Ex-Red Bull driver sends clear message of hope to US fans ‘spoiled’ by F1 2021 season

Jamie Woodhouse
The flag of the United States displayed at the Circuit of The Americas in 2022

The flag of the United States displayed at the Circuit of The Americas

While the current on-track Formula 1 product falls far below the spectacle of 2021 in the opinion of ex-F1 turned NASCAR racer Daniil Kvyat, he assured fans in the United States that the series knows “how to react” and adapt.

Formula 1 has enjoyed a surge in popularity in the United States over recent years, inspired by the success of Netflix’s Drive to Survive series, while the scenes of 2021, where the title battle between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton went down to the last lap of the season, was the best advert possible for attracting new fans.

Daniil Kvyat says F1 ‘know how to react’ to ‘failed’ new regulations

But since the climax of that epic title battle, Hamilton and his Mercedes team have faded away, while Verstappen and Red Bull have risen to become the undisputed dominant force, claiming back-to-back title doubles in 2022 and 2023, the latter campaign seeing Red Bull win 21 of the 22 races, 19 of those claimed by Verstappen.

The Dutchman has started F1 2024 in similarly dominant fashion, despite a brake failure on the second lap in Australia ending his streak of race wins at nine.

Kvyat admits that such one driver and team dominance is not healthy for F1, as the NASCAR and endurance racer claimed that the current ground effect era has “failed”, though he does not believe fans in the US should switch off, as he doubts F1 will sit still on their ambition of creating a more level playing field.

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Speaking to the United States’ Speed City Broadcasting, it was put to Kvyat that US fans were “spoiled” by the 2021 season, and when asked what his message would be to said fans, he began: “There were some amazing seasons, like 2021, and then you stumbled and you couldn’t name any other one.

“Well, I would name 2016, perhaps, but I think the problem is there were promises that the new regulations would deliver a lot closer competition between teams, but it has, I think, failed.

“And now again, we’ve got one team that is clearly miles ahead of others. It makes the show pretty boring, which is a shame. And there is no internal team battle as well.

“It makes it a pretty dull show at the moment, which is a shame.

“But, I believe Formula 1, they know how to react and I think they will make adjustments.”

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz is the only non-Red Bull winner since 2022, the Spaniard notching up his third career win in Australia following Verstappen’s DNF, as he led home a Ferrari 1-2 finish.

The next major shake-up to the F1 regulations comes in 2026, when new-look cars and power units are introduced.

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