‘Magic’ Red Bull ‘could face FIA intervention’ as dominant run continues

Thomas Maher
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen leads Ferrari's Charles Leclerc at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Belgian Grand Prix: Max Verstappen leads the race for Red Bull ahead of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.

Red Bull’s ongoing dominance may result in Formula 1’s governing body making moves to curtail them.

With 12 wins from 12 races and a points tally more than double that of their nearest rival, Red Bull have been untouchable throughout 2023.

Having won both titles last year, the Milton Keynes-based squad are set to add to their silverware displays with another double as Max Verstappen zeros in on his third driver’s title.

Red Bull may have their wings clipped by FIA

Despite the sliding scale of wind tunnel and CFD time afforded to the teams under the Aerodynamic Testing Rules giving Red Bull the least amount of time to experiment with and confirm the developments stack up, the team’s dominance shows no sign of abating.

Indeed, with 10 races remaining in the season, Red Bull are eyeing up a record that has stood for 35 years when McLaren won every race, bar one. As it stands, there don’t appear to be many obstacles to them winning every race, bar reliability or shock circumstances.

But such dominance may lead to the FIA intervening in a bid to curtail Red Bull’s dominance, says three-time Le Mans class winner David Kennedy.

The former Shadow F1 racer, speaking exclusively to PlanetF1.com, said Red Bull may well find the rules are changed in some way in order to make them stumble.

“History has proven that [the FIA] have done that,” he said.

“They’ve done that before, and they’ve done it, ostensibly, when Michael Schumacher was dominating.

“[The FIA] came up with a whole variety of changes, particularly in qualifying – what you could use in qualifying, what you could use in the race, they did everything to try and balance the books and stop this runaway dominance. It has a detrimental effect on the sport, absolutely.

“Those that have followed the sport long enough will remember the days when McLaren ran away with everything. And it takes the interest away.

“Now, McLaren had two unbelievable drivers in Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna who took chunks out of each other. Then you had the Williams domination as well with Nigel Mansell. It does take away some of that conflict that you’re going to see in top-end sports. There’s nothing worse than knowing what the result is going to be.”

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Kennedy explained that he suspects the governing body may already be looking at rule tweaks to try changing things up, but said he’s amazed that, given the extra wind tunnel time other teams have in comparison, no-one has managed to close the gap the RB19 has enjoyed.

“I don’t think there’s any reason why they wouldn’t look at trying to balance the books in some way,” he said.

“But the other interesting thing is that, over the recent years, you’ve seen development happen at such a pace, that what struck me as quite amazing is that the other teams actually haven’t moved to the same level as close to where Red Bull are at the moment.

“But they have the magic dust at the moment, in terms of engineering, the performance of car, the performance of the engine and, of course, Max is at the top of his game.

“So it’s going to be pretty tough for anyone to knock that combination off.”

But can Red Bull actually pull off the impossible and win every race in the season?

“It certainly looks like that,” Kennedy said.

“When the car wasn’t ostensibly the best, and I’d say that in Monaco, it was Max that just could dig that bit deeper to walk on water. You can get away with that for so long. So it’s difficult to see anybody being able to push them off that pedestal.

“But, look, there are very smart guys doing some incredibly interesting things with their cars. This is a non-stop evolutionary process. But, to me, such dominance is difficult to see if someone is going to push them off that perch.”

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