‘We don’t want to be that sport’ – F1 warned of ‘disappearing’ fanbase amid Max Verstappen dominance

Oliver Harden
Max Verstappen grinning on the podium in Saudi Arabia with a prominent Red Bull logo alongside him

Max Verstappen's dominance with Red Bull is proving a major turn off for F1 fans

Formula E chief executive Jeff Dodds has once again taken aim at F1, warning that the sport’s fanbase could “disappear” as a result of the current dominance by Max Verstappen and Red Bull.

Having won a record 21 out of a possible 22 races last season, Red Bull have enjoyed a perfect start to the new campaign with Verstappen and team-mate Sergio Perez recording consecutive one-two finishes in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Max Verstappen’s dominance attracts more F1 criticism

Verstappen’s latest triumph means he has now won 46 of the last 69 races stretching back to the start of his maiden title-winning season in 2021.

Victory at next weekend’s Australian Grand Prix would see the 26-year-old equal his own record of 10 straight wins, just six months after surpassing Red Bull icon Sebastian Vettel’s 2013 tally of nine in a row.

This September will mark the 10th anniversary of Formula E’s inaugural race, with the all-electric series crowning eight different drivers’ champions – all but two of whom have raced in F1 – in its first nine years.

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The F1 2024 Drivers’ Championship standings without Max Verstappen

Dodds recently attracted attention by vowing to donate $250,000 to the chosen charity of the driver who beats Verstappen to the title in 2024, claiming the Red Bull driver is “absolutely nailed on” to win a fourth consecutive World Championship in 2024.

And following Verstappen’s strong start to the new season, the Formula E boss has mocked the lack of competitiveness at the front in F1.

According to the Dutch edition of RacingNews365, he said: “In nine seasons, we have had eight winners. Almost every season it came down to the last race of the season.

“And if you just look at last year in London, you had three drivers and three teams who could still win the championship before the last race of the season.

“It’s done very deliberately. We know that fans love competition and if that competitiveness disappears, so does the fan base, so we are very fixated on keeping the competitive nature high.

“I recently made a bet, which you may have seen, in which I talked about a Max Verstappen guarantee that he will definitely win.

“A lot of people said at the time that I was being unreasonable, but look at it now.

“He has won two out of two. And it seems the question now is: can he win all 24 races?

“We don’t want to be that sport.”

Dodds’ comments come after ESPN broadcaster Pat McAfee claimed F1 has become “so boring to watch”, referring to Verstappen as “Vanderstoppen.”

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