to unpredictable racing away from the front of the field at pretty much every round of the season and, while most neutrals would of course prefer to see a multi-team battle for victories, the Spaniard believes the closeness of the field was one of the best aspects of last season.
“Behind Red Bull we have seen a very good example of how beautiful Formula 1 can be,” Sainz explained to Spanish publication AS.
“A team like McLaren started last and ended up dominating the field behind Red Bull, and a team like Ferrari takes pole positions, fights Red Bull for the win, and in other races is 50 seconds away from victory.
“That’s the complicated thing to understand about Formula 1. And Mercedes, who in races sometimes go as fast as Red Bull, but then other times, like in Brazil, they degrade, and you don’t understand why.
“It’s the uncertainty, the variability of a beautiful F1 in which unfortunately there is a team that dominates and doesn’t have that variability, which is Red Bull. And they dominate every race, except in Singapore.”
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