F1 chief takes firm stance on ending Max Verstappen’s ‘disheartening’ dominance

Michelle Foster
Adrian Newey, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

Max Verstappen has romped from one record to another in 2023.

Formula 1 will not be seen as a sport that tries to do “something against” Max Verstappen and Red Bull to rein in their dominance, at least not under Stefano Domenicali’s watch.

From banning Mercedes’ Front and Rear Interconnected Suspension (FRICS) system to Brawn GP’s double diffuser and Williams’ active suspension, there have been instances in the past when Formula 1 has taken steps to curb a team’s dominance.

Some of Verstappen’s rivals, and their fans too, wish they’d do that today.

Will F1 get involved to curb Max Verstappen and Red Bull reign?

If the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari thought Red Bull were strong last season as they won 17 of 22 Grands Prix, this year’s championship has come as a shock to the system.

Red Bull have won all but one race, 19 of 20, with Verstappen taking 17 of those, and he’s expected to wrap up the last two in Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi.

It had Lewis Hamilton saying after Brazil, where Verstappen extended his record for the most wins in a single season, this could be just the beginning.

“The Red Bull, I think, is so far away. I think they’re probably going to be very clear for the next couple of years,” said the seven-time World Champion.

It was a crushing statement from Hamilton, but one that was very likely echoed up and down the pit lane.

It begs the question, would Formula 1 ever decide to ‘get involved’ to try to curb Vertappen’s ‘disheartening’ dominance?

F1 chief Domenicali told Channel 4: “I think if you look back at the dominance of a driver or a team, it’s always been a part of F1.

“We need to consider one thing that for sure Max Verstappen has done and is doing an incredible job. We need to recognise that.

“But if you see today at the gaps in qualified, it’s just incredible. If you look at the numbers of overtaking we are having the last two seasons, we are at the top of the scale.

“We cannot be seen as a sport that is trying to do something against someone, that would be wrong.”

However, that doesn’t mean the former Ferrari team boss isn’t hoping for closer competition next season.

“On the other hand,” he continued, “the nature of Formula 1 is to make sure that next year the teams can give to the other drivers. that are very, very strong, the possibility to compete in that field.

“I have to say that we never had such an incredible quality of drivers all together as we have today. I mean it’s impressive.”

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The records Max Verstappen has broken this season

Verstappen has rewritten Formula 1’s record books this season with his new tally of 17 wins in a single campaign just one of his many records.

Sunday’s victory in Brazil pushed him onto 77.3% win percentage for the season, that’s if he doesn’t win Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi, outdoing Alberto Ascari’s record of 75% from 1952.

His run of 10 wins from Miami to Italy this year was a new record for the most consecutive wins, the Dutchman beating Sebastian Vettel’s 2013 tally.

He also has the most wins from pole in a season, that’s 11, and the most consecutive wins from pole position having converted 15 in a stint that goes back to last year’s Dutch Grand Prix.

Throw in the most hat-tricks, points, podiums, and laps led in a single campaign and you’d be hard-pressed to go against the argument that this is the most dominant season for a driver ever in Formula 1.

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